WWW.ABSTRACT.XLIBX.INFO
FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Abstract, dissertation, book
 
<< HOME
CONTACTS



Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 |

«A Model for Teaching Basic Engineering Statistics in Slovenia Andreja Drobnič Vidic1 Abstract Statistics contents are commonly included in ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

Metodološki zvezki, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2006, 163-183

A Model for Teaching Basic Engineering

Statistics in Slovenia

Andreja Drobnič Vidic1

Abstract

Statistics contents are commonly included in university curricula.

Slovenian students in general have a lack of problem solving and

application knowledge in mathematics and basic statistics. Moreover,

engineering students have a lack of teamwork skills, needed in their

professional careers. In order to reduce these shortcomings we designed a model for teaching basic statistics to engineering students. The problembased learning (PBL) approach served as the basis for this model. We adapted it to the requirements of a basic engineering statistics course and to the environment of a Slovenian university. Four main factors of the model are described in detail: problems, which enable the development of problem solving skills and application of knowledge; PBL teachers, who need to change their roles and activities in the instruction; aims of the students, and the alternative assessment. The article also makes reference to a pedagogical experiment, in which we verified this model.

1 Introduction In Slovenia, the teachers of statistics at high schools and at universities are often non-statistics experts. Teachers of this professional profile teach statistics to around 80% of students taking one of the higher education programmes. Many of them have a low level of application of statistical knowledge and a weak problem solving competence. This situation is a result of the traditional curriculum design in secondary schools and universities, which is also reflected in poor interdisciplinary cooperation and in failure to integrate knowledge from different science domains.

The problem-based learning approach integrated in the traditional curriculum seemed particularly well adapted to teaching basic statistics to students in higher education programmes. Therefore, we designed a PBL model for the purposes of teaching statistics to engineering students. After the description of PBL Andreja Drobnič Vidic, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Jadranska 19, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, andreja.drobnic@fmf.uni-lj.si, andreja.drobnic@fkkt.uni-lj.si.

164 Andreja Drobnič Vidic characteristics and advantages for using PBL in basic statistics for engineers the four most important factors for the model are described in more detail. The article also makes reference to a pedagogical experiment, in which we verified this model.

2 Basic statistics course in Slovenia Statistics is a relatively young, but rapidly growing science, as it is used for different purposes, in connection with different disciplines. Therefore teaching statistics is an extremely complex and demanding task. This is especially true for those teachers of mathematics who are not experts in statistics. In Slovenia, many teachers of the basic statistics course in secondary schools and universities are not statisticians. Before study year 2002/03 Slovenia did not have any study programmes of statistics. Therefore, teachers of basic statistics courses have to gain knowledge by self-learning or by helping each other to promote good statistics teaching strategies. While data management, basic processing and data display seem to be less problematic, students at university level often find it difficult to understand statistics through the theory of probability calculation.

Practical real data are difficult to relate to a theory based on mathematical derivation and theoretical distributions.

Teaching statistics is a delicate job in other countries, too (Cobb, 1993). We can find an extensive literature about this particular field. Many authors in Proceedings of teaching statistics ICOTS5 (Mendoza, 1998) or Journal of statistics education, for instance, have pointed to useful statistics teaching methods, focused

around one of the following features:

• teaching statistics through concrete real-life cases (Moore and McCabe, 2003; Wood and Wasimi, 1998),

• teaching statistics with computer programs (Rossman et al., 2002),

• cooperative learning with group work (Garfield, 1993; Magel, 1998), or

• active learning with experiments (Scheaffer et al., 1996).

Typically, a “basic statistics course” at university contains a general overview of basic statistics: from collection of data and information, sampling and calculation of basic statistical parameters to devising statistical hypotheses. At University of Ljubljana (UL) there are around three quarters of students with a basic statistics course in their university curriculum. According to our survey (Drobnič Vidic, 2003), 70 % of students, registered as first-year students at UL in 2001/02, had a course in basic statistics in their university curriculum. From among all regular and part-time students in higher professional education study programmes at UL, 81 % of students, registered as first year students in 2001/02, had a basic statistics course in their university curriculum. From among all partA Model for Teaching Basic Engineering Statistics in Slovenia 165 time students in higher professional education study programmes at UL, 97 % of students, registered as first year students in 2001/02, had a basic statistics course in their university curriculum. Therefore, it may be concluded that the study programmes which are closer to professional fields more frequently require basic statistical knowledge. In this article, we are focusing on a teaching strategy for a basic engineering statistics course in Slovenia. A so – called “basic engineering statistics course” is offered to students in higher professional education study programmes aimed at future engineers in different fields, such as geodesy, mining, computer and information science, safety, practical mathematics, civil engineering, etc.





