Learning Statistics Doesn’t have to be Boring

This gamified set of practice problems was designed to address a problem of motivation while learning statistics. The story is that the learner has been given a clue as to the location of treasure somewhere in the Perth Zoo. The player gets a map of the zoo with a grid drawn on top of it. On the back of the map is a probability that needs to be calculated. The answer to the calculation gives the player coordinates on the map where the next clue can be found. Once that clue is found, it leads to another clue and so forth until the player wins. Any time the player gets stuck in understanding or calculating clues, they can ask the game for help. Through these hints as well as personalized feedback to the student’s answers, the game guides the player through the necessary calculations. The science of learning has discovered that students learning mathematics and similar domains learn best when they get plenty of feedback on the work they are practicing. When this feedback is personalized and in real time, learning becomes much more efficient and robust. This SCORM-compliant activity analyzes every student input and provides feedback customized to that student’s answer. When a student gives an incorrect answer, the game explains why that answer is incorrect. If the game sees a pattern of incorrect answers, it addresses the misconceptions most likely to be the cause of those incorrect answers. All this is done within the game-like environment to improve student motivation.

This is one of 12 interactive problem sets designed for an online Biostatistics course.