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Design of Experiments

  • This site is a government-run repository of information on current and completed clinical trials. Users can search for clinical trials by disease type and also by whether the trial is currently recruiting. Then a detailed description of the trial is given. This can be used in a classroom setting to discuss design issues and ethical issues with clinical trials.

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  • This website is a summary of a randomized controlled trial of a metropolitan police department's body-worn camera program. It is useful in class to talk about the design of the experiment and also to talk about how they state their results. Their results are given as confidence intervals for differences.

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  • A video to be used in discussions of the value of random assignment to avoid bias in the comparison of groups in an experiment. The video and lyrics were written by Mary McLellan from Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas and is sung to the tune of the Bee Gees 1977 disco hit "Stayin' Alive." The video won second place in the video category of the 2017 A-mu-sing contest.
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  • A cartoon to be used for discussing the advantages and disadvantages of random assignment when n is small and there are clear confounders (here the assignment might be to which product is tested first). The cartoon was used in the May 2017 CAUSE Cartoon Caption Contest. This caption was written by John Bailer from Miami University and took honorable mention in the contest. The drawing was created by British cartoonist John Landers based on an idea from Dennis Pearl of Penn State University. The winning caption in the May competition may be found at www.causeweb.org/cause/resources/fun/cartoons/product-testing-i (written by Jim Alloway of EMSQ Associates) and an honorable mention may be found at www.causeweb.org/cause/resources/fun/cartoons/product-testing-ii written by Larry Lesser from The University of Texas at El Paso.
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  • A quote to aid in discussing the ideas of adaptive experimental designs. The quote is by Statistician, and pioneer in adaptive design, Nancy Flournoy (1947 - ) from her 2015 interview by William Rosenberger in Statistical Science: "A Conversation with Nancy Floury."
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  • A game to aid in teaching experimental design and significance testing (especially one sample, two sample, and matched pair situations). Tangrams are puzzles in which a person is expected to place geometrically shaped pieces into a particular design. The on-line Tangram Game provides students the opportunity to design many versions of the original game in order to test which variables have the largest effect on game completion time. A full set of student and instructor materials are available and were created by Kevin Comiskey (West Point), Rod Sturdivant (Ohio State University) and Shonda Kuiper (Grinnell College) as part of the Stat2Labs collection.

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  • A game for the active learning of concepts in experimental design and hypothesis testing in the one sample, two-sample and matched pairs situation. Memorathon is an on-line game in which a person is expected to repeat a sequence of buttons provided by an electronic device. Each time you successfully repeat the given sequence of buttons, the sequence gets longer. The challenge is to remember as long a sequence as possible. Cognitive psychologists test short-term memory using serial recall, which evaluates the ability of people to recall information in the specified order in which it was presented. Measuring how many items a subject can remember in order without an error, called memory span, is also studied. The Memorathon Game is an example of serial recall and memory span. This on-line game provides students the opportunity to design multiple versions of