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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Innovative Activities: How Clickers can Facilitate the Use of Simulations in Large Lecture Classes


This paper is a technology case study that addresses the theme of using technology in a large lecture format undergraduate introduction to statistics class to develop student conceptual understanding of inference. In the activities described, each student in the lecture performs a simulation once on a calculator and the results are collected via a personal response system (clicker). This provides not only an active learning environment, but also allows students to experience statistical concepts such as distributions or models, variability, and the Central Limit Theorem, in ways that they cannot experience without these technologies. The large class, therefore, becomes a learning asset, rather than a liability. The two activities that are described in detail are part of a set of twelve activities that were designed to improve conceptual understanding of statistical inference.

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