IJIMT 2010 Vol.1(1): 13-19  ISSN: 2010-0248
DOI: 10.7763/IJIMT.2010.V1.3

Measuring Students’ Understanding of Statistical Concepts using Rasch Measurement

Noor Lide Abu Kassim, Nor Zatul-Iffa Ismail, Zamalia Mahmud and Mohammad Said Zainol

Abstract—This study investigates students’ conceptual knowledge and understanding of basic statistical concepts and compares it against statistical competence, which is associated with discrete statistical knowledge and basic interpretive skills. It particularly examines the correspondence between students’ perceived ability and their empirical understanding of the concepts. Two instruments were developed: a 20-item test to measure students’ empirical understanding of the basic statistical concepts and a questionnaire with matching items to measure their perceived ability of these concepts. For a direct comparison of the two, students’ responses to the test and questionnaire items were jointly analyzed using the Rasch measurement model. Results of the analysis show that conceptual understanding of basic statistical concepts is more difficult to attain than statistical competence. The results also suggest that students more often than not overestimated their understanding of basic statistical concepts, particularly those requiring conceptual understanding of the concepts.

Index Terms—basic statistical concepts, conceptual understanding, statistical competence, Rasch measurement,

  Noor Lide Abu Kassim is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Education, International Islamic University Malaysia, 53100 Jalan Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia (phone: 6019-2155768; e-mail: noorlide@iium.edu.my)
 Nor Zatul-Iffa Ismail is a Ph.D student at the Centre of Statistical Studies, Faculty of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor , MALAYSIA (e-mail: iffa@tmsk.uitm.edu.my).
  Zamalia Mahmud is an Associate Professor at the Centre of Statistical Studies, Faculty of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor , MALAYSIA (e-mail:zamal669@salam.uitm.edu.my).
 Mohammad Said Zainol is a Professor at the Centre of Quantitative Studies, Faculty of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, MALAYSIA (e-mail:said@tmsk.uitm.edu.my).

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Cite: Noor Lide Abu Kassim, Nor Zatul-Iffa Ismail, Zamalia Mahmud and Mohammad Said Zainol, " Measuring Students’ Understanding of Statistical Concepts using Rasch Measurement," International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 13-19, 2010.

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