Confirmation of Candidature - Carl Sherwood

First year university students making sense of statistics through storytelling

Motivating students to engage with learning first year university statistics is challenging. In particular, students in large first year statistics service courses bring diverse learning abilities and expectations. Yet today, employers and society value graduate skills associated with STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and maths) used in commerce, engineering and business management – all bachelor degrees calling on service course teaching for first year statistics. As a professional engineer, who transitioned into teaching service course statistics, my business experiences helped me create a contextualised storytelling teaching approach.  From observing my students over the last decade, it suggests their learning is positively impacted through using storytelling.  However, specifically how this might be taking place remains unclear.  Storytelling as a pedagogy in teaching statistics remains unexplored.  My research therefore aims to investigate how students make sense of abstract statistical concepts through storytelling and how their experiences impact their learning outcomes. I will investigate my students’ whole course experience over 13 weeks using a storytelling teaching approach. In doing so, ideas around holistic, adult and constructivist learning are used to create a theoretical model, with storytelling at its core. Using case study analysis and semi-structured interviews with my previous students, data generated will seek to identify critical events impacting my students’ learning experiences and sense making of statistical concepts.  In this way, I hope to generate new knowledge regarding the teaching and learning of introductory statistics for students in large service courses.

Date       Wednesday 26 July 2017

Time       9:30am to 11:30am

Location   Room s302

Location   Social Science Building 24  St Lucia Campus


PANEL:  Dr Jana Visnovska (Chair), Dr Deanne Gannaway, ITaLI

Principal Advisor: Associate Professor Katie Makar

Associate Advisor:  Dr Michael Bulmer, School of Mathematics and Physics



About HDR Confirmation Seminars

The Confirmation Seminar is the first public presentation in the UQ milestone process.

Staff and students are urged to attend to support your colleagues at this first outing of their project.