Meet Kimberley Eccles – Statistics Summer Scholarship recipient
This summer, we have a number of fantastic students who received a Department of Statistics scholarship to work on fascinating projects with our staff members. We’ll be profiling them here on Stats Chat and we’d love to hear your feedback on their projects!
Kimberley Eccles is working with Maxine Pfannkuch and Stephanie Budgett on statistics education research.
“This summer I am working on a statistics education research project. The researchers wish to introduce some new ideas into the statistics curriculum to aid students’ understanding of some of the big ideas of statistics. Matched pre- and post-tests have been conducted to gauge levels of understanding before and after the concepts are taught.
“Another summer scholarship student and I have been given the task of reading through the test answers to ascertain and report on the level of understanding displayed. We are also identifying and reporting on common misconceptions amongst the students, so that these can be addressed and corrected in future developments of the curriculum.
“We will also be analysing interviews conducted with students using nVivo. These provide a greater ability to investigate the reasoning behind answers that students give to questions, giving a much clearer picture of which ideas are not being properly understood.
“Overall, the project is providing us with an excellent exposure to qualitative data in a way not frequently encountered by students of statistics.”
More about Kimberley:
“I am studying a conjoint degree in law and arts, with a major in statistics. This is usually considered an unusual combination – particularly given that I have no desire to practice law, and intend to teach high-school maths when I graduate.
“I am particularly interested in statistics education because I believe that all too often students are turned off statistics (and math) because of the way that these subjects are taught in school. I see this as quite a tragedy, as the analysis and critical thinking that the subjects ought to teach are extremely important for development and engagement in society.
“More relevantly to my law degree, I have a developing interest in mediation, and alongside my research project I am also training (as a reserve) for an international mediation competition. I hope to combine my interests in education and mediation at some point in the future.”