Four Interactive Arcade Games to Teach Statistics

Tuesday, March 22nd, 20224:00 pm – 4:30 pm ET

Presented by: Jacopo Di Iorio (Penn State University)


This month, we highlight the JSDSE article, How to Get Away With Statistics: Gamification of Multivariate Statistics. One of the authors will discuss their attempt to teach applied statistics techniques typically taught in advanced courses, such as clustering and principal component analysis, to a non-mathematically educated audience by using four different interactive arcade games. The four games are all user-centric, score-based arcade experiences intended to be played under the supervision of an instructor. They were developed using the Shiny web-based application framework for R. In every activity students have to follow the instructions and to interact with plots to minimize a score with a statistical meaning. No knowledge, other than elementary geometry and Euclidean distance, is required to complete the tasks. Results from a student questionnaire give the authors some confidence that the experience benefits students. This fact suggests that these or similar activities could greatly improve the diffusion of statistical thinking at different levels of education.