Continuous Improvement of Online Learning in Statistics and Data Science
The introductory statistics project, CourseKata, is part of a larger project with a mission to transform how we do R&D for improving education. The work is centered at the UCLA Psychology Department’s Teaching and Learning Lab, and funded in part by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Under this new model, educational improvement is accomplished as a collaboration among researchers, designers/developers, and practitioners. Each leg of this three-legged stool is critical for success, and each brings considerable talents to the table.
CourseKata is grounded in learning science, where the big picture of “What is Statistics?” and “Why does it matter?” continually drives learning. Students are not only taught statistics in an improve way, but they also learn basics of data science to apply what they learn. The course is being taught in universities and community colleges, and will be introduced to high schools soon.
This approach is made possible by the internet, and by the rapid proliferation of instructional resources online. Delivering materials interactively to individual students using technology, is a game changer. It means that we can deliver different versions of instructional materials to randomly selected students. And because the materials are interactive, we can gather data on how students interact with and learn from the materials. If we are smart about it, we can then use this data to guide improvement of the materials, capturing incremental improvements in the materials themselves. We can create, in short, a continuously improving textbook.
CourseKata is the work of the following dedicated educators:
Jim Stigler, Professor of Psychology, UCLA
Ji Yun Son, Professor of Psychology, Cal State LA
Karen Givvin, Researcher and Adjunct Professor Psychology, UCLA