HomeLiceo Journal of Higher Education Researchvol. 7 no. 1 (2011)

Graduate Students’ Conceptions of Statistical Inference

Liza Lorena Jala | Enriqueta Reston

Discipline: Education, Statistics



In the Philippines, graduate education programs in non-statistical disciplines require statistics and research methodology courses, which aim to equip graduate students with the knowledge and skills needed for the applications of statistical tools particularly in thesis or dissertation work. In this paper, graduate students’ conceptions of basic ideas and processes of statistical inference were assessed using pre-post classroom self-assessments, interview, examination of students’ work samples, classroom observations, and a modified adaptation of a researcher-made Statistical Literacy Assessment Scale. A mixed-methods research approach that combines the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data in stages was used in the treatment of data. The results revealed several common misconceptions on the concept of sampling and sample representativeness, parameter estimation and in making inferences based on sample data. Based on these findings, an instructional module anchored on constructivist learning was developed to deepen graduate students’ conceptual understanding of statistical inference.