Lexical Ambiguity in Statistics: How Students Use and Define the Words: Association, Average, Confidence, Random and Spread

Jennifer Kaplan, Diane G. Fisher, Neal T. Rogness
2010 Journal of Statistics Education  
Language plays a crucial role in the classroom. The use of specialized language in a domain can cause a subject to seem more difficult to students than it actually is. When words that are part of everyday English are used differently in a domain, these words are said to have lexical ambiguity. Studies in other fields, such as mathematics and chemistry education, suggest that in order to help students learn vocabulary instructors should exploit the lexical ambiguity of the words. The study
more » ... ted here is the second in a sequence of studies designed to understand the effects of and develop techniques for exploiting lexical ambiguities in statistics classrooms. In particular, this paper looks at five statistical terms and the meanings of these terms most commonly expressed by students at the end of an undergraduate statistics course.
doi:10.1080/10691898.2010.11889491 fatcat:by7qc7xlt5cbrjpvzm25mxvchq