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TEACHING INTRODUCTORY STATISTICS USING ASYNCHRONOUS ONLINE TECHNOLOGY: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

S. Pollack

St. John's University (UNITED STATES)
Teaching any subject has its challenges and rewards but the mandatory introductory statistics class has historically been weighted more to the challenge side. Current technology both leverages the challenges and potentially increases the rewards of any class but, in our experience, even more so in statistics courses.
We now have many more techniques for communicating with students than simply lecturing at a chalkboard or handing out papers. Yet perhaps because of math-phobia many students initially prefer a face-to-face setting. This presentation describes and evaluates our experience teaching an online statistics class to multiple sections over three years.
Some of the useful technologies employed:

• Use of a SmartBoard for recording lectures (both audio and video).
• Use of miniature SmartBoard: Sympodium- a monitor with pen attached.
• Video taping of lectures and placement on YouTube or ITunes University.
• Use of publishers’ Blackboard-like software (e.g., CourseCompass) for homework/quiz/test construction, grading and student feedback.
• Use of a web camera for live and recorded lecturing
• Use of a computer pen-tablet for answering students’ questions in real-time.
• Wimba facility in Blackboard for live and recorded interactions with students.
• Computer software, such as Adobe Captivate, for recording audio along with the keystrokes of any program.
• Free high quality videos (e.g., “Against all Odds” video series) on specific topics available on the Internet.
• Other professors’ videos freely available on the Internet.

An explanation, demonstration and evaluation of these tools will be provided.