# Using Games to Improve Learning in an Introductory Statistics Course and Enhance Student Critical Thinking Skills Alan F. Chow Kelly C. Woodford Jeanne.

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Using Games to Improve Learning in an Introductory Statistics Course and Enhance Student Critical Thinking Skills Alan F. Chow Kelly C. Woodford Jeanne D. Maes Mitchell College of Business University of South Alabama

Outline Introduction The Game Learning Applications Conclusions Contact Information

Introduction Alternative Learning Activity –We have looked for alternative learning activities that will not only enhance the students initial understanding of basic probability concepts, but also foster an enhanced level of transfer knowledge.

Introduction Activity Theory –Learning is conceptualized not just as a function of a game itself, but rather as a transformation that occurs due to the dynamic relations between and among player(s), the game, and any intervening social structure.

Introduction Redundancy and Repetition –In assessing the mastery level of performance for students, the instructor must determine the method and criteria for mastery (Dick, Carey, and Carey, 2005). One approach is to provide students with adequate opportunities to exhibit their learned ability.

Introduction Redundancy and Repetition –Some innovative instructional methods such as the game method we propose have the added value of fostering retention of meaningful material through repetition.

The Game Deal or No Deal Website: http://www.nbc.com/Deal_or_No_Deal/game/flash.shtml http://www.nbc.com/Deal_or_No_Deal/game/flash.shtml The game consists of 26 cases with different dollar values Pick one case.

The Game Open some of the remaining cases to reveal their values. Calculate the expected value. Decide to accept or reject the Deal offered.

The Game Our Conditions –Must calculate expected value for each deal. –Must continue to play the game until the deal is at least equal to the expected value. –Must show all calculations.

Learning Applications Calculating expected value supports learning in basic statistics course Repetition supports learning theory –Multiple problems to solve each game

Learning Applications Critical Thinking –Must be able to think on their feet –Must make decisions under excitement and pressure

Conclusions Teaches statistical applications Entices critical thinking at an early stage in their program

Conclusions Motivates learning Illustrates complex concepts in a meaningful way Enhances transfer knowledge Provides alternative assessment methods

Contact Information Alan F. Chow 338 MCOB Mitchell College of Business University of South Alabama Mobile, AL 36688 alchow@usouthal.edu

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