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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 293
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract - #305960
Title: Restructuring an Elementary Statistics Course for the General Education Audience
Author(s): Yvonne Zubovic*+ and Chand Chauhan
Companies: Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne and Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne
Address: 2101 Coliseum Blvd East, Fort Wayne, IN, 46805-1445, United States
Keywords: statistics education ; activity-based ; critical thinking

In a typical elementary statistics course, students are introduced to: sampling methods and designing experiments, descriptive statistics, probability, and inferential statistics. Many students learn the content by doing several problems of a similar type. Although repetition is important in learning, this skill-and-drill approach does not address our critical thinking objectives. In addition, with a diverse general education audience, we often face challenges of teaching students who are underprepared, lack confidence, and do not see the subject's relevance.

How do we promote critical thinking and developing an appreciation for statistics? How do we address the challenges mentioned previously? We propose adopting an activity-based approach in the general education statistics class. The content will emerge as students work on carefully selected context-rich problems and projects which can be addressed through multiple perspectives. The authors discuss the course design process, and the decisions made to address the course objective, the order of and emphasis given to topics, connectedness of concepts, the nature of activities, assessment methods, and related issues.

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