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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Examining the Effectiveness of Blended Instruction on Teaching Introductory Statistics

  • Author(s): Esfandiari, Mahtash
  • Barr, Christopher
  • Sugano, Adam
  • et al.

The old four-unit Statistics 10 was restructured such that it is now a five-unit GE approved course in the Foundations of Scientific Inquiry area, both in the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences subgroup.

The major goals of the restructured course are to: Maximize the role of students as active learners. Introduce statistics as a "science of data". Create an interactive environment. Place the major emphasis on upper level thinking and problem solving.

Blended instruction, the use of technology and regular methods of teaching, was implemented to reach the above goals:

A software called Moodle is adapted that makes it possible for the students to take on-line quizzes and provide the students and the instructors with information regarding correct answers and summary statistics. Students take weekly on line quizzes prior to attending section. In section, they are placed in groups (based on quartiles) to discuss the problems that the majority got wrong. The groups stay intact for the whole quarter. They take the quiz for the second time after group discussion. They do a weekly lab. They have two hours of lecture with the instructor (instead of three) and two hours with the teaching assistant (instead of one).

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