Dr. Piyen Chang soon noticed two things when he began working with graduate students pursuing their MBA degrees.
First, lots of students are intimidated with learning the intricacies of statistics.
“For many students, it’s overwhelming,” he says. “When students are frustrated, their minds freeze up and it’s difficult for them to learn.”
He also found that students tend to avoid seeking help with statistics early on. So, instead of asking for insights on distribution, probability and other basics, they struggle through the course.
“The major problem lots of students face is waiting until the last minute, especially if they are working full time,” he says. “I encourage them to get help as soon as they can.”
To set students up for success, Dr. Chang established a statistics tutoring program for grad students. Adjunct faculty members provide the extra help students need, meeting them in the evenings or setting up a session online.
Students also can stop by his office or email Dr. Chang directly to ask for advice.
Talking things through helps to demystify statistics and reduce student anxiety.
“The first step is to calm down and learn how to solve the problem,” he says. “If you are having a problem with a course, don’t put things off.”