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Monday, January 10, 2005

Teaching intro stat again?

In one week, I am going to start another semester of intro stat teaching. As much as I enjoy doing research in statistics and teaching statistics to students, I find it hard to motivate students, especially in an intro stat class. I have been thinking about it since last week, after I read about several comments from former w1111 students complaining about the boring lectures, useless assignments and lame projects. It won't be completely exaggerating to say that I have poured my heart in when teaching intro stat. So I was a little bit hurt when reading those comments, even though they may only represent less than half of the class.

It is natural for someone to seek shared compassion towards the subject out of his/her class of students, especially when the class is supposed to be young, curious and full of energy. In some cases, it is not that difficult. Students who would sign up for a semi-advanced mathematics class must at least have enjoyed most math classes they have taken. The fact that w1111 can be used to fulfill science requirement for undergraduates always make me wonder how many of my students actually care about the subjects, and how many just come to get an easy A. Such doubts sometime get in the way of my teaching. Maybe in the future, they should make a CVN version of intro statistics course and those who don't care too much about the course can just take the course without getting out of their rooms (are the videos online now?). This way, they get what they want in a much enjoyable way and our department can save the instructors and TAs for a more-motivated audience and no one's feelings will be hurt.

For now, I am getting myself motivated.

1 comment:

Tian Zheng said...

As much as it sounds like a complaint, it is not. :)