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Activity Number: 492 - Why Probability, Then Statistics When It Can Be Probability, for Statistics? New Approaches for Teaching Mathematical Statistics
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Thursday, August 11, 2022 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics and Data Science Education
Abstract #320678
Title: Teaching Probabability Theory in the Inverted Style
Author(s): Jonathan Wells*
Companies: Reed College
Keywords: probability; statistics education; active learning

For students in a first probability course, one of the greatest challenges is obtaining the oft-spoken of "probabilistic intuition," an ability to seamlessly deconstruct an aptly chosen formal representation of a real-world phenomenon using mathematical theory and formula. One reason this intuition proves elusive is that probability lies adjacent to data and experience in way that few other branches of theoretical mathematics do. Classic lecture methods of instruction often illuminate the theory of probability, but provide limited assistance with its practice. In this talk, I will discuss my experiences teaching probability in the "inverted style," in which students are assigned readings and reflection questions to complete prior to class, so that class time can instead be devoted to group problem-solving and presentation, with statistics applications integrated alongside probability fundamentals. I will also share some of the challenges I've faced with this style of instruction. Finally, I will conclude with an explanation of why I feel this method is advantageous for building probabilistic intuition, and why this is important for the modern statistics curriculum.

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

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