A study of college students' accuracy in measurement estimation.
Melinski, Ashley J.
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SubjectMathematics -- Research.; Measurement -- Case studies.; Units of measurement.; Metric system.; Estimation theory.
This study examines how accurate college students are in measurement estimation. It expands on the current research and compares students’ skills to estimate using the U.S. customary system and the metric system. The study compares college students from various countries and various STEM and non-STEM majors. The purpose of this study is to identify which group of students performed the best, whether it was international students compared to American students or if it was STEM majors compared to non-STEM majors. This study also compared students’ skills in different types of measurement estimation and to address the areas in which students performed the best. During the study, students completed a 16-question assessment containing different types of measurement estimation problems, including lengths, volumes, and temperature, using both the customary units and the metric system. Students were not allowed to use rulers or any devices to help improve their accuracy. For the volume and weight/mass problems, students were able to see actual containers filled with water to estimate the amount and weight. Students then had to complete a demographic survey of major, country they were raised in, and which units they were most comfortable using. Later in the survey, students had to rate each question based on their confidence level of their accuracy. The results showed that there was no statistical significance in scores and country of origin and also no statistical significance in scores and college major.
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