Academic journal article Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline

An Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Constructivist Approach in Teaching Business Statistics

Academic journal article Informing Science: the International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline

An Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Constructivist Approach in Teaching Business Statistics

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT  Aim/Purpose        The main aim of the research is to examine the                    performance of second language English speaking                    students enrolled in the Business Statistics course                    and to investigate the academic performance of                    students when taught under the constructivist and                    non-constructivist approaches in a classroom                    environment. Background         There are different learning theories that are                    established based on how students learn. Each of                    these theories has its own benefits based on the                    different type of learners and context of the                    environment. The students in this research are new                    to the University environment and to a challenging                    technical course like Business Statistics. This                    research has been carried out to see the                    effectiveness of the constructivist approach in                    motivating and increasing the student engagement and                    their academic performance. Methodology        A total of 1373 students were involved in the                    quasi-experiment method using Stratified Sampling                    Method from the year 2015 until 2016. Contribution       To consider curriculum adjustments for first year                    programs and implications for teacher education. Findings           The t-test for unequal variances was used to                    understand the mean score. Results indicate students                    have high motivation level and achieve higher mean                    scores when they are taught using the constructivist                    teaching approach compared to the non-constructivist                    teaching approach. Recommendations    To consider the challenges faced by first year for Practitioners  students and create a teaching approach that fits                    their needs. Recommendation     To explore in depth other teaching approaches of the for Researchers    Business Statistics course in improving students'                    academic performance. Impact on Society  The constructivist approach will enable learning to                    be enjoyable and students to be more confident. Future Research    The research will assist other lectures teaching                    Business Statistics in creating a more conducive                    environment to encourage second language English                    speaking students to overcome their shyness and be                    more engaged. Keywords           business statistics, constructivist approach, second                    language English speakers, student motivation,                    academic performance 

INTRODUCTION

There are different learning theories established based on how students learn. Among these learning theories are Behaviorism learning theory, Cognitive learning theory, and Constructivist learning theory. Each learning theory offers different benefits to the learners, and so the appropriate learning theory can be applied according to the need of the learners. Sometimes, the combination of three learning theories can be adopted to provide optimum learning to the students (Schunk, 1996). The students enrolled in this course are first year students who are new to the university environment. They have entered the university right after the high-school and, hence, face the double challenge of adjusting to the university environment as well as in studying a technical course like Business Statistics. Unlike teaching other theoretical courses in which students can be easily engaged through drama setting and role-playing activities, teaching the Business Statistics course is very challenging for the lecturers because students are less engaged in the classroom. This is one of the major gaps found in the university and this research discusses the constructivist teaching approach as part of the solution to increase students' engagement in learning a technical course where not many creative activities are included. …

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