Enhancing statistical education by using role-plays of consultations
Role-plays in which students act as clients and statistical consultants to each other in pairs have proved to be an effective class exercise. As well as helping to teach statistical methodology, they are effective at encouraging statistical thinking, problem solving, the use of context in applied statistical problems and improving attitudes towards statistics and the statistics profession. Furthermore, they are fun. This paper explores the advantages of using role-plays and provides some empirical evidence supporting their success. The paper argues that there is a place for teaching statistical consulting skills well before the traditional post-graduate qualification in statistics, including to school students with no knowledge of techniques in statistical inference.