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Activity Number: 476 - Teaching Introductory Statistics
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 2, 2017 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract #323845 View Presentation
Title: Working Backwards: A New Approach to Teaching Introductory Statistics
Author(s): Teresa Dalton*
Companies: University of California, Irvine
Keywords: education ; engagement ; statistics ; teaching

More than in any other recent time, statistical literacy-and the accompanying fact filtering skill-is essential for the understanding of public discourse and policy making. No matter how hard faculty work to diminish levels of quantitative anxiety on the part of students taking an introductory statistics course, the force feels almost immutable. In the spirit of reforming statistics education, we have embraced cooperative learning activities, problem based learning, data based decision-making, student focused teaching, hybrid courses, flipped classrooms, negotiated assessment, and so on. At the end of the day, quarter, year, career, we still find we battle the omnipresent barrier to learning-math anxiety. In this paper a deceptively simple approach is proposed: Give students all final answers and have them critically think their way through the problem-solving process to these answers. In so doing, anxiety is diminished, and real learning has a better opportunity to take shape. With comparison data from undergraduate, graduate and online courses, the preliminary results are promising, suggesting this approach engenders greater student curiosity, engagement and ultimately, learning.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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