Implementing Activity-based Cooperative Learning and Technology (ACT Curriculum) in Statistics Courses for Non-majors and K-12 Preservice Teachers

Grant Details


Mathematical Sciences (21) General statistical knowledge and hence undergraduate statistics courses play an important role in the growing emphasis on ensuring a basic level of statistical literacy in the nation's post secondary school graduates. This project adapts, implements and evaluates an Activity-Based, Cooperative learning and Technology (ACT) curriculum in three statistics courses for non-majors and K-12 prospective teachers at Central Michigan University. The courses focus on the mastery of fundamental statistical reasoning skills and concepts required to understand the increasingly quantitative world. This project builds upon the calls for reforming statistics education by national organizations and for meeting the NCTM Standards.

Literature shows many students have difficulty in connecting formulae with context and their experience in statistics. Furthermore, research on learning statistics indicated students learn better by using hands-on activities, projects and technology in groups. The project integrates exemplary NSF-funded and successfully implemented: i) instructional materials, ii) assessment instruments, and iii) on-line data analysis tools using a common teaching framework that facilitates active learning. The project objectives include: developing problem-solving and statistical reasoning skills, the ability to apply content knowledge to real world problems, the ability to work as a contributing team member, positive attitudes towards the increasingly quantitative world, the ability to use ACT curriculum for K-12 teaching, and improving written and oral presentation skills. Additional objectives for instructors include developing a teaching community and conducting research to evaluate the ACT curriculum.

The project impacts about 6000 students, of which about 3600 are females or minority and 2000 are prospective K-12 teachers. These K-12 teachers have an impact on the students they teach. The use of the ACT curriculum by graduate students in their internships impacts their future teaching. The implementation of web database and online data analysis software is especially beneficial to statistics instructors at small colleges and economically disadvantaged K-12 schools.

Effective start/end date09/1/0308/31/07


  • National Science Foundation: $177,052.00


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