Accessible Information anytime, anywhere: The intentional use of videos in Psychology for learning and reducing statistical anxiety

Karin Oerlemans, University of Canberra

Janie Busby Grant, Centre for Applied Psychology, University of Canberra

Abstract

Psychology at UC has undergone substantial change recently, particularly a move to flexible course delivery. The recipients of grant funding, academics embraced the opportunity to review unit content, adopted technologies, and drew on the support of teaching and learning specialists. In 2013, the psychology statistics lecturer (the second author), seeking advice from one of the T&L specialist (first author), incorporated a number of vodcasts into the unit, utilising a combination of lecture-based, enhanced and worked examples (Kay, 2012), scaffolding the learning, but also with the aim of reducing some of the anxiety students expressed around learning statistics and the SPSS software package. The mid-semester feedback was overwhelmingly positive. When an improvement in final unit results, particularly at the top end of the grade scale, was noted, the decision was made to investigate the reasons for the students’ positive engagement with the unit’s core learning materials.

This poster presents the initial findings of the 2014 study exploring how the use of vodcasts may have positively impacted students’ use of SPSS and reduced statistics anxiety. Researchers surveyed the students, using a before-after design within one semester. The study also drew on other de-identified data such as unit results and Moodle access data, comparing 2014 with previous years, to understand students use of the vodcasts and other tools and see if and how they were linked to the improved results.

It has been noted in the literature that there is a substantial lack of evidence based practice in higher education’s use of technology. Price and Kirkwood (2014) found that whilst the adoption of technology for use in teaching and learning was widespread, the effectiveness of its use was “open to question” and that much evidence for use was based on case study data, and anecdotal data of past practice that had worked. By using a before-after design, it is hoped to collect more rigorous data and aid our understanding of the use of vodcasts to support the improvement in flexible delivery of teaching and learning in higher education.

psych poster teaser

The abstract above was for a poster presented at the 2015 ISSOTL conference. We hope to be publishing the detail soon!

References

Chew, P. K. H., & Dillon, D. B. (2014). Statistics Anxiety Update: Refining the Construct and Recommendations for a New Research Agenda. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9(2), 196–208. doi: DOI: 10.1177/1745691613518077

Kay, R. H. (2012). Exploring the use of video podcasts in education: A comprehensive review of the literature. Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 820–831. doi: doi:10.1016

Pan, W., & Tang, M. (2005). Students’ Perceptions on Factors of Statistics Anxiety and Instructional Strategies. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 32(3), 205.

Price, L., & Kirkwood, A. (2014). Using technology for teaching and learning in higher education: a critical review of the role of evidence in informing practice. Higher Education Research & Development, 33(3), 549-564. doi: DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2013.841643

Vigil-Colet, A., Lorenzo-Seva, U., & Condon, L. (2008). Development and validation of the Statistical Anxiety Scale. Psicothema, 20(1), 174-180.

©Karin Oerlemans and Janie Busby Grant 2015