The probability unit in a first statistics course is difficult to teach because there is not much time, the concepts and mechanics are difficult, and the students do not see the relevance of learning it. Research by Cosmides and Tooby (1996) supports our findings that instructors should avoid fractions and decimals and capitalize on students' affinity for counting things. In addition, we avoid the use of normal tables at the beginning of our discussion of continuous random variables by using uniform and triangular distributions. These ideas may be used in traditionally structured classes or in group-based and activity-based classes.
- Prof Dev