RELATING BEANS & BAYES THROUGH AN EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING ACTIVITY
Learning statistical concepts used to make decisions in an industry context is a process that can be fun with the right tools. One of the most effective ways achieve meaningful learning is through the use of experiential learning activities (ELAs), which allow students to intuitively be able to acquire knowledge that can be reinforced later in master class sessions. These activities should be fun and motivating in order to be successful.
In this paper we develop an experiential activity (ELA) using bean bags filled with white and a few black beans as a simple and efficient way to enhance students' motivation and meaningful learning of statistical concepts. In the activity bean bags from different suppliers and different qualities are handed to the students. The students perform several calcutations related to the probabilities of finding defects or black beans in a bag with white beans, leading them towards the Bayes theorem. Preliminary results on the application of this experience indicate that students get a better understanding of how to estimate probabilities in different situations and how these statistical tools can be applied to real industrial quality related problems.