The Convergent and Divergent Validity of Maths and Statistics Anxiety

Participant Information Sheet

Please read the information about the survey below. By doing and submitting this questionnaire, you are consenting to participate in this survey.

Researcher

This study is being led by PhD researcher, Jenny Terry, under the supervision of Professor Andy Field from the School of Psychology, University of Sussex (the 'Project Leads'). The Project Leads are working in collaboration with researchers in 155 universities in 46 countries around the world.

ANU researchers are Dr Yiyun Shou, Dr Zoe Leviston, Dr Samantha Stanley, Dr Dirk Van Rooy, Dr Conal Monaghan, Prof Michael Platow and Prof Michael Smithson from Research School of Psychology.


Project Title

The Convergent and Divergent Validity of Maths and Statistics Anxiety


General Outline of the Project

Description and Methodology: You are being invited to take part in a research study to further our understanding of maths anxiety, statistics anxiety, and some related constructs. An online survey which will take around 25 minutes to complete.

Participants: We invite students who are currently studying one or more of the following courses: PSYC2009, PSYC3018, PSYC4011 and PSYC4011 to participate in this study. Students studying similar subjects at each collaborators' universities (approximately 80,000 students in total) will also be invited to take the survey.

Use of Data and Feedback: The data collected will be used to inform specific research questions. Data may also be used in relevant research projects, and aggregate summaries of the data may be published in professional journals or presented at professional conferences. It is anticipated that a summary of the findings will be provided on request from December 2021 from Jenny Terry (jlt26@sussex.ac.uk). Alternatively, the summary of the findings will be announced at: https://www.jennyterry.co.uk/


Participant Involvement

Voluntary Participation & Withdrawal: Your participation is entirely voluntary, and you can choose not to participate in part or all of the study, or withdraw at any stage of the questionnaire by closing the browser window, without having to give a reason and without being penalised in any way (e.g. as you are a student, your decision whether or not to take part will not affect my grades). Participation or otherwise in the research will not affect class performance or a student's relationship with the Research School of Psychology or Australian National University. If you choose to withdraw during the survey by closing the browser window, your data will not be involved in the analysis. You can request for complete removal of your data from the raw data by contacting Jenny Terry (jlt26@sussex.ac.uk). If you have completed the survey, you can request without penalty that your data be withdrawn and deleted by contacting Jenny Terry (jlt26@sussex.ac.uk) within four weeks of completing the study.

What does participation in the research entail? You will be asked to complete a series of questions about anxiety in maths, statistics, and other more general situations, some questions about your attitudes towards academic work, and to complete 3 cognitive reasoning questions. You will also be asked a few questions about your previous maths and statistics education, your degree course, and to provide some demographic details (including age, gender, race, ethnicity, and whether you have specific learning disabilities). So that we can compare data across universities, we will also be collecting data about your university and statistics courses from your course instructors, which will be added to your survey responses. The data will contain information about the month/year the course started and ended, the number of days before/after an assessment that this survey was completed, the type of assessment taken, the statistical software you are taught, and information about the content and format of the course. We are also requesting your permission to retrieve your grades from the statistics course for the relevant statistics modules on your degree course. That will mean asking you to provide your student ID which the Project Leads will share with ANU researchers. You can still participate in this research without giving your permission to provide us your student ID and let us retrieve and link your grades.

Location and Duration: An online survey which will take around 25-30 minutes to complete. You can complete the study on your own electronic device at a location of your choice.

Remuneration: Participation of this study is voluntary. Students participating via the SONA system can choose to receive 45 minutes research participation credit.

Risks: There are no known risks, hazards, or side effects arising from participation in this study. However, the questionnaires contain some sensitive questions regarding your anxiety, beliefs or attitudes. If you experience distress or take offense to any question at any time during the session, you are free to cease participation immediately. If you feel you have been adversely affected by taking part in this study and would like to speak to an independent support service, you are advised to seek help from your closest crisis centre. ANU students are advised to seek help from the ANU Counselling Centre, Ground floor, Building 18, North Road, ANU Campus (6125 2442). Other participants can contact: Mental Health Crisis Service on 1800 629 354, or Lifeline Canberra: 13 11 14.

