Alea is a Latin word that means dice or chance, in a more figurative sense. Aleas is the plural of alea in the accusative case in the Latin grammar. Then Aleas can be translated “the chances”. Alea is also the root of the Italian word ‘aleatorio’ that corresponds to stochastic in English. Even if the ‘alea’ is an important factor of our everyday life, people and the students may have hard time when dealing with statistics and probability.
Many scientific articles highlighted that there are several reasons that generally contribute to human sciences courses students’ low performance in Statistics and more generally in mathematics. These reasons can be roughly gathered in three groups:
(i) lack in background knowledge;
(ii) psychological traits of anxiety towards mathematics and statistics;
(iii) lack in motivation for the study of Statistics.
In this general framework ALEAS is designed as an integrated system that profiles the students according to both their background in mathematics and statistics fundaments and according to their psychological profile in term of anxiety towards the mathematics.
The core of the ALEAS project is the development and implementation of an adaptive learning system (ALEAS) that will be realized exploiting the most innovative and digital technologies embedded in an open access framework.
The main keywords that characterize the innovation and the originality of ALEAS are:
The previous keywords are strictly related to the selected priorities that the project aims at realizing. The project is designed taking into account young people’s habits and preferences in the digital era. ALEAS will support students’ learning providing several resources (tests, videos, cartoons, texts). Learning materials and resources will be inserted in an online system and will be delivered through technological devices of any type, including mobile devices. The development and deployment of an app is considered crucial to motivate students and guarantee their constant participation and involvement.
ALEAS is designed with a focus on the application of quantitative methods in real life teaching scenarios, stimulating students to appreciate the importance of Statistics in their future professions. Such design guideline is intended to face with skills gap and to strengthen the diffusion of statistical literacy.
The system will be inclusive for students which show a general difficulty towards quantitative courses. ALEAS will make use of videos and cartoons to speak the same language of digital natives. The design principles of ALEAS will provide ad-hoc learning paths so as to offer students a modern mentoring system.
ALEAS will be an inclusive system also in the perspective of lifelong learning. Statistics has become an essential tool for facing with the big amount of data at our disposal. H.G. Wells wrote that, “statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write” (Tankard, 1979). Following this perspective, some intellectual outputs of the project, in particular the short video tutorials and the cartoons, will be fruitful to prepare an online course for teaching statistical literacy in everyday life. Such type of resources will help the training of informed citizens, able to learn the concepts of chance, risk and probability. Since not everyone is comfortable with math, such tools will be important to critically deal with data, risk and uncertainty.
ALEAS has been conceived to comply with the European policy on STEM education (Science, Tecnology, Engineering and Mathematics) and LLP (Lifelong Learning Programme).