Cooking for the Buffet - How to Individualize the Multi-Section Course


Dennis Pearl, The Ohio State University


Multi-section courses often have the bad rap of failing to address the individual needs of students who might get "lost in the crowd." Thus, the buffet model was developed at Ohio State to use class size as a strength rather than a weakness, to optimize learning for the individual rather than norming for the group, and to integrate technology as an efficient tool rather than an expensive add-on. Since students learn in different ways, in the buffet model, different course sections are geared toward different learning styles. Students are then offered choices to create their own mix of activities for learning the same set of course objectives. In this breakout session you will measure the dimensions of your own learning styles and develop your own lesson plans linked to a specific learning objective and student learning style. In keeping with the buffet idea - you will have the choice of which learning style, which format (lecture or lab), and which objective to work on. All of the resulting lesson plans will then be shared through the USCOTS resources binder.


Dennis K. Pearl, professor, Ohio State University Department of Statistics, is the director of the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistical Education (CAUSE) and a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. Dennis is a biostatistician working in diverse areas ranging from the discovery of biomarkers of cancer prognosis or liver toxicity, to modeling the biological control of insect pests, to the estimation of evolutionary trees. He is the PI of the NSF sponsored digital library at developing a reviewed collection of on-line resources for statistics instructors nationwide and is the co-developer of the Electronic Encyclopedia of Statistical Examples and Exercises (EESEE), offering several thousand pages of background, protocols, data, and questions on a variety of real-world stories for use by statistics instructors and students. Dennis also leads the team at Ohio State that developed the buffet strategy for teaching an introductory statistics course (sponsored by the Center for Academic Transformation through their Pew and R2R programs in course redesign).


Handout (PDF)

Presentation (PowerPoint)