African Maths Initiative

Sharing Initiatives in Maths Education

CAST Exercises

CAST (Computer Assisted Statistics Textbook) exercises were used in the teaching of statistics MSc students at Maseno University. These randomised exercises were found to be an effective learning aid which assisted student mastery of a concept.

Students attempted several random questions on the same topic (idea). Some questions challenged their approximation skills, for instance, looking at a stacked data set and approximating some summary statistics from them. Some questions included calculations where they had to figure out the correct values to include in the formulas in order to get the correct result. In other questions, students were supposed to pair up matching statements, for instance, matching the type of data with the description given on the left.

CAST gave immediate responses upon submission, enabling students to gauge how well they performed in that exercise. This is because the feedback was considerate of how close the submitted answer was to the correct one. After feedback, students could choose to re-attempt the question, let CAST give the correct answer, randomly select another question in the same topic or progress to questions from another topic.

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