Teaching Statistical Concepts in an Inverted Classroom

Tuesday, January 10th, 20122:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Presented by: Bill Rayens, University of Kentucky


After teaching the concepts of statistics and statistical reasoning for almost twenty-five years I became convinced that my lecture-recitation format was inefficient and maybe even counter-productive with respect to student learning. Throw in an excruciating self reflection focused on "what do my students really need me for anyway?" and it quickly became clear that my style and my classroom needed some kind of substantive change. The result was the development of an inverted classroom environment where traditional lecture material is off-loaded as mp4 files, the classroom is used for discovery and discussion, and the recitations are better tailored to the deductive abilities of new TAs. In this presentation we will demonstrate some of what we are doing here at the University of Kentucky in a course that serves approximately 4200 students in a calendar year. We will be sure to point out the things that may not be working that well, in addition to those that are.

Questions to Think About

Assuming you teach an introductory conceptual statistics course in a lecture/recitation format with TAs in charge of the recitations:

  1. Do you use first-year TAs in your recitations? If so, do they have difficulties with appropriately handling conceptual questions and demonstrations?
  2. Have you ever thought about what things you say and do in the "lecture" that are truly essential for you to say and do? Are these things that reflect the depth of your knowledge and experience in the field of statistics?