Expert in Statistics Education Wins NSF Grant

$300,000 grant awarded to develop inquiry-based games
Lisa Lacher

Shonda Kuiper, professor of mathematics and statistics whose work in statistics education is nationally recognized, recently received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program. 

The grant project, titled “Student Engagement in Statistics Using Technology: Making Data Based Decisions,” will enable Kuiper and her team to develop inquiry-based, online games that simulate data-based decision-making embedded in a research-like experience. 

Kuiper says these inquiry-based games will help students understand and apply concepts from statistics and data science as they work with complex, “messy” datasets.

She is collaborating with Rod Sturdivant of Azusa Pacific University and Ursula Wolz, Noyce Visiting Professor in Computer Science in spring 2017, now with Bennington College. David Lopatto, director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, will help develop an assessment tool for the games.

This is Grinnell’s first grant from the IUSE program, which is relatively new, although many Grinnell faculty members, including Kuiper and Lopatto, previously have received funding from the NSF for pedagogical projects.

This project fits well with the College’s efforts, supported by a grant from the Roy J. Carver Trust, to develop a curriculum in data science.

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