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CAUSE, SERC Provide Teaching Activities

1 December 2009 1,016 views No Comment

The   Consortium   for the   Advancement   of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) has collaborated with the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) project for the past three years to connect activities for statistics classes with details of different pedagogical methods.

The SERC project, headed by Cathy Manduca of Carleton College, has produced modules for a variety of pedagogical methods, along with information about how and why to use each method. Examples of these methods include the following:

  • Campus-Based Learning: The campus is explicitly linked with education; the campus buildings and grounds are used as teaching tools
  • Cooperative Learning: Students work in structured groups to accomplish learning goals
  • Gallery Walk: Students are actively involved in synthesizing important concepts, consensus building, writing, and public speaking
  • Game-Based Learning: Faculty who want to start using games to help teach are assisted
  • Interactive Lectures: Short interactive activities are provided that involve students and break up a lecture

The modules are linked to activities in a variety of disciplines, and as a result of the collaboration with CAUSE, statistics activities are now included in many of the modules. These activities come with complete lesson plans, including learning goals, context for use, and teaching materials (e.g., handouts, teaching tips, assessment items, and references). In addition, three new modules were created to reflect instructional methods that are particularly relevant to teaching a statistics course: Making and Testing Conjectures, Teaching with Data Simulations, and Creating and Testing Models.

Two years ago, in conjunction with the second United States Conference on Teaching Statistics, a workshop was held in which 14 statistics instructors were invited to bring an activity linked to one of the SERC modules, review and revise it, and submit it to be posted on the web site. Since then, 13 activities have been reviewed, revised, and posted. To continue adding to this collection, CAUSE will incorporate items presented during the new activity webinar series, hosted by Leigh Slauson of Capital University on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2:30 p.m.

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