Surrendering with Statistics! Are University Students Stooping in with a Deficit? A Preliminary Analysis of the Constraints at a University in a Developing Country
AbstractThis study aims to identify the barriers to success in statistics using exploratory factor analysis and regression modelling techniques. Students from a broad spectrum of specialities in universities take statistics as a course, the majority of them with poor mathematical background. A questionnaire was administered to 394 respondents in the faculty of management sciences at a university in South Africa. The study identified 6 factors namely disadvantaged background, cognitive capacity, access to resources, support structures, content difficulty and value of statistics as barriers to success in statistics. The factors disadvantaged background and cognitive capacity are classified as situational barriers. The factors access to resources and support structures are classified as organisational barriers. The factors access to resources and support structures are classified as organisational barriers. Regression modelling techniques reveals that factor cognitive capacity is influenced by the number of times a student has repeated statistics and the levels obtained in the mathematics in Grade 12 (Matriculation).
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