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Promoting Active Learning in Introductory Statistics Course Using the PACE Strategy

Proceedings from the 6th International Symposium on Mathematics Education
Lee, C.
Mexico City

In the recent years, statistics educators have been actively rethinking how students learn statistics and how to teach introductory statistics. Furthermore, the current technology continues to open new opportunities for developing innovative teaching strategies. This article presents a paradigm, the PACE approach, for teaching the introductory statistics. PACE stands for projects, activities, cooperative learning using computer and exercises. The approach begins with in-class hands-on activities and cooperative team work. The class lectures are organized to provide the basic concepts and guide students through the activities using team work and computer to help students understand the concepts and problem-solving strategies. Exercises are designed to reinforce the basic concepts and to practice solving real world problems. Projects are self-selected by students under some guidance provided by the instructor. Report writing and oral presentation are emphasized. It is believed that self-selected projects reflect student's interest, and hence better motivate them to be active learners. The paradigm of integrating these components together in a structured system motivates students to be actively involve with their learning.