Sonja Isberg: Using Game-Based Labs to Transform Statistics Anxiety into Excitement

February 28, 2024

Our faculty member Sonja Isberg was recently quoted in an article about using games in STAT 100 to enhance student learning and experience:

Practicing problems can be fun when done as a group with incentives

To help encourage students in her introductory course, STAT 100, to overcome their fear of her discipline, statistics and actuarial science lecturer Sonja Isberg designed a series of game-based labs.

"Students can initially have some apprehension when it comes to statistics, especially if it is new and unfamiliar. I wanted to help them overcome this by providing them with opportunities to practice the course concepts in fun ways. One of our most popular activities has been the Globe Beach Ball Toss, where we throw a globe-shaped beach ball around the room to estimate the proportion of Earth that is covered in water. Another fun game is Statistics Bingo. Students are given a game card with questions instead of numbers and have to solve all the questions in a row or diagonal to win. The prizes are little stickers, and the students get so motivated to win them that they insist on having multiple rounds. Who knew little Corgi stickers would be the secret to helping get students past their fear of statistics?"

An important part of all the games, adds Isberg, is that there is an accompanying worksheet that students can refer to aftewards to help cement their learning.

Read more from the Learning & Teaching News here.