HyFlex Statistics Computer Lab with R

HyFlex Statistics Computer Lab with R

Academic Year:
2014 - 2015 (June 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015)
Funding Requested:
Project Dates:
Overview of the Project:
Effective for the Spring 2015 term, Stats 250 will be teaching data analysis to students through the R software, moving away from SPSS. Unlike SPSS, R is available to download for free, so students will be able to download the software to their own computers. This removes the necessity of having Virtual Sites, and allows students more freedom in their technology usage. We would like to expand this freedom by allowing students to attend a lab section remotely. A Hybrid Flexible model for lecture attendance has already been implemented into Stats 250. Hybrid Flexible, or "HyFlex," is an emerging option that provides students the flexibility and freedom to choose how and where they participate in classes. In a traditional hybrid course, the instructor dictates which sessions meet online versus face-to-face, but for a HyFlex model, students are given the decision about whether to attend class face-to-face or synchronously online. Students may attend entirely online (aside from exams, in this case), entirely face-to-face, or any combination of the two. There are different challenges when applying this model to a computer lab.

continued in project objectives...
Final Report Fields
Project Objectives:

Project overview continued

Labs are generally more interactive and students often work in small groups. We will be finding creative ways to provide the interactive and group sharing options to students attending remotely (google forms, Canvas Chat room, etc).  To pilot this remote lab option for students, we would like to offer a make-up lab in the Spring term for students to attend in person or remotely. There would be a total of 11 Remote labs offered over the May to June Spring term schedule.

Project objectives

There are a wide variety of online learning tools for Stats 250 students to use, and this project aims to give students a more direct tool for learning online by allowing them to attend labs remotely and synchronously with students in the classroom.

Project Achievements:

We held a make-up lab with a remote option as a trial in the Spring 2015 term for those students who could not make their regularly schedule lab period. Students overwhelmingly chose to attend remotely, with over 12 students attending remotely, on average, compared to the average of 2 students that would attend in person. Students also reacted incredibly positively in surveys given at the end of each lab, claiming that the option to attend remotely was "very convenient," and that they were "learn just as much from home." One student even claimed that they "would rather that all labs be like this."

For the Fall 2015 term, we will be providing the same make-up lab option for students. Labs are regularly scheduled Monday through Wednesday, and a make-up lab will be held on Thursday nights with both options of attending in-person and remotely.
Teaching resources specific to the make-up lab will be shared with future GSIs that will be teaching this make-up lab. Some GSIs that taught in the spring term that are returning in the fall were educated on the technology used to teach students remotely, and a GSI that will be returning this fall was able to teach one lab on his own.
Advice to your Colleagues:
In order to engage students that are attending remotely throughout, it is important to use the technology to poll students and provide activities so that they are not off task, as there is no way to ensure that students are paying full attention or staying on task in the lab. This method of learning is not for all students. It is geared toward those who are comfortable with technology and have the self discipline needed to learning remotely.