Promoting and assessing statistical literacy among university students. The case of Tuscany


One of the strategic goals of Istat, Italian NSI, is to promote statistical literacy (SL) both at central and at local level. In this context, for the first time in Italy, territorial Office of Istat in Tuscany developed a new line of research, addressed to the measurement of SL. The activity was held thanks to the cooperation with the statistical departments of the three Universities located in Tuscany (Pisa, Florence and Siena). Core of the project was the implementation of an on line questionnaire (named QValStatM) with a twofold objective. The first aim is to promote SL: the form is presented in a charming way and is associated with various statistical messages. The second aim is to measure SL in terms of number of corrected answers: each compiler immediately received his statistical profile according to the positioning of the “statistical dashboard”. Over 10,000 first-year undergraduate students were given the questionnaire. Results are of a certain interest: in the range between 0 and 12 the mean score was of 7.64 which states for a hardly sufficient level of SL. As expected, results are significantly different according to various individual covariates (course attended, gender, school curricula).  The present paper intends to illustrate in detail the project, the questionnaire, the method of administering, the results and implications for future strategies to promote SL.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20705948v9n4p589

Keywords: Statistical literacy; assessment; university students; Istat.


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