#### Presentation Title

Student graph familiarity across multiple graph types

#### Faculty Mentor

Joel K. Abraham

#### Start Date

18-11-2017 2:15 PM

#### End Date

18-11-2017 3:15 PM

#### Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 140

#### Session

Poster 3

#### Type of Presentation

Poster

#### Subject Area

education

#### Abstract

Graphs are a key tool in science communication, and thus competency in graph construction and interpretation are core learning goals in most science programs. Some graph forms, such as line graphs or bar graphs, are frequently presented in introductory classes. Although these graph forms can be appropriate for communicating some data, they may not be sufficient for certain data or contexts, and other graph forms, such as box plots, are increasingly common in scientific papers. We surveyed STEM faculty and undergraduate students to determine the frequency and context of exposure to different graph forms in courses as well as student confidence in using different graph types. We found that students have had the most exposure to line graphs and scatterplots in courses, while graphs like box plots, histograms, and bar graphs were less commonly encountered. Furthermore, we found that the majority of first encounters of graph types to be during class lectures or assigned textbook readings. Similarly, students are most frequently asked to construct and interpret the different graph type during lectures and readings. Finally, students report a high confidence in graph usage in all graph types except boxplots. These findings provide insight into the usage of different graph types during courses and can help cement the usage of different graph types in order to broaden the exposure and increase students’ graphing skills in other commonly used graph types in STEM fields

#### Summary of research results to be presented

It was found that students were exposed to line graphs and bar graphs while having a lower exposure rate to histograms, boxplots, and scatterplots. Furthermore, we found that the majority of first encounters were done during the course lecture or assigned textbook readings and less commonly during in-class assignments or exams. Similarly, students are most frequently asked to interpret and construct these graph types during course lecture and readings from the textbook. Finally, students reported the highest confidence in interpretation and construction of line graphs and bar graphs while having the lowest confidence with boxplots.

Student graph familiarity across multiple graph types

BSC-Ursa Minor 140

Graphs are a key tool in science communication, and thus competency in graph construction and interpretation are core learning goals in most science programs. Some graph forms, such as line graphs or bar graphs, are frequently presented in introductory classes. Although these graph forms can be appropriate for communicating some data, they may not be sufficient for certain data or contexts, and other graph forms, such as box plots, are increasingly common in scientific papers. We surveyed STEM faculty and undergraduate students to determine the frequency and context of exposure to different graph forms in courses as well as student confidence in using different graph types. We found that students have had the most exposure to line graphs and scatterplots in courses, while graphs like box plots, histograms, and bar graphs were less commonly encountered. Furthermore, we found that the majority of first encounters of graph types to be during class lectures or assigned textbook readings. Similarly, students are most frequently asked to construct and interpret the different graph type during lectures and readings. Finally, students report a high confidence in graph usage in all graph types except boxplots. These findings provide insight into the usage of different graph types during courses and can help cement the usage of different graph types in order to broaden the exposure and increase students’ graphing skills in other commonly used graph types in STEM fields