|Richard J. Wilson (Australia)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
Statistics courses tend to fall into two broad categories: those to aspiring statisticians and those to students aspiring to other professions in which stochastic modelling and statistical methods form one of many tools. Teaching the latter type of course can be both frustrating and rewarding.
The frustration arises from the following factors:
The frustration can also arise because of negative attitudes from the students. This may be due to:
The rewards come from seeing students finally come to grips with both the basic and advanced concepts and methods. It also comes from the requests for assistance with later work (in other courses or from employment) as the former students discover the relevance (and unfortunately the superficiality) of the statistical course they have completed.
The paper addresses some of methods used to overcome the frustrations and to enhance the rewards in teaching a first course in statistics to engineering students of many different persuasions. Although the local situation varies considerably from place to place and with client profession, hopefully some of these implemented ideas provide tools for others faced with the same dilemmas.
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