Scientific Program > Topic 3 > Session 3A >
Presentation 3A3. Community-Based Learning: Motivating Encounters with Real-world Statistics

Rob Root (USA)
Trisha Thorme (USA)


Presentation Abstract

We explore the effects of optional community-based projects on students and particularly on motivation and learning in an applied statistics course. In considering student motivation, we critically assess the intellectual challenges of a community-based project and the nature of the statistical problems that arise. We review students' evaluations of and our own estimation of their ability to learn from experience and from the community. We consider our students' emotional engagement in these projects and share our observations on the role of reflection in learning statistics and the quality of reflection generated by these projects. We compare the assessments of students doing community-based projects with those of students doing projects with topics of their own choosing to gauge their relative appreciation of the utility of statistics. We conclude with thoughts on the impact of these projects on our own motivation and engagement with the material.


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