Jan 16

Active learning - away from boredom of lectures

Active learning is the key to success.

Active learning

Figure 1. Excel file - click to view video

The beginning of an introductory course in Statistics has many simple definitions. The combination simplicity+multitude makes it boring if the teacher follows the usual lecture format. Instead, I suggest my students to read the book, collect a sample on a simulated random variable and describe that sample. The ensuing team work and class discussion make the course much livelier. The Excel file used in the video can be downloaded from here. The video explains how to enable macros embedded in the file.

The Excel file simulates seven different variables, among them deterministic and random, categorical and numerical, discrete and continuous; there is also a random vector. When you press the "Observation" button, the file produces new observations on all seven variables. The students have to collect observations on assigned variables and provide descriptive statistics. They work on assignments in teams of up to six members. The seven variables in the file are enough to engage up to 42 students.


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