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 Navigation: CAUSEwebWebinarsActivity SeriesOctober 2009



Activity Webinar Series

This series of webinars presents individual activities with complete do-it-yourself guidance.
They are usually held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2:30pm Eastern time.
Hosted by Leigh Slauson, Capital University.

CAUSE webinars are made possible by generous contributions from:

Freeman Publishing

JMP® software from SAS

Minitab Inc.

Pearson Higher Education

"Taking your Class for a Walk ... Randomly"
with Daniel Kaplan, Macalester College

October 27th, 2009

An important idea in statistics is that the amount of data matters. We often teach this with formulas --- the standard error of the mean, the t-statistic, etc. --- in which the sample size appears in a denominator as √n. This is fine, so far as it goes, but it often fails to connect with a student's intuition. In this presentation, I'll describe a kinesthetic learning activity --- literally a random walk --- that helps drive home to students why more data is better and why the square-root arises naturally and can be understood by simple geometry. Students remember this activity and its lesson long after they have forgotten the formulas from their statistics class.