"A new blend: An introductory statistics course integrating a MOOC, active learning sessions, and open online resources, with seasoning from the students' areas of study"
Alison L. Gibbs & Nathan Taback, University of Toronto
We will report on our experiences using the resources from a Massive Open Online Course as the foundation for a blended learning approach to our introductory statistics course. Our course combined the MOOC materials, other open online resources, and active-learning course sections which were each focused on applications of statistics to a particular discipline.
Students in the course had widely varied backgrounds in mathematics and statistics, and the MOOC materials, with frequent and instant feedback embedded in the lecture videos, was an effective tool for students with this wide range of skills. Having students work through these materials at home freed classroom time for problem solving, case studies, and deep discussion of conceptual issues, allowing us to emphasize the application of our students' developing knowledge of statistical methods, concepts, and thinking. Moreover, by having different sections of the classroom sessions with particular disciplinary focuses, students were able to develop a deeper understanding of the relevance and importance of statistical methods within their area of interest.
To help us evaluate the effectiveness of this new course format, our students were also asked to complete pre- and post-course versions of the Comprehensive Assessment of Outcomes in a first Statistics Course (CAOS) and the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics (SATS-36).
We will describe the motivation and structure of the course, the benefits of using the MOOC materials, some ideas for effective use of classroom time with large sections, and what we have learned from student feedback and assessments.
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