How can we use computers to enhance learning?

A report from an applied, computer-supported course for environmental engineers

Lena Zetterqvist and Linda Werner

Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Mathematical Statistics
Lund Institute of Technology,
Lund University,

ISSN 1403-9338
How do we, in a basic statistics course, create a learning environment where the computer is a natural tool? Among aspects to be considered are the students' feeling of ownership and how to integrate the computer in the course syllabus.
The design of the exercises is of great importance and three types are identified. They range from designed computer simulation exercises to analysis of data sets with open ended questions. Data related simulations, which are somewhere in between, have a firm base in a specific applied problem but train the students to use simulations as a tool to investigate different models.
A computer-supported basic statistics course for environmental engineers with a focus on applications will serve as a course example. For this course we discuss students' outcome, considering both students' attitudes and learning outcome, using the SOLO-taxonomy.