Presentation Title

Assessment of Critical Thinking Skills in Statistics Students at California State University, Fullerton

Faculty Mentor

Valerie Poynor

Start Date

17-11-2018 12:30 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 2:30 PM

Location

CREVELING 65

Session

POSTER 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

physical_mathematical_sciences

Abstract

General Education (GE) courses offered at California State University, Fullerton strive to provide students with important critical thinking skills necessary to enter the global workforce. The purpose of this project is to implement a model that assesses student critical thinking skills within demographic groups. Students in a select 300 -level statistics course designed for Math and Natural Science majors were given a multi-part problem on their final exam, which was used to assess their critical thinking ability in regards to the course material. We used data collected from different sections of the same statistics course due to its high student population among STEM majors each semester. The course also yields a variety of faculty instructors and teaching pedagogies. We account for ``teacher effect'' in our model to better determine demographic factors that influence student scores. Faculty were given a rubric with five criteria in which to grade each student. For our analysis, we focused on Criteria D: student ability to assess the ``Validity and Relevance of Argument/Conclusion”. We apply an ordinal logistic regression model to the data. We have found that a correlation exists between students receiving Federal Pell Grants and low scores.

Summary of research results to be presented

We fit the ordinal logistic regression model to the students’ statistics course assessment data using the polr function in the MASS package available in the statistical programming language R. The covariates that were most efficient at predicting student score were Pell Grant recipients and student GPA. It is important to note that the inclusion of Faculty was done to account for the ``teacher effect'' rather than assessing specific Faculty on student performance. Another important note is to clarify that the first faculty member was used as the baseline effect and is incorporated via the intercept parameter, α. The AIC for the model was 340.1313.

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Nov 17th, 12:30 PM Nov 17th, 2:30 PM

Assessment of Critical Thinking Skills in Statistics Students at California State University, Fullerton

CREVELING 65

General Education (GE) courses offered at California State University, Fullerton strive to provide students with important critical thinking skills necessary to enter the global workforce. The purpose of this project is to implement a model that assesses student critical thinking skills within demographic groups. Students in a select 300 -level statistics course designed for Math and Natural Science majors were given a multi-part problem on their final exam, which was used to assess their critical thinking ability in regards to the course material. We used data collected from different sections of the same statistics course due to its high student population among STEM majors each semester. The course also yields a variety of faculty instructors and teaching pedagogies. We account for ``teacher effect'' in our model to better determine demographic factors that influence student scores. Faculty were given a rubric with five criteria in which to grade each student. For our analysis, we focused on Criteria D: student ability to assess the ``Validity and Relevance of Argument/Conclusion”. We apply an ordinal logistic regression model to the data. We have found that a correlation exists between students receiving Federal Pell Grants and low scores.