IJIET 2019 Vol.9(3): 206-212 ISSN: 2010-3689
doi: 10.18178/ijiet.2019.9.3.1200

Use of the R Commander in the Introductory Social Statistics Course: A Case Study

Takashi Yamashita and Rachel Caitlyn Crane

Abstract—Statistics anxiety is prevalent among social science students in higher education. One of the known strategies to reduce statistics anxiety is to provide more opportunities for the hands-on training to practice statistical skills. This case study incorporated the open source statistical software with the graphic user interface — R Commander — to the existing social statistics course and assessed the changes in the students’ attitudes toward statistics using the pre- and post-test design in one semester. Results (n = 29) showed that one of the attitudinal domains (i.e., affect) significantly improved whereas other domains did not change. Also, the observed issues recorded in the field notes were summarized and practical solutions were discussed. Use of an open source software is a cost-effective strategy to increase the hands-on training in social statistics course in hopes to alleviate the statistics anxiety and to promote lifelong statistics learning among social science students.

Index Terms—Social statistics, statistics anxiety, sociology, R commander.

The authors are with the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Health Administration and Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250 USA (e-mail: yamtaka@umbc.edu)

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Cite: Takashi Yamashita and Rachel Caitlyn Crane, "Use of the R Commander in the Introductory Social Statistics Course: A Case Study," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 206-212, 2019.

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (Since 2019), INSPEC (IET), EBSCO, Electronic Journals Library, Google Scholar, Crossref, etc.
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net