Things I didn’t learn from OZCOTS 2012

A couple of weeks ago I found out that OZCOTS (Australian Conference on Teaching Statistics) was being held here in Adelaide. I thought that I should go to it, since I seem to be spending rather a lot of time teaching statistics these days. And so I went.

As it turned out, I didn’t learn all that much I didn’t already know. But this is a good thing: It’s always nice to have the things you knew instinctively confirmed by those with more experience than you. So, here is a list of things I didn’t learn from OZCOTS 2012:

  1. “Real life” examples are good for teaching stats, but much more important is to have MORE examples.
  2. Successful stats courses depend on all the staff who interact with the students having the same goals.
  3. Statistical software often distracts students from the real learning.
  4. The reason students find maths boring is because they don’t understand it — being useful is secondary.
  5. Students like to have the option of talking to someone about their learning, no matter how many other resources you give them.

Of course, there were a few new things I DID learn (such as all about how to measure ESP, and the behaviour of badgers under pressure), but they can wait for some other time…

This entry was posted in Being a good teacher, How people learn (or don't) and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.