Publication Details

Baharun, N. & Porter, A. L. (2012). A web-based learning support to improve students' learning of statistics. 1st ISM International Statistical Conference (pp. 359-367).


This study investigating the impact of a web-based learning supports particularly a Headstart program on student outcomes in statistics at the University of Wollongong. Unlike in 2010, a Headstart program was introduced to the undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory statistics subject in 2011. This program allowed students to access the first module of work which includes a set of five lecture notes, video clips, and the first assessment via the subject e-learning site approximately four weeks prior to the start of the formal session. For the assessment, the students were required to complete a draft and redraft the first assignment in the e-learning site. At the end of the session (March/Autumn) in 2011, a survey was also undertaken with the students. In 2011, a one-way ANOVA and Scheffe post-hoc tests revealed a statistically significant difference (F2;192 = 5:301; p = 0:006) in the mean of the final marks between the students who engaged with the program compared to those who did not. To ascertain the impact of the program, two cohorts of students were examined: the students from 2010 who had not access to the Headstart program, and the students from 2011 who had access to the program including the draft and redraft of assignment. The mean of the final marks in 2011 were significantly higher than in 2010 (p = 0:004). Overall, an analysis of student outcomes showed that the students with access to the program including the draft and redraft of assignment performed better in their assessment tasks compared to the students without access. The paper concludes with a discussion on issues in developing the Headstart program with the introductory statistics subject and followed by recommendations for further implementation.