Examining the Relationships among Mathematics Achievement, Attitudes Toward Statistics, and Statistics Outcomes: Application of Structural Equation Modeling

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Addis Abeba university


Statistics courses have become an essential part of many programs in higher education. Thus, students from a broad spectrum of disciplines take statistics courses in higher education. Structural equation modeling can be defined as a class of methodologies that seeks to represent hypotheses about the means, variances, and covariances of observed data in terms of a smaller number of ‘structural’ parameters defined by a hypothesized underlying conceptual or theoretical model. The main objective of this study is to investigate the structural relationships among mathematics achievement, attitudes toward statistics, and statistics outcomes by testing a structural model, called “Statistics Attitudes-Outcomes Model”. In the current study, a survey design was adopted and a questionnaire was used to gather information from 205 undergraduate statistics non-major Addis Ababa University students who registered for introductory statistics courses offered by the Department of Statistics in the first semester of the 2013/14 Academic Year. The hypothesized model was tested by Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) technique using Smart PLS 2.0 statistical software. Participants of this study generally reported positive attitudes toward statistics except that they perceived the difficulty of statistics as neutral and they were indifferent in terms of their individual affection to statistics. Mathematics achievement variable had medium total standardized effects on statistics outcomes variable; however, effort and interest variables had small total effects on explaining statistics outcomes, and difficulty had non-significant total effect on explaining statistics outcomes. The results indicated that, students’ past and overall mathematics achievement, interest in statistics and the effort they expand to learn statistics were found as important factors for explaining their statistics outcomes



Mathematics Achievement