Effects of web-based instruction on math anxiety, the sense of mastery, and global self-esteem: A quasi-experimental study of undergraduate statistics students


To explore the effects of web-based instruction (WBI) on math anxiety, the sense of mastery, and global self-esteem, we use quasi-experimental data from undergraduate statistics students in classes assigned to three study conditions, each with varied access to, and incentive for, the use of online technologies. Results suggest that when statistics course requirements included the use of WBI techniques, such as Blackboard's (Blackboard Inc. 2001) digital drop box and online student discussion board, class levels of math anxiety were reduced from the beginning (Time I) to the end (Time II) of the course instruction periods. In classes that required student participation in online discussion forums, self-esteem levels appear to have been enhanced. Perceived mastery levels, however, were not influenced significantly by use of the WBI tools we consider here. The findings indicate that the incorporation of WBI techniques into statistics courses may benefit college students; yet, the mechanisms by which WBI tools affect student outcomes require elucidation. We recommend that widespread implementation of WBI follow only from systematic evaluation of its efficacy across various educational settings, student populations, and social conditions.



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Teaching Sociology


Sage Publications

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