The Use of Metacognitive Prompts in a Sampling-Distribution Exercise part of ACM Pedagogic Resources:ACM Teagle Collegium:Project Reports
In introductory statistics, the idea of a sampling distribution is an essential building block, yet a conceptually difficult idea for students. It's a slippery idea that students blithely think they understand, yet struggle to explain. Bingo! This appeared a juicy class space to add metacognitive prompts. Specifically, I created a groupwork activity with problems centered on the sampling distribution of the mean. These problems incrementally asked for more metacognition from the students. I also created a short assessment to give both before and after the activity. Knowing the difficult nature of in‐class research, I still formed a challenging research question: Can a groupwork activity that engages students' metacognition improve students' understanding (based on test performance) about the sampling distribution of a sample average?
Sampling Distribution of an Average: Exercises to Aid Student Understanding part of ACM Pedagogic Resources:ACM Teagle Collegium:Activities
These exercises are designed for student work in groups. Together the students grapple with the general idea of sampling distributions, specific application of the sampling distribution of an average, and along the way they must justify their steps conceptually. The activity is designed for a single class period, with nothing to turn in at the end. I typically provide an answer key at the end of class, so students know whether they understand the concepts. (Through experience, I found the in-depth student discussions to be most important. And if I required groups to turn in careful solutions, then there wasnt enough time in one class period. But, this format can be modified, so the students discuss in groups, but then turn in individual solutions the next class period. In fact, this might be even better for their learning–I just havent done it, because of the grading load.)