Adapting and Adopting High Impact, Little Time (HILT) Activities to Clarify the Meanings of Key Words Used in Statistics

Neal Rogness, Grand Valley State University and Jennifer Kaplan, University of Georgia


Participants in this workshop will join a growing community of statistics instructors who are creating, adapting, and using activities developed to help student better understand how the meanings of certain key words as used in statistics differ from their everyday meaning. These activities, known as HILT activities, are designed to have a High Impact on student learning, but require Little Time in class to implement.
The goals of the workshop are for participants to
  1. identify one or more existing HILT activities to adapt for use in their fall semester introductory statistics classes (see regarding videos and materials for existing HILT activities)
  2. generate ideas for additional HILT activities that could be developed for other words of interest.
Participants will be connected via email with the authors of the activities selected for use and be invited to participate in an online Faculty Learning Community that regularly meets via web conference to discuss usage of the HILT activities and to support one another in the development of new HILT activities.
The workshop is based on the results of an NSF-funded project (NSF DUE 1504013). The importance of language in statistics and the positive effects of joining the group can best be summed up by one of the HILT Instructors involved in the project: Prior to this study, I assumed students had an understanding of the words used in statistics. This project provided evidence that I was wrong. Bringing to light the understanding of words has assisted me in being a better teacher. I am aware of the confusion words can cause because of their everyday meaning. Providing visual illustrations of the differences in the colloquial and statistical meanings has helped solidify their meanings for my students. The HILT project has not only made me a better teacher, it has sparked an interest in the words we use and how confusion arises because of the multiple definitions.