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4A: Deepening Conceptual Understanding: Mini-Essays to the Rescue!

With Jay Lehmann (College of San Mateo)


By relying solely on memorization, students can perform calculations and procedures in an elementary statistics course without much understanding. Including mini-essay questions on tests can motivate students to deepen their conceptual understanding. Additionally, assigning such essays as class activities and homework can serve as a powerful diagnostic, which enlightens both instructors and students to where they should "dig deeper." But many of us instructors are not well-versed in coaching and evaluating writing. In this interactive session, we will explore how to help students learn to write mini-essays, how to draft questions that elicit thorough responses, and how to create and use grading rubrics.