In this final post about the Claim, Evidence, Reasoning approach to teaching statistics, I will share some student results. Fundamental questions with the PDSA approach to reflecting on and improving practice are:
- Will students engage?
- Will students learn what I am attempting to teach?
- Will students produce quality work?
Nearly all of the students in these two classes had prior experiences with statistics which allowed me the freedom to find a new approach. That said, there were definitely times when it became clear that some content instruction was needed, especially when we got into correlation and linear regression. But instead of trying to front-load all of the content, I waited until the need arose. For example, in looking at what students wrote about the class data it became clear that some instruction about regression lines and correlation coefficients was needed.
Now, to answer those questions.
Will students engage?
They didn’t at first – in that disastrous failure only 10% completed the first assignment. But I certainly learned from that experience, regrouped and restructured my approach. And then they engaged. My data show that 100% of my students engaged with the class, process, and content at some point and that 90% engaged consistently by the end of the term.
Will students learn what I am attempting to teach?
I was attempting to teach my students how to apply the claim, evidence, reasoning process that they had previously learned in humanities and science to statistics. Reviewing work against the rubric helped to build an understanding of what quality looks like. It also kept us focused on the goal of claim, evidence, reasoning. By then end of the class, 95% of students were able to review statements through this lens and identify whether or not they were on target.
Will students produce quality work?
This is the big question, right? It’s great if they will engage – that’s the first step – but if they aren’t working to producing quality work then what have they actually learned? Here are some representative examples of student work.
Analyzing movie data This assignment followed the best actor/actress investigation.
Education vs unemployment Vinyl vs digital album sales Juvenile incarceration rates This was the final assignment of the univariate data unit. Students had their choice of data to analyze.
Analyzing cars This assignment followed the class data investigation and included the opportunity for students to revise their work following feedback.
Fast food nutrition 1919 World Series This was the final assignment of the bivariate data unit. Students had their choice of data to analyze.
I will leave the question of whether these examples represent quality work to you, the reader. I hope you will let me know what you think.