Linking Statistical Literacy and Practice

Presented by:

Eric Gerber, Laura Cayon & Christa Sorola, Purdue University


In this virtual poster, we present one of the major components of the Elementary Statistical Methods course at Purdue. The course links weekly lab sessions involving the software SPSS, with two written assignments completed over the course of the semester, all related to a single published journal article. A single data set, reflecting the methods and data used in the article, is generated for use in the labs. In this way, the students gain familiarity with the data they work with the entire semester, and their actions in lab connect with a more consistent narrative for the course, surrounding the journal article. The written assignments allow the students to think critically about how statistics are put into practice, and are also encouraged and sometimes required to compare results from the published paper with their own results in lab. These written assignments are graded via peer review through an online system at Purdue called Gradient. The Gradient system has all students benchmark their reviews with three sample essays on the topic, training the students for reading the papers of their peers. The connections they make should help, in the short time they are exposed to the course, better prepare students to think critically about the statistics they encounter within and without academia.


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