Perception of Usefulness of Statistics Tasks; A Qualitative Study of a Mismatch

Document Type : Original Article



This study was conducted to qualitatively investigate perceptions of students and instructors of tasks and lessons of statistics. Participants were 14 instructors and 29 BA students of statistics courses in behavioral and social sciences at the University of Tehran. They were selected through purposive judgmental sampling method and, next, they were exposed to semi-structured interviews. The thematic analysis revealed that usefulness axis was reflected in terms of such organizing themes as “endogenous usefulness”, “exogenous usefulness”, “lack of usefulness”, “reduction of usefulness”, and “promotion of usefulness”. Instructors and students agreed that students suffered a lack of perceived usefulness. However, they disagreed on its nature, origin, and strategies. In all themes, students and instructors exposed different perceptions. This gap might result in irresponsibility, inconsistency and probable conflict in the learning process. Besides, it could prevent desired outcomes. According to these results, students and instructors should interact in practical engagement and exchange of ideas.


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