Slovenia participated in TIMSS international research 1995 and 1999. This participation yielded a comparative analysis of mathematic and statistic competences (the latter constituting an integral part of mathematics in secondary school curricula) in the Slovene secondary school population as compared to the secondary school population worldwide. The analyses pointed to two main weaknesses of the Slovene secondary school population, namely a low level of application of (statistical) knowledge and weak problem solving competence (Japelj et al., 2002; Drobnič Vidic, 2003). This situation is a result of a traditional curriculum design in secondary schools and universities, which is also reflected in poor interdisciplinary cooperation and in failure to integrate knowledge from different science domains.

On the other hand, corporations and employers have frequently and publicly complained about the lack of professional awareness and low level of communication and teamwork skills in engineering graduates. Numerous surveys and industry assessments place communication and teamwork at the top of their list of desirable skills for new engineering graduates, because most of engineering is done cooperatively (Garfield, 1993). Students who have experienced cooperative learning tend to have more highly developed critical thinking and problem solving skills, a lower level of anxiety, and better and longer information retention. Moreover, engineers are called on to absorb vast amounts of information that is increasing more rapidly than the ability of the engineering curricula to cover it.

An innovation from the last few decades, called problem-based learning (PBL), seemed to be particularly adapted to teaching basic statistics to engineering students in higher education programmes. This approach enables a higher applicability of knowledge, it enhances problem-solving competences and combines most of the previously mentioned features used in statistics teaching and learning. Consequently, we designed a PBL model for the purposes of teaching basic statistics to engineering students.

166 Andreja Drobnič Vidic 3 Problem-based learning Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach in which a problem takes the central role in the learning process and constitutes the motivation for the student’s activities. Boud and Feletti (1998) consider the PBL as one of the most influential innovations of the last decades and define it as a carefully planned curriculum, which is entirely based on practical cases and on solving practical problems. PBL offers an environment in which learning is triggered and guided by a problem. This means that students are confronted with a problem prior to the acquisition of new knowledge.

PBL first appeared in different medical faculties (McMaster University in Canada, the Medical School of Maastricht University in the Netherlands) (David et al., 1999: 2-3). Later on, it spread to different disciplines, such as law, economy, psychology, chemical engineering, architecture, etc (Woods, 1994: preface; Eitel and Gijselaers, 1997). One of the basic characteristics of PBL is that it trains students to become better able to work in a group of experts. It also enhances cooperative problem solving related to typical situations of the student’s expert field, e.g. medicine.

PBL is mainly characterised by the following features:

1. PBL is a way of organising instruction by focusing on a problem as a motivation for the student’s activities. The problem should be professionally relevant and as close as possible to real-life situations. Moreover, it should be ill structured, complex and designed in such a way that the students cannot simply solve it by using their prior knowledge. It should be perceived as interesting by the students. Problem-solving activities enhance the development of cognitive methods and critical thinking. In order to be able to solve the problem, students must gain new knowledge corresponding to the definition of educational objectives of the curriculum. As the focus is shifted to the PBL situation, the choice of adequate problems becomes very important (Schmidt and Moust, 1998;

Schmidt and Moust, 2000; Gijselaers and Schmidt, 1990; Dolmans and SnellenBalendong, 2000).

2. Students usually solve problems in small groups (4-15 students), where cooperative learning is encouraged. Students are also stimulated to search for new information, and solve a part of a given problem as independent learners. They are assisted by a tutor, who is acquainted with the field, but need not necessarily be a teacher. The tutor guides the learning process. The problem-solving usually

follows a 7 Steps Model (Table 1):

3. Learning in a group according to the 7 Steps Model enables a constructivist knowledge acquisition (Hendry, Frommer, and Walker, 1999). At the beginning of the problem-solving cycle the students should draw on their prior knowledge, whereby possible ways of problem solving and the gaps in knowledge are determined. It is often claimed that the PBL derives from the premises of A Model for Teaching Basic Engineering Statistics in Slovenia 167 constructivism (Hendry, Frommer, and Walker, 1999) and that this learning method is based on constructivist principles. It is important for the students to integrate new knowledge in their own cognitive structures so as to establish a connection with the prior information. Thus the gained knowledge can be used in new situations. All these processes are stimulated by group discussion and immediate feedback information on the level of knowledge acquisition.

