Professional Development MOOCs for Teachers of Statistics in K–12

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Statistics continues to receive increasing attention in K–12 curricula through Common Core and recommendations from the American Statistical Association (ASA). Professional development opportunities for secondary teachers to develop their statistical content and pedagogy are popping up across the country, typically on a small local scale. The need is much bigger than what can be addressed with small local programs, however, so this paper discusses a way of leveraging the Internet to assist in a solution. Online courses can expand the number of teachers reached and create communities beyond school or district lines. For a “massive” and “open” course, there are many design challenges to meet the needs of participants with varied backgrounds. Most Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) participants engage in isolation, reviewing material individually and perhaps engaging in discussion forums. In this column, we share how two teams, a Duke team and an North Carolina State team, took on the challenge of designing and implementing two MOOCs that could assist teachers in teaching statistics.

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