This paper describes a new approach to a one semester introductory statistics course. This approach has been used by three instructors, including the author, at Madison. My primary goal is to enable students to discover that statistics can be an important tool in daily life. This is achieved by showing students that they are scientists, in a broad sense, and that statistics is an essential tool for doing science. The focus through the course is on scientific questions and how statistical thinking can shed light on their solutions. In short, data are preeminent and methods achieve importance through their ability to illuminate data sets. This is the reversal of the common practice of methods being the focal point and data sets being reduced to illustrating methods. This paper also describes the author's successes with early (in the semester) use of student projects.
- Prof Dev