NOTE: This is the latest in a series of question-and-answer stories featuring faculty members who are integrating the 2022 Canada Games into the courses they teach at Brock University or the research they’re leading. For more information on Brock’s academic activities around the Games, visit brocku.ca/canada-games
The Mathematics and Statistics Department’s service course committee, which consists of Professor of Mathematics Chantal Buteau, Full-time Instructor Dorothy Levay, Mathematics Development Programs Co-ordinator Neil Marshall, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics William Marshall, Associate Professor of Mathematics Alexander Odesski, Online Course Developer/Administrator Mark Willoughby and Professor of Mathematics Thomas Wolf, has collaborated to create a project application aimed at enriching the MATH 1P98 service course with authentic case studies in relation to the 2022 Canada Games. The case study projects have been designed by Master of Statistics graduate Jenny Tieu (BEd ’17, BSc ’17, MSc ’19) under the supervision of Levay and will focus on athletes’ performance, and economic and community aspects of the Games.
What is your Canada Games-related course title, code and description?
Practical Statistics — Math 1P98
Math 1P98 is a service level course designed for students in Business, Economics, Earth Sciences, Biology and Medical Sciences. The main goal is to introduce students to basic statistical methods, both descriptive and inferential. Emphasis is on identifying appropriate measures and methods, performing computations correctly and interpreting the numerical results obtained.
Students should leave the course with enough background to apply basic statistical methods to courses in their own field of interest and a better understanding of the statistical information with which they come into contact in their daily lives.
Describe how you’ve integrated Canada Games-related material into your course.
Our proposed initiative will see the introduction of two additional service learning projects into MATH 1P98 that are related to the Canada Games and use data provided from the Canada Games Council. MATH 1P98 is one of the largest courses at Brock, targeting about 1,500 first-year students, representing every Faculty in the University, and presenting them with an experiential education opportunity.
Students will be working with real data from the Canada Games to connect with the 2022 event. After briefly looking into an exemplar data set sent to us by Aaron Bruce, Vice-President Sport of the Canada Games Council, we have established that, for greater impact on all MATH 1P98 students, one of the two projects will focus on athlete performance, and the other one will focus on economic and community aspects, such as volunteering.
Why do you think Canada Games presents such a good opportunity for students at Brock?
The projects (designed by Brock Master of Statistics graduate Jenny Tieu, under the supervision of Dorothy Levay) will better help students visualize and understand the importance of statistical and analytical skills in the workplace. By connecting course concepts to real-world data from local companies, students from non-mathematical disciplines will be better able to realize the importance of not only why they are required to take this course, but also how the skills learned in the course can be of benefit to them in their future. As the world of big data continues to grow, it is imperative that we provide our students with an innovative educational experience with the analytical skills needed to be successful as well as an experience that allows them to reflect on the purpose of the courses they are taking.
This service learning project will conclude with a reflective element that will pose questions to the students, asking them to identify the skills they have developed in working through these case studies. It will also get students to understand the importance of these skills in the workplace and why service learning is beneficial to the broader community.
Do you have any suggestions for ways your colleagues can use the Games as a way to enhance teaching and learning opportunities in their courses?
Use available data or context from the Canada Games in assignment questions or introduce a service learning project related to the Canada Games.
Once the Games are finished, how do you plan to continue using this new idea in your course?
Our proposed initiative will be a creation of a student project framework that can be followed in future courses, specifically as the Canada Games begins in August 2022. Due to the nature of this project, once materials (case studies and marking rubrics) have been created, they can be used repeatedly in future offerings of this course. A large amount of data is available that will keep a Canada Games-related group project available for each year.
For more information about Math 1P98 — Practical Statistics , please view the Mathematics and Statistics undergraduate calendar.