Table 1: Problem-solving according to the 7 Steps Model (Moust et al., 2001: 30).

–  –  –

4. The teacher is no longer a lecturer and the only source of knowledge, since the students do not get information directly from him / her. The teacher is a facilitator, who assists the students in the skills acquisition process and develops the students’ independent-learning capacities (Wilkerson and Hundert, 1998;

Vermunt and Verloop, 1999). The classical lecturing can play only a supportive role in the process. Teachers should be acquainted with the level of the students’ prior knowledge and should help activate this knowledge. Facilitators should be dynamic, able to adapt the learning materials to the innovations in the education field as well as capable of integrating the theory with the practice.

5. PBL is a student-centred method of learning (Cannon and Newble, 2000).

Students are trained for independent learning. This feature facilitates lifelong learning. In student-centred learning the students become responsible for their own work and do not have the feeling that learning was imposed on them. The quality of the gained knowledge is much more important than the transfer of the knowledge from the teacher to the student. Students as well as teachers should move from the “teaching paradigm” to the “learning paradigm” (Barr and Tagg, 1995).

6. PBL offers the possibility to develop other competences and skills (Moust, Bouhuijs, and Schmidt, 2001: 13): problem-solving skills, skills required for effective group work and independent learning. Woods (1994: 2-3) studied also the self-assessment skills, where the students critically evaluate their individual work and progress as well as the work carried out by the whole group. All these skills are important for effective independent learning.

168 Andreja Drobnič Vidic

7. The teacher must change assessment methods if he or she wants the students to follow the main goals set by the PBL approach. It is, in fact, the assessment system which dictates learning and work carried out by students (Driessen and Van der Vleuten, 2000). If the teacher does not assess an item the students will not learn it (Lovie-Kitchin, 2001: 149-155). Therefore assessment in PBL is at least as important as curriculum design. In PBL the acquired knowledge and the student’s ability to solve real-life problems are assessed rather than the

student’s test writing skills. Assessment is usually composed of different elements:

the tutor’s grade is complemented by self-assessment and peer-assessment grades.

A very important function of assessment is to give the student immediate feedback information on whether his /her learning process is adequate, whether the expected development is achieved and whether a certain knowledge or skill needs to be improved. At the beginning of the PBL the students should be acquainted with the kind of knowledge and skills which are going to be assessed.



Pages:   || 2 | 3 | 4 |


Similar works:

«∗ PROPER COVERS OF AMPLE MONOIDS John Fountain Department of Mathematics, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD – U.K. e-mail: jbf1@york.ac.uk Gracinda M.S. Gomes ´ Centro de Algebra da Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Gama Pinto, 2, 1649-003 Lisboa – Portugal and Departamento de Matem´tica, Faculdade de Ciˆncias, a e Universidade de Lisboa, 1746-016 Lisboa – Portugal e-mail: ggomes@cii.fc.ul.pt Abstract Proper ample monoids are described by means of a certain category acted...»

«CARBON SINK PLANTATIONS IN THE ECUADORIAN ANDES Impacts of the Dutch FACE-PROFAFOR monoculture tree plantations’ project on indigenous and peasant communities Patricia Granda Acción Ecológica English version coordination: WRM Cover design: Flavio Pazos © Acción Ecológica Alejandro de Valdez Nº 2433 y la Gasca Casilla 17 15 246C Quito Ecuador Telefax: 593 22 527583 / 593 22 547516 e-mail: verde@accionecologica.org internet: http://www.accionecologica.org This publication is also...»

«WOW air rules and conditions of carriage for passengers and baggage traveling to and from the USA 1st revision on March 26th 2015 Article 1: Definitions and Interpretations 1.1 Title and Headlines The title and headlines of the Articles and paragraphs of these Conditions of Carriage are set down only to provide an overview and help with navigation through the document, and have no influence on the way the text is to be interpreted.1.2 Definitions Unless a different meaning is obvious beyond all...»

«INNOVATIONS IN TEACHING METHODOLOGY IN MBA Prof. Kalgi Shah, Assistant Professor National Institute of Cooperative Management, NICM-SJPI, Gandhinagar, Nr. Indroda Circle, Gandhinagar-382007 Gujarat Phone: (079) 23213037-39 Fax: (079) 23213036 Kalgi_mba@yahoo.com Dr. Mamta Brahmbhatt, Associate Professor National Institute of Cooperative Management, NICM-SJPI, Gandhinagar, Nr. Indroda Circle, Gandhinagar-382007 Gujarat Phone: (079) 23213037-39 Fax: (079) 23213036 mamtanicm.brahmbhatt@gmail.com...»

