University teachers need to develop and implement effective teaching methods when educating students who come to the university through “broadened recruitment”, that is, students with parents without higher education, and also older students who want to supplement their previous university education. These groups have, at least theoretically, more practical experiences and possible poorer study outcomes.
University West tops the list of Swedish universities in the percentage of students with parents without higher education. In addition, during recent years, unemployment in the region around University West increased (by about 75%). This fact leads to a higher percentage of older students with work-related experience. These rapid changes have put us who teach methods and statistics before the question of how to teach more effectively, so that a high “throughput” can be maintained in combination with a constantly decreasing number of teaching hours. Broadening participation and high throughput: how can we make it happen?
This study was an attempt to implement “learning by doing”, an activity-based teaching method where theory, practice, reflection and action are combined. In their learning of experimental methods and statistics, students at University West were expected to integrate their past and present working skills in an experiment that simulated two work-related situations (applying for employment as a manager, and applying for leave of absence from prison). In a three-group experiment, an attempt was made to manipulate the applicant’s degree of empathy, which was then measured with the IRI scale. Collected data were used in statistics education, and results were discussed with students. In subsequent knowledge tests, the proportion of the grade “fail” was low. Course evaluations reflected a high degree of student satisfaction.
Therefore, the use of “learning by doing” in the teaching of statistics, which is normally considered to be difficult to understand and apply, is recommended in order to increase motivation to learn statistics.
Trollhättan: Högskolan Väst , 2016. 3-4 p.
Effective teaching methods, experimental methods and statistics, “learning by doing”, empathy
ViLär 8-9 december 2016 - en nationell konferens inom verksamhetsintegrerat lärande 2016, Vänersborg, Sweden