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INTRODUCTION

Statistics is an important subject among business students for undergraduate and above studies.
The subject provides the basic mathematical and statistical skills to use as analytical tools so that
they can be better decision makers.
Traditional platforms such as learning management systems (LMS) are still used by many
tertiary education institutions. With the intensification of mobile-learning, book publishers have
started to offer online resources like PowerPoint slides (plain and narrated), audio lectures, Java
applets (animations), data sources and online assessments, many of these resources are free of
charge for their users. Combination of innovative social media, the hybrid system of social
media and LMS, can facilitate the creation of Personalized Learning Environment (PLE) that
help learners aggregate and share the results of learning achievements, participate in collective
knowledge generation, and manage their own meaning making.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential use of some Web 2.0 in enhancing the
teaching and learning of statistics. This study plans to identify whether students are aware of
these technologies, which resource they like most, and their experience in using these
technologies. Finally, recommendations are suggested during their adoptions.
LITERATURE REVIEW
Learning of Statistics
According to Haapala, Pietarinen, Rautopuro and Visnen (2002), there are some other factors
like prior knowledge, mathematical self-confidence and statistics anxiety, which predict the
learning outcomes. They also pointed that significant factors are positive learning experiences
and effort to active in spite of learning group and methods used. Cruise and others (1985)
identified six components of statistics anxiety: 1) worth of statistics, 2) interpretation anxiety, 3)
test and class anxiety, 4) computational self-concept, 5) fear of asking help, and 6) fear of
statistics teachers. However, the relationship between statistics anxiety and learning strategies
varied between men and women. Men showed a much more clear relationship where
procrastination was positively related to fear of asking for help and organization, peer learning,
and procrastination was positively related to test and class anxiety and interpretation anxiety. For
women, all of the learning strategies except procrastination and peer learning were negatively
related to aspects of statistics anxiety. Procrastination was positively related to statistics anxiety
(Rodarte-Luna and Sherry, 2008).
Lovett and Greenhouse (2000) laid out the principles describing the processes of learning that
apply to students in general and lead to a set of practical guidelines that can guide the process of
instructional design for a wide range of statistics courses. Statistics educators should think about
and continually assess their personal theories of learning and teaching in light of the evidence
classroom experience provides (Garfield, 1995). On the other hand, the findings of Makwakwa
(2012) were that the probable causes of learners difficulties were (1) inadequate teaching of
statistics topics in previous grades; (2) teachers lack of content knowledge in statistics meant
they had difficulty explaining concepts to learners; (3) inadequate learning material and learners
inability to use the statistics function mode on their calculators; and (4) learners lack of
conceptual knowledge of certain aspects of statistics.

Schau and Mattern (1997) indicated difference between propositional knowledge and conceptual
understanding, and what they have established that might be the existence of propositional
knowledge rather than conceptual understanding. Research on concept maps conducted in
statistics (Roberts 1999; Schau & Mattern 1997) appears to show concept maps to be useful tools
in instruction and assessment in statistics.
Gal and Ginsburg (1994) found that approaches towards assessing attitudes towards statistics are
ill-suited. Moreover, the negative attitudes are highly resistant to change (Birenbaum & Eylath
1994). Therefore, Gordon (1995) explored that the challenge for statistics educators is to find a
way to communicate that enables students to view statistics as meaningful and useful knowledge
that promotes their development and helps them tackle the complex issues of modern society.
Harraway and Barker (2005) identified gaps between topics and techniques learned at university
and those used in the workplace, and points to deficiencies in statistical preparation for
employment. They found that courses requested include multivariate statistics, generalized linear
models, research design and power analysis taught with minimal emphasis on probability and
mathematics.
Teaching Aids
According to Mishra and Koehler (2006), there are three types of knowledge involved in the use
of technology for teaching mathematics: Technology Knowledge (TK): how to use the
technology for teaching and learning, Content Knowledge (CK): what students need to learn and
what teachers need to teach, and Pedagogical Knowledge (PK): how to deliver those contents to
students. They said that although the Content Knowledge is the most vital one among the three
types of knowledge, and any teaching and learning must focus on content, yet in order to ensure
the success of integrating technology into teaching and learning, students will need
Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) whereas teachers or lecturers will need Technological
Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). Oates (2009) also strongly
supported the use of technologies will affect the outcomes of teaching and learning of
mathematics, and the effective integration of technology into teaching and learning of
mathematics poses a significant challenge to tertiary mathematics educators. Moore (1997) too
felt strongly that heavy use of computing technology is essential for realistic learning of practical
statistics, and that automating anything that is "just a rule" is good pedagogy as well. Though in
contrary, there are studies that found otherwise. For instance, study from Mauldin and Rhoads
(2001) compared results from a semester that did not use computer modules and a semester that
used computer modules, and they found no statistical difference in cognitive performance
between the two semesters, and no statistical difference in affective performance was discovered.
E-book can be defined as a book presented in electronic or digital format, either on dedicated ebook readers such as Apple I-Pad (Smith & Kukulska-Hulme, 2012). According to Appleton
(2005, p.56) the next obvious resource to embed into e-learning would be the e-book with
printed textbooks being well integrated into traditional teaching and learning in higher education,
and the use of e-books for learning has indeed generated much interest among instructors and
students (Guan, 2009). The Malaysian Ministry of Education has allocated more than RM1.04
million to finance university libraries subscription to the netLibrary in 2010 recognizing the
need for e-book adoption by Malaysian higher education learners (Letchumanan & Tarmizi,

2011). On the other hand, the e-book designs need to be considered when adopting e-book as
instructional materials (Lim, Hong and Aziz, 2014). Hence, e-books can be customized by
instructors (Wong et al., 2011). The use of Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) compiler
enables e-books made it possible to create a new learning experience for users (Lai & Newby,
2012). Nevertheless, placing students in a new situation to learn statistics, particularly in
different media representation in e-books, could have had a confusing and distracting effect on
them before they could get used to the new learning environment (Clark & Mayer, 2011).
Baker and Sugden (2003) pointed out that spreadsheet has potential to become a universal tool
for teaching and learning mathematics and which needed exploration in more applications using
spreadsheets. They added that the methods of assessment should be changed accordingly.
According to Malkowsky (2004), visualization and animation are very important methods in the
study of mathematics concepts. As reported by Mayer (2001), the use of animation and
multimedia produced a greater learning outcome. Lee and Rha (2009) also agreed with the
results where students who were exposed to interactive materials (animation and video) achieved
higher scores in examination than text only materials.
Traditional platforms
Dinov, Sanchez, and Christou (2009) shared their experience in utilizing the Statistics Online
Computational Resource, SOCR (http://www.socr.ucla.edu) in two types of undergraduate
probability and statistics courses. It was reported that the SOCR provided a number of interactive
tools that could be used during lecture, and by the students for self-learning and to complete
assignments. These SOCR tools found bridging between the introductory and the more advanced
computational and applied probability and statistics courses. Suanpang, Petocz, and Kalceff
(2004) concluded that students taught online develop strongly positive attitudes towards learning
statistics, which influenced their learning and made understanding statistics easier for them than
for students taught in the traditional mode. Furthermore, based on Tishkovskaya and Lancaster
(2012), web-based learning could be seen as an alternative and complimentary tool in statistics
education, and they said that efforts in reforming statistical education might be broadened by
using topical, interesting, substantive problems coming from the actual practice of statistics that
were placed on the web in various repositories. Nevertheless, Chong et al. (2010) found that
students know how to use computer in general, but the use of computer for learning mathematics
is still low, e.g. not aware of the online resources such as animations (Java applets) and MS
Excel templates, which could be attributed to the lack of initiative and the skills needed as well
as the necessity or urge that drive them to pick up the technologies. Specifically, Neumann and
Hood (2009) found that student engagement, but not performance on assessment, may be
enhanced when a wiki is used to support learning in higher education. They also suggested that
there was substantial variability among students in participation and preferences for participation
in the wiki.
Web 2.0 learning tools
Use of social media has become self-motivated, autonomous and informal, as well as an integral
part of the college experience. Literatures such as Nihalani and Mayrath (2010) reported the
empirical results about effective uses of iPhone and iPod touch applications in education. They

demonstrated that for mobile adoption to occur and to be effective, students must be given
pedagogically effective apps that have a place in their everyday lives outside the classroom.
METHODOLOGY
This is a survey which was carried at the Faculty of Business and Finance in a non-for-profit
private university in Perak, Malaysia. The purpose of this pilot study is to find out the PLE
preferences of these statistics students. This study is conducted by means of questionnaires to the
students located in the Perak campus.

FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION


Respondents Demographic Factors
Internal consistency of the instrument is measured with Cronbach's alpha. The alpha reliability
was highly accepted (alpha = 0.857). The researchers distributed the survey questionnaire to 81
undergraduate students during tutorial classes of quantitative techniques from 10-16 April 2015.
A total of 81 responses were received. Table 1 shows the distributions of participants according
to their gender and study programme.
Table 1: Distribution of sample according to gender and study program
AC
BA
BF
LI
MK
Gender
F
20
6
14
2
5
M
7
6
8
2
11
Total
27
12
22
4
16
Note: AC=Accounting, BA=Business & Administration, LI=Logistics, MK=Marketing.

4; 5%
12; 15%

27; 33%

Total
47
34
81

AC
BF
MK

16; 20%

BA
LI
22; 27%

Figure 1: Comparison of percentage for Demographic Factors


Figure 1: This is Diagram 1

The respondents of this study were almost evenly distributed between genders. Table 2 shows the
distribution of the respondents according to gender and study programmes. Of this total, 34 are
Male respondents (42%) compared to 47 Female (58%). In terms of age group, majority of the
respondents were found to be in the 19 to 20 age group with 51 respondents (63%), followed by
30 respondents (47%) in the age 21 to 25 age group.

4; 5%
12; 15%

27; 33%

AC
BF
MK

16; 20%

BA
LI
22; 27%

Figure 2: Comparison of AC and BF

4; 5%
12; 15%

27; 33%

AC
BF
MK

16; 20%

BA
LI
22; 27%

Figure 3: Comparison of MK and BA

CONCLUSION AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS


In short, the authors found that most students are using computer in general, however, the use of
computer for learning statistics is need further improvement. This could be caused by the lack of
motivation to pick up the technologies for academic learning purposes. Lecturers should guide in
the use of the technology in the learning process. To change students mindset on the use of
information technology in statistics learning, it will be helpful if assignments and assessments
are carefully administered to ensure the students making use of the online resources on top of
technologies available.

REFERENCES
Appleton, L. (2005). Using electronic textbooks: Promoting, placing and embedding. The
Electronic Library, 23(1), 5463.
Baker, J. E. & Sugden, S. J. (2003) Spreadsheets in Education-The First 25 Years. eJSiE, 1(1): pp
18-43.
Birenbaum, M. and Eylath, S. (1994). Who is afraid of statistics? Correlates of statistics anxiety
among students in educational sciences. Educational Research. 36: 93-98.
Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2011). E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven
guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning (3rded.). San Francisco, CA:
John Wiley and Sons.

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