Feeling like you need help with your statistics class? You are not alone. Statistics show that a sizable portion of students will require at one point sooner or later some external help with their class. It seems that it is a normal part of the process of being involved at the higher education level.

This kind of fact of life tends to occur with higher prevalence during the first years of college. And it all has to do with how equalized the level of incoming students is. Some students will come with a strong Stats background, whereas other student haven’t ever got a Stats class before. Objectively speaking, the contents for a ‘101’ stats course are not too complicated. But yet, you will see lots of students looking for outside help.

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Online Stats Courses vs. Presential

The current trend is one that values more the possibility of imparting courses (or even full degrees) online. The reliance on the current technological might gives a sense of validity to those online programs. And for a good reason, as technology is the protagonist of a new revolution. But it comes with a price, as online students tend to have more unresolved issues and will need to find external help.

The pressure for performing a the highest level and delivering results can be tough. Some kids feel desperate when they are getting results, and may be tempted to try to pay someone to take their online course for them. The system will punish such behavior, but won’t educate them as to why they will get punished. If you get helped by someone in your stats course, passing the class won’t mean that you have the tools to engage in the professional crafts that you are intending to practice.

But at what point does the system realize that if students cheat, aside from being morally incorrect, it is because the system itself is flawed. A system with continuous checkpoints (tests, HW, quizzes, exams, labs, etc) may be an overkill. Perhaps it would be better to have one oral test, in front of a committee that could easily detect if a person is qualified to pass the class?

Stats whiteboard

Automation in Sight

Other countries rely on systems that are based upon fewer checkpoints, based on instances that are un-cheatable (like an in-person test, in front of a board to demonstrate sufficient knowledge). Some may argue that such system could make frequent mistakes at evaluating the true knowledge of a student. Perhaps with the advent of the new, incredible powers that are expected from artificial intelligence, we can device a system in which students simply cannot cheat, because it does not make sense to cheat.

Students will always be needing of help with their stats class, but I think that our best chance is to have a system in which it becomes for a student to ask a tutor to solve their problems, without them needing to dominate the subject themselves. Make it in a way that it is actually good that a tutor shows the right to solve the problems, because the grade won’t come from that, but from the knowledge acquired by the students from seeing the way a tutor does it.

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