Increasing numbers of students are coming to college with gaps in their mathematics skills, especially as many have had two years of schooling loss and remote learning. The challenges associated with learning statistics are not distributed uniformly. Low-income students and students of color are more likely to have had their last two years of high school taught largely online and with less access to broadband internet connections compared to their more affluent peers.
Nationally, 3 out of 10 students enrolling in Introductory Statistics will not earn college credit for the course. Among students from low-income backgrounds and those who identify as Black or Latinx, course success rates are even lower. These numbers are unconscionable. For decades the United States has enticed students with the dream of a college degree, and subsequent success, but fails to provide them with conditions under which they can succeed.
We believe that many more students can succeed and thrive in university statistics courses with proper support, excellent teaching, and engaging materials and activities that make statistics concepts and methods relevant.
In September 2022, we started our initial efforts to develop a cohort of college and university statistics professors from across the nation. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this cohort will work with Lumen Learning to develop new statistics courseware. Digital Promise will conduct implementation and efficacy research and to determine whether the new courseware achieves its goals of prioritizing Black and Latinx students and those from low-income backgrounds.
Over this multi year research project, Digital Promise will release study reports to share the status of our research. Watch this space for updates on the research and courseware!