«Anisotropic Diffusion of Surfaces and Functions on Surfaces CHANDRAJIT L. BAJAJ University of Texas, Austin GUOLIANG XU Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing We present a unified anisotropic geometric diffusion PDE model for smoothing (fairing) out noise both in triangulated twomanifold surface meshes in IR 3 and functions defined on these surface meshes, while enhancing curve features on both by careful choice of an anisotropic diffusion tensor. We combine the C 1 limit representation of...»

«Available online at www.sciencedirect.com ScienceDirect Procedia Chemistry 10 (2014) 58 – 63 XV International Scientific Conference “Chemistry and Chemical Engineering in XXI century” dedicated to Professor L.P. Kulyov Modeling of the aniline with nitrobenzene reaction by PM6 method T.A. Klimova, V.V. Bochkarev*, L.S. Soroka National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, 30 Lenina av., Tomsk, 634050, Russia Abstract Modeling of the aniline with nitrobenzene reaction was carried out by...»

«1      Literaturverzeichnis zu Müller, S.; Gelbrich, K. (2014): Interkulturelle Kommunikation, München: Vahlen. & Müller, S.; Gelbrich, K. (2015): Interkulturelles Marketing, München: Vahlen. 2      A Aaker, D.A. (2012): Building Strong Brands, 4th Ed., New York: Simon & Schuster. Aaker, J.L. (1997): Dimensions of Brand Personality, Journal of Marketing Research, 34(3): 347-352. Aaker, J.L. (2005): Dimensionen der Markenpersönlichkeit, in: Esch, F.-R. (Hrsg.), Moderne Markenführung,...»

«Hospitality Wage Order Frequently Asked Questions The Minimum Wage Order for the Hospitality Industry covers employees in the hotel and restaurant industries. It sets the rules for minimum wage, overtime and tips in those industries. Before New York State issued the Minimum Wage Order for the Hospitality Industry, separate wage orders covered the Restaurant and Hotel industries. The Hospitality Wage Order now combines minimum wage requirements for these industries. What are the basic...»

«СПб, Эйдос, 2006 ISBN 5-88607-037-0 «В сборнике представлены тезисы докладов участников I Российского культурологического конгресса, проведенного 25–29 августа 2006 г. в С.-Петербурге. Все тексты приводятся в авторской редакции. — СПб, Эйдос, 2006, 432 с. // Report summaries of participants of the First Russian Congress in...»

«UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG Department of Languages and Literatures English at the University of Sussex H appy M ulticultural Land? Reading Zadie Smith’s White Teeth as a Critique of Multiculturalism as an Ideology Suzana A brahamsson A dvanced Undergraduate Level Research Essay Supervisor: A utumn 2012 Patricia M cM anus Examiner: A nthony Leaker ABSTRACT This essay explores the portrayal of multiculturalism in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth in order to show how Smith, rather than as an ideology,...»

«Zusammenfassungen und Stichworte Hans-Gert Roloff Die Rezeption der Palliata in Deutschland um 1500 Zusammenfassung: Das Referat beschäftigt sich mit Grundzügen der Rezeption der römischen Palliata, d.h. der Komödien von Plautus und Terenz, in der deutschen Kultur um 1500, genauer zwischen ca. 1475 und 1529. Behandelt werden die Aspekte der Theatersituation in Deutschland im 15. Jahrhundert, auf die die Palliata bei ihrer Rezeption traf, das Eindringen der Palliata, die Publikation der...»

«BULLETIN 2015 ZUR SCHWEIZERISCHEN SICHERHEITSPOLITIK Herausgeber: Christian Nünlist und Oliver Thränert Serienherausgeber: Andreas Wenger Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zürich CSS ETH Zurich Das Bulletin und andere Publikationen des Center for Security Studies (CSS) können über http://www.css.ethz.ch bestellt werden und sind dort auch im Volltext verfügbar. Herausgeber Bulletin 2015: Christian Nünlist und Oliver Thränert Serienherausgeber Bulletin: Andreas Wenger Center for...»





 
<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.abstract.xlibx.info - Free e-library - Abstract, dissertation, book

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.