Benefits: It is unlikely that you will personally benefit from participating in this research, but we expect the research will contribute to our understanding the constructs of maths and statistics anxiety and how various factors can contribute to students’ statistics anxiety, which in turns influence their learning experiences and academic performance.


Exclusion criteria

Participant Limitation: Students who have not studied or are not currently studying any statistics or research methods courses are not eligible for this study.


Confidentiality

Confidentiality: Only Project Leads will have access to the raw data. If you choose to consent to the ANU researcher collecting your final grade for the statistics course relating to the survey responses, only the project Leads and the ANU local researcher have access to the identifiable grade data. Electronic raw data will be stored on a password protected computer and only made accessible to the Project leads. The only exception to this is the sharing of student ID between Lead researchers and ANU researchers for the purpose of grade data collection, which will be done via lead researchers Sussex One Drive account (i.e. a system approved by Sussex as being secure and compliant with data protection laws).
Identifiable data will only be retained to link datasets, after which it will be deleted. De-identified demographical data will be retained for a maximum of 3 years. The anonymised data will be shared on an online data repository and shared with researchers at partner universities. All information is treated as confidential as far as the law allows.


Privacy Notice

In collecting your personal information within this research, the ANU must comply with the Privacy Act 1988. The ANU Privacy Policy is available at https://policies.anu.edu.au/ppl/document/ANUP_010007 and it contains information about how a person can:

  • Access or seek correction to their personal information;
  • Complain about a breach of an Australian Privacy Principle by ANU, and how ANU will handle the complaint.

The Privacy Impact Assessment of this study is available in the sidebar of this webpage (https://services.anu.edu.au/education-support/education-data/the-convergent-and-divergent-validity-of-maths-and-statistics)


DATA STORAGE

Where: Electronic raw and identifiable data will be stored on a password protected computer at the University of Sussex and only made accessible to the Project leads. The anonymised data will be shared on an online data repository and shared with researchers at partner universities.
How Long: Identifiable data will only be retained to link datasets, after which it will be deleted. De-identified demographical data will be retained for a maximum of 3 years. The anonymised data will be shared on an online data repository and shared with researchers at partner universities.


Queries and Concerns

Contact Details for More Information: Please feel free to contact Jenny Terry (jlt26@sussex.ac.uk) if you have any questions. ANU students can also contact ANU researchers Dr Yiyun Shou (Yiyun.shou@anu.edu.au), Dr Zoe Leviston (zoe.leviston@anu.edu.au), Dr Samantha Stanley (Samantha.stanley@anu.edu.au), Dr Dirk Van Rooy (dirk.vanrooy@anu.edu.au), Dr Conal Monaghan (conal.managhan@anu.edu.au), Prof Michael Platow (Michael.platow@anu.edu.au) and Prof Michael Smithson (Michael.smithson@anu.edu.au) from Research School of Psychology.

Contact Details if in Distress: If you feel you have been adversely affected by taking part in this study and would like to speak to an independent support service, you are advised to seek help from your closest crisis centre. ANU students are advised to seek help from the ANU Counselling Centre, Ground floor, Building 18, North Road, ANU Campus (6125 2442). Other participants can contact: Mental Health Crisis Service on 1800 629 354, or Lifeline Canberra: 13 11 14. If you are struggling with the learning the statistics course, you are encouraged to contact your lecturer and/or tutor for assistance in learning.


Ethics Committee Clearance

The ethical aspects of this research have been approved by the ANU Human Research Ethics Committee (Protocol 2021/022). If you have any concerns or complaints about how this research has been conducted, please contact:

Ethics Manager
The ANU Human Research Ethics Committee
The Australian National University
Telephone: +61 2 6125 3427
Email: Human.Ethics.Officer@anu.edu.au