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Wong, D. K. M., & Yeo, J. K. K. (2003). Excel as a tool to enhance learning of probability. In Research in and on the classroom: ERAS Conference 2003 Proceedings (pp. 238-250). Singapore: Educational Research Association of Singapore.
Probability is often an immensely challenging topic for students at the secondary level. The
main difficulty for these students often lies in their inability to relate the theories learnt in
classroom to their everyday lives. It is for this reason that lessons on the topic of Probability,
especially those at the introductory level, rely heavily on hands-on activities. As empirical
probabilities will only converge to the results predicted by theory, implementation of hands-on
activities is, inherently, ridden with problems and difficulties. The problem is so acute that
‘mistake-prone’, ‘repetitive’ and ‘time consuming’ are but a few phrases which students have
associated with traditional hands-on activities.
This apparent lack of meaningful hands-on activities has motivated the authors to develop an IT-based
discovery activity for the topic of Probability at the secondary level. Microsoft’s Excel
has been embraced by the authors in automating the counting and calculations involved in
obtaining experimental probabilities which would otherwise be cumbersome to obtain. To
enhance the appeal of the discovery, the authors have used the game of Monopoly as the theme
of analysis.
This paper provides pertinent details of the discovery activity. It also describes the benefits and
possible barriers to successful implementation of the activity.
This paper was published in the Proceedings of ERAS COnference held in Singapore from 19-21 November 2003
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