Peer Learning Beyond the Curriculum in University Statistics Courses
Aprendizagem entre pares para além do currículo em Cursos de Estatística Universitária

Peter Petocz, Gail Best, Ayse Bilgin, Anna Reid

Resumo


Abstract

Peer learning in statistics can occur in a variety of settings, including class collaborations and assessment in the form of group projects. Most reports indicate that it has positive effects on learning. However, peer learning can also be organised by students themselves outside course requirements, to similar positive effect. In this paper, we investigate this second form, sometimes referred to as ‘peer learning beyond the curriculum’. The parameters of the project were derived from a similar study in the discipline of music, conceived as an action research collaboration between students and academics. A series of focus group interviews was carried out with students in a range of university statistics classes, introductory and later-year, majoring in statistics or studying statistics as a component of another discipline. These were arranged and run by a group of statistics students participating as researchers and peer learners in a ‘vertical’ research team that also included more experienced academics from statistics and other disciplines. The team found that first-year students were well aware of the academic and social benefits of forming study groups to support each other’s statistics learning, and they gave clear advice to future students to do so. By contrast, peer learning in later-year classes played a more nuanced role that seemed to depend on the major discipline in which statistics was being studied – possibly due to the particular aspects of statistics that were in focus. Comparisons with peer learning in other disciplines shed more light on the various ways that peer learning in statistics can be utilised in different contexts, and suggest various implications for improving statistics pedagogy.

 

Resumo

Aprendizagem de estatística com interação entre pares pode ocorrer em uma variedade de maneiras, incluindo colaboração entre colegas durante as aulas e avaliação sob a forma de projetos em grupo. A maioria dos relatos indica que tem efeitos positivos sobre a aprendizagem. No entanto, a interação entre colegas com esta finalidade também pode ser organizada pelos próprios estudantes mesmo não sendo requisitada no curso, com um efeito positivo semelhante. Neste artigo, investigamos esta segunda forma, às vezes referida como "aprendizagem com interação entre pares em atividades extra-curriculares". Os parâmetros do projeto foram derivados de um estudo semelhante no curso de música, concebido como uma pesquisa-ação entre estudantes e acadêmicos. Uma série de entrevistas com grupos focais foi realizada com alunos universitários de uma classe de estatística, dos anos iniciais e dos anos finais, em cursos de estatística ou estudando estatística como uma disciplina de outro curso. Estas entrevistas foram organizadas e executadas por um grupo de estudantes de estatística que participaram como pesquisadores em uma equipe com estudantes de diferentes níveis, incluindo também acadêmicos dos anos finais em estatística e outros cursos. A equipe identificou que os alunos do primeiro ano estavam bem cientes dos benefícios acadêmicos e sociais de formar grupos de estudo para apoiar a aprendizagem de estatística e aconselharam os futuros alunos para fazê-lo. Em contrapartida, a aprendizagem entre colegas nas classes dos últimos anos desempenhou um papel mais moderado, que parecia depender do curso no qual a estatística estava sendo estudada - possivelmente devido aos aspectos particulares que estavam em foco. Comparações com a aprendizagem pela colaboração entre colegas em outras disciplinas, abriram caminho sobre as várias maneiras que sua utilização pode ocorrer na aprendizagem da estatística em diferentes contextos, e sugere várias implicações para melhorar seu ensino.


Palavras-chave


Statistics learning, peer learning, study group, vertical research team, focus group, action research, community of practice

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Referências


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