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Activity Number: 353 - Research and Educational Tools
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Thursday, August 12, 2021 : 10:00 AM to 11:50 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics and Data Science Education
Abstract #319030
Title: An Integrative Learning Experience with Qwixx: Play, Probability, Partnership, Planning, and Programming
Author(s): Ryan Patrick Alexander McShane* and Amy Elizabeth Nussbaum
Companies: Amherst College and Mount Holyoke College
Keywords: Integrative Learning; Algorithmic Thinking; Probability; Strategy; Simulation; Paired Comparisons

Undergraduate students with data science and modeling prerequisites take an elective upper-level data science course centered on "competitions" (sports, eSports, board games, elections). Under the constraints of a hybrid learning environment, students build connections with their peers in a project incorporating seemingly disparate learning objectives via Qwixx, a game of chance and partial information that can be learned in 5 to 10 minutes yet complicated enough that many valid strategies exist. Over several weeks, they build an Excel spreadsheet to play with each other over Zoom, program the game in R, and build strategies in teams to compete in a round robin head-to-head simulation in R. Along the way, they develop algorithmic thinking, expand their view of Monte Carlo simulations, exercise the software development life cycle, collaborate and practice reproducibility in RStudio and GitHub (Classroom), strategize and make decisions under uncertainty, and ultimately create their own paired comparisons data to analyze. We will also examine how student performance in this intensive enterprise is associated with other student learning in this course.

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

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