Universidad Politecnica Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 2572-2579
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
We present an experience carried out for students of Statistics with the help of Moodle virtual platform used in the Universidad Politecnica Madrid (UPM). It was performed with various groups in the subject of Extension of Mathematics, a part of the "Arquitecto Tecnico" degree. It consists of using Choices that are adapted to the Moodle educational platform to which the university student can either respond intuitively or by using the statistical tools studied in the subject.

After the student has responded to the Choice, the statistical methods required to solve the set question are explained. Students who have failed to select the right answer have an incentive to study the subject since they have been shown that by so doing they will be able to improve their decision-making. On the other hand, the Moodle platform system itself automatically processes the responses and offers a bar graph showing the group’s overall result. Therefore, each student knows the percentage of students that have chosen each of the possible options. This encourages them to compare their own answer with that of their fellow-students, which motivates the student to improve.

We have also analysed the relation between the responses to these Choices and the final marks obtained by the students of the subject. To do this, the students were divided into classes according to the number of correct responses to the Choices. The analysis of variance analysis indicates that there is no difference between the prior classes of students. This leads us to think that the lack of probabilistic intuition initially shown by some students has been offset by their efforts in studying the subject matter.

The conclusions can be extended to any subject of Probability or Statistics providing the students can answer the questions set by the teacher, either in some educational platform like Moodle or by the use of some other resource that allows the responses to be automatically processed. This procedure provides a motivation for students and arouses their interest in the subject being taught. This is particularly necessary in core subjects that do not contain the specific subject matter of the student’s chosen degree. They see these subjects as being dry and far removed from their interests and expectations. Such is the case in this instance where the development of this experience has been shown to be effective in providing an incentive to students’ curiosity and interest for study.
Moodle, Choice, Motivation, Statistics, Probability.