|Renette J Blignaut (South Africa)||firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com|
Keywords: Statistics teaching, teamwork, collaborative learning, multi-cultural
Students at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) come from diverse
cultures and often disadvantaged communities where basic amenities, such
as running water and electricity, are not standard. The majority (63%
in 2001) of our students had their first exposure to computers at university.
In order to fast track our students with insufficient background knowledge
and to meet increasing technological needs, more effective methods of
teaching Statistics needed to be explored. Since 1997 innovative teaching
approaches such as, collaborative learning, teamwork and the use of mind
maps were introduced and used to aid students to become acquainted with
the prescribed subject matter. These new approaches were compared to traditional
classroom teaching in 1997. It was found that the students achieved significantly
higher marks when using the collaborative learning and teamwork approaches
compared to traditional classroom teaching [Blignaut,1998]. Since 1997
teamwork and collaborative learning has successfully been used in teaching
Statistics at second year level at UWC. Students had not only studied
the prescribed material more efficiently, they had also developed skills
to function effectively in a multi-cultural team. The development of basic
team skills is crucial to function and work in a multi-cultural society
in South Africa.
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