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SIMPLE: Statistics Instruction Modules with Purposeful Learning Emphasis - Hierarchical modular curricula using problem-

Many people are discouraged by the idea (and reality) of dealing with information that involves numbers. But people who shy away from numbers lose out: Job prospects and pay are limited for people with poor numeracy skills. Many budding social scientists seem unconvinced that they can develop quantitative skills, or even that they need to. But lacking these skills can limit their career prospects.

This project will develop a small set of modules and associated delivery system for teaching introductory statistics to social science students early in their undergraduate studies. The modules will be interactive and will include screening for prerequisite mathematical skills and ongoing assessment of the new material; students’ performance will guide an automatic intelligent scheduler to select materials for study based on previous performance. Familiar and interesting scenarios will be used to enhance students’ engagement with quantitative skills and illustrate their usefulness.

The development of the system will be guided and supported by a team of advisors: staff committed to the development of effective teaching with substantial experience teaching statistics. We will develop materials during 2007, implement the system with social science students in 2007-8 and offer the materials to interested tutors in 2008.

  • Outputs (11)