Sunday, September 27, 2015

Putting Stats Projects into Practice

Over the years, one of the ways that I've grown as a stats educator is to incorporate more projects and activities into my classroom routine. I often use these projects as a cumulative assessment and as a way to summarize units. These projects can be time-consuming, but I find they are worth doing to help students assimilate information and apply statistical skills in new ways. They help make concepts more tangible, and have been a contributing factor in my students success on traditional tests like the AP exam.

I often get asked how I balance projects with the packed AP Stats curriculum, make the projects appealing for students, and ensure student success. One of the most satisfying comments I got last year from a student in regard to her final project: "Never enjoyed a project this much. It didn't even feel like a project." It has taken me a while to get the hang of how to make project-based tasks work. Now that I've done lots of rounds of them, though, I love how much it has influenced the culture of learning in my classroom.

So, here's a long overdue post to respond to these requests. (While this advice is based on my experience with statistics projects, I see no reason why they wouldn't apply to any STEM project.)