Using Bean Counting Activity to Teach Binomial Distribution


Since the 1980s, many academics have engaged in the research of statistics education. The underlying reason is that there was an increasing number of students taking introductory statistics courses, which stimulated the need to improve the teaching of statistics courses. Some researchers have suggested that teachers should focus more on concepts by designing more active learning activities. On the other hand, a substantial number of teachers have using the traditional lecture method. Some studies have found that an active learning technique has correlated with more positive attitudes or higher test scores but some studies showed a detrimental effect when using active learning methods in teaching business statistics. This paper reports the result of an educational experiment by dividing a class of 70 students (n=70) into two tutorial sessions (1-hour duration). One tutorial class was taught entirely with a lecture about the concept of binomial distribution. The other tutorial class was taught by using a minimal teacher-centered activity. At the beginning of the next tutorial class, an identical closed book exam of 20 minutes was conducted, and students' results on exams were analyzed. The result suggested that the activity session produced a better score both on conceptual questions and on application questions. However, one defect about this educational experiment is that the author did not control other factors that may affect the exam performance, such as the impact of previous GPA performance of the students in the two groups.

Author Information
Owen Tang, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
Brian Sun, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Paper Information
Conference: CHER-HongKong2018
Stream: Questing for innovation and entrepreneurship: Curriculum design and student learning

This paper is part of the CHER-HongKong2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon