Introducing probability or statistics to disinterested undergraduate students is challenging. Adding faith in such a classroom at a secular institution only increases the complexity. We share an unobtrusive way to build trust with students, creating a medium to both naturally share your faith and have your students look forward to attending each class. The context is the United States Naval Academy, a four-year undergraduate institution with an emphasis on leader development. In addition to a calculus sequence, Humanities majors enroll in Probability with Naval Applications or Introductory Statistics. These sophomores or juniors are split between those who have no intention of enrolling in subsequent statistics courses (English, History, Language majors), and those who will take a follow-on course as part of their major (Economics, Political Science). Based on a technique of daily questions suggested by Penn State University Lecturer Dr. Heather Hollerman (2015), we integrate daily questions with the course content. The daily question offers opportunities for expressions of faith and invitations to further conversations. Anonymous midterm assessments and end of term student opinion forms demonstrate initial success of this method.
Hawks, Matthew A., "The Daily Question: Building Student Trust and Interest in Undergraduate Introductory Probability and Statistics Courses" (2017). ACMS Conference Proceedings 2017. 12.
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