P4-06: Case-Study Based Redesign of a Large Introductory Course for Non-Majors

By Justin Post & Jonathan Duggins (North Carolina State University)


Many departments are tasked with delivering content to non-statistics majors with varying backgrounds. One such course at North Carolina State University is Probability and Statistics for Engineers. The course serves around 1200 students from three predominant majors with approximately half the students having received credit for AP Statistics. As a result this course presents substantial challenges for both students and first-time instructors of the course. To address these issues we propose to redesign both the course's curriculum and the primary mode of instruction. A spiral curriculum is being implemented to reinforce the most important concepts and cultivate a deeper understanding of statistical inference. Different instructional modalities will now be utilized with students accessing online modules outside of class and focusing on shorter lectures that give students at least 75% of each class meeting to work through case-studies. This case-study-based approach is designed to begin with broadly accessible topics then proceed to engineering-specific case studies that will be presented by subject matter experts to ensure their applicability.