P2-14: Let’s Help Teddy: Activities Developed to Foster Active Learning and Conceptual Understanding in an Introductory Statistics Course

By Kristen E. Roland and Jennifer J. Kaplan (The University of Georgia)


With the continued ASA endorsement of the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) College Report 2016, teaching statistical thinking, fostering active learning, teaching for conceptual understanding, using real data, and using technology to explore concepts continue to be important aspects of high quality instruction in introductory statistics courses. It may be difficult and even daunting, however, for individual instructors to construct activities that implement these recommendations. At the University of Georgia, we created 12 activities that embody these recommendations. This poster will present several examples of activities that foster active learning, develop conceptual understanding, and use technology to explore concepts.

Teddy, a student-newspaper reporter at fictional Hill Top State University, requires help understanding the statistics he uses in his publications. Introductory statistics students at the University of Georgia help Teddy, who pops up frequently in their lessons, defend or debunk his statistical work. Specifically, we have designed activities in which the students perform tactile procedures before moving to computer simulations performed by applets. Performing the tactile procedure first helps students understand the automated process of applets better. We also use simulated data based on introductory statistics student responses to informal surveys conducted at a large southeastern university to demonstrate the meaning of a confidence level and type I error rates. The activities will be presented using StatCrunch and JMP applets. In addition, we will have the materials available for USCOTS participants to do the tactile part of the activity. Our aim is to help other instructors develop ideas for activities that coincide with the GAISE recommendations and make connections with other institutions to disseminate and research our current activities. The activities for this poster were designed as part of NSF DUE 1504587 and the lab manual is currently under copyright of the UGA Research Foundation, but a small number of copies will be available to USCOTS participants.