Problem Based Learning and the Teaching of Introductory Statistics

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Introduction to statistics courses should inherently be related to applications, and problem-based learning (PBL) provides the infrastructure to develop and implement a basic statistics course to put students in the driver seat to learn statistics by attempting to solve problems. Typically, there is lack of interest in learning from college students when taking introductory statistics courses, hence direct involvement in the learning process could be the palliative to that lack of interest. The University of St. Thomas designed and implemented a PBL version of Statistics I course, offered in one of the sections during a regular semester among many other sections traditionally taught. This paper describes the design and implementation of a problem-based learning pedagogy in an applied statistics course, based on the very nature of the application of statistics, “inquiry-based and problem-solving” approach, and discusses its efficacy during that one semester in relation to traditional teaching versions.


Keywords: Problem Based Learning
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


German J Pliego

Associate Professor, Computer & Information Sciences Department, Information & Decision Theory area., University of St. Thomas
St. Paul, MN, USA

I have a Ph.D. in Statistics, and Master degrees in Mathematical & Applied Statistics, Decision Theroy, Actuarial Sciences & Business Administration. My undergradute degree is in Business Administration. My research interests are related to: Applied Statistics; Time Series & Forecasting; The teaching of basic statistics; Finding a new way of measuring volatility; Statistics in pricing and valuing financial derivatives; Technical aspects of surveys and polls; and, Statistics in Quality Control. I like to play soccer and run.

Ref: L08P0226