Asking students how to best teach statistics virtually: results of focus group discussions

Fielder, Katherine, Krause, Amanda, and Miller, Daniel (2024) Asking students how to best teach statistics virtually: results of focus group discussions. Australian Journal of Psychology, 76 (1). 2347628.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (644kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


Objective: The unique circumstances of COVID-19 have raised questions of best practices for how to teach statistics virtually. The present study evaluated which characteristics of statistics learning activities in the virtual environment increase undergraduate psychology students’ (a) engagement, (b) satisfaction, and (c) knowledge of statistics.

Method: Semi-structured focus groups (N = 13 participants, aged 21–58, 64.3% female, 28.6% male, 7.1% gender fluid) were conducted. The focus group conversations were transcribed and analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.

Results: The findings indicate three main themes: catering to/supporting external students, why learning statistics online does not work, and how to make teaching and learning statistics online work. Social norms that prioritise time efficiency over engagement and interaction mean that the immediacy of learning and engaging with an instructor is often lost virtually. Suggestions for how to improve teaching and learning statistics online centred on readily accessible content, statistical software access, a teaching delivery that is methodical and flexible, immediacy of instructor response, and prioritising student-student and student-instructor connection.

Conclusion: These findings illustrate key challenges specific to teaching and learning statistics virtually, with real implications for how to better design and implement related curriculum.

Item ID: 82746
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1742-9536
Keywords: Research methods; statistics; psychology; tertiary educators; COVID-19; teaching and learning
Copyright Information: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Date Deposited: 21 May 2024 07:28
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520105 Psychological methodology, design and analysis @ 33%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5299 Other psychology > 529999 Other psychology not elsewhere classified @ 34%
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390199 Curriculum and pedagogy not elsewhere classified @ 33%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160102 Higher education @ 33%
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160301 Assessment, development and evaluation of curriculum @ 33%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology @ 34%
Downloads: Total: 10
Last 12 Months: 10
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page