Conceptualizing the Sample Mean: Insights for Computer Engineering Students in the Learning Process

Fulya Kula (Corresponding author), Nelly Litvak, Tracy S. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The sample mean in statistics is a concept of great importance, with its properties being extensively utilized in other areas, such as computer science. This research centers on the concept of the sample mean and its characteristics in a cohort of computer engineering students undertaking a required course in statistics at a university in the Netherlands. The objective of this study was to analyze students&#x2019; comprehension of the fundamental structure, properties, and applications of the sample mean. A digital mini-course on sample mean was developed and employed with 97 students, who had the option to apply the concepts at their own pace. The action-process-object-schema (APOS) theoretical framework was utilized to analyze the interview responses of seven participants. The majority of participants were able to demonstrate an understanding of the <italic>Process</italic> conception of the sample mean, with only a minority demonstrating an understanding of the <italic>Object</italic> conception. The lack of comprehension of the sample mean hindered students&#x2019; capacity to effectively utilize the associated applications and properties. These findings imply that educators should strive to ensure that students have a sound comprehension of the sample mean so that they are better equipped to work with related applications. Suggestions of this study and further research ideas are indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10496257
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Issue numberX
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Apr 2024


  • Action-process-object-schema (APOS)
  • Built-in self-test
  • computer engineering
  • Education
  • Engineering students
  • Interviews
  • sample mean
  • Standards
  • statistics education
  • Surveys
  • Videos


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