# Ramon Gomez Florida International University 813 NW 133 rd Court Miami, FL

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3 the mean and standard deviations of quantitative data sets, as well as probabilities for the Binomial and Poisson distributions. At a higher level, the PowerPoint presentations, developed by the present author for this course. included: (a) text for definitions, formulae. examples and exercises; (b) tables, graphs and other pictorial representations; and (c) SPSS output. These presentations were structured with the goal of increasing student participation during lectures in addition to satisfying the needs of scholars with a more visual oriented learning style. A course pack comprising the PowerPoint slides for all lectures was made available to the students at the beginning ofthe course. eliminating the hassle of frantic note-taking in class. The incorporation of SPSS involved the use of computer output to illustrate a variety of topics including frequency graphs. box plots. control charts, display of areas under normal curves. sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and tests of significance, allowing a more effective discussion of the statistical concepts and business applications. 2.3 Course Organization The Statistics for Business and Economics (STA-2023) course, is a three credit-hours class that meets two times (75 minutes each) or three times (50 minutes each) per week. Typical enrollment for this course was students seated in a regular classroom. A computer projection system was used for the PowerPoint presentations during the fall 2009 to the fall 2011 period. No desktop or laptop computers were accessible in the classroom. A dry erase board was also available as a supplement for class discussions. The Instructor's style for lectures consisted of projecting slides from a presenter device and discussing their content with the students while moving around the classroom. This approach allowed a more direct interaction with learners. Homework from the text book and online supplemental exercises was assigned at the end of lectures, and their solution discussed during the next class. The bulk ofthe evaluation system comprised oftwo/three midterms and a cumulative final exam, all designed using the "show all work" format. 3. Results Before using the interactive teaching approach described here, the present author had also taught the same course using traditional resources and a more teacher centered approach several times. The Table 1 below shows relevant data of the students' motivation and performance for all groups taking the STA-2023 course between the fall of 2007 and fall of2011. The indicators used to measure motivation and performance were the retention and passing rates, calculated as the number of non-dropped and passing students relative to enrollment, respectively. The table is divided according to the time periods of fall 2007-spring 2009 and fall 2009-fall

4 Table 1 Method Enrolled Dropped I %. Retention Passing % Passing Traditional Fall 07- Spring % I Interactive with Tech. Fall 09- Fall % \ Discussion and Conclusions The use of Power Point where text was presented in conjunction with graphs and other pictorial representations assisted students, particularly those with a more visually oriented learning style. The course pack comprised of PowerPoint slides helped students to focus on class discussions by minimizing the note-taking process. Furthermore, the integration ofcomputational technology provided an effective teaching tool for this type of course by generating more time for data analysis and conceptual understanding. The scientific calculator expedited the computation of sample means and standard deviations as well as binomial and Poisson probabilities; whereas the presentation of SPSS output for statistical graphs and procedures led to a deeper problem understanding. Instructor's mobility in the classroom, granted by the use ofa presenter device, also facilitated interaction with the students. To assess the effectiveness ofthis interactive approach based on technology resources, data from Table 1 was used to compare the performance and motivation of students taking the STA-2023 course between fall 2009 and fall 2011 to four groups ofthe same course taught with a more traditional approach that excluded Power Point and SPSS (fall spring 2009). The present author was the instructor for all groups involved in the comparison. Despite possible limitations, the statistical comparisons provide useful information about the effectiveness of this technology based interactive approach. The passing rate was 10 points ofpercentage higher and the retention rate increased from 94% to 99% while using the interactive approach. A data analysis from Table 1 indicates that the higher retention and passing rates for groups with the technology additions are statistically significant, using a conventional {l = 0.05 (p-values equal to and respectively). Moreover, students' satisfaction with the interactive method was high, demonstrated by the 90% of excellent/very good opinions about the overall quality of instruction, as assessed by the official university surveys. These results indicate that the integration of technology resources into an interactive approach provided a highly effective teaching-learning method for undergraduate 246

5 business students taking an introductory statistics course. The following conclusions substantiate the improvements related to the quality of instruction and students' understanding: ;... learned more effectively as demonstrated by the 10% higher passing rate when compared to groups with a more traditional teaching method. ;... ' motivation was outstanding as evidenced by the 99% retention rate. ;... ' satisfaction was high as indicated by the 90% of excellent/very good opinions about the quality ofinstruction. References American Statistical Association. (200S). Guidelines for assessment and instruction in statistics education (GAISE): College Report. Cryer, J.D. (200S). Teaching statistics to business students. Innovations in teaching statistics, MAA Notes #6S. Garfield, J.B. (199S). How students learn statistics. International Statistics Review, 63, 2S-34. Gomez, R. (2010). Using technology in large statistics classes. Review ofhigher Education and SelfLearning, Vol. 3, Issue 5, Gomez, R. (2010). Innovations in teaching undergraduate statistics courses for biology students. Review ofhigher Education and SelfLearning, Vol. 3, Issue 7, 8-13 Gomez, R. (2011). Teaching a second statistics course for undergraduate psychology students. Review ofhigher Education and SelfLearning, Vol. 4, Issue 11, 1-6 Gourgeon, D. (2009). The tools for retooling: What do our textbooks offer? USCOTS Proceedings. Higazi, S. M. (2002). Teaching statistics using technology. ICOTS6 Proceedings. Hulsizer, M. C. & Woolf, L. M. (2009). A guide to teaching statistics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Karp, D. R. (199S). Using SPSS for Windows to enhance, not overwhelm, course content. Teaching Sociology, 23, Lock, R. (200S). Teaching a technology-enhanced course in a liberal arts environment. Innovations in teaching statistics, MAA Notes #6S, McClave, J.T. Benson, P.G. & Sincich, T. (2009). Statistics for Business and Economics, 11 th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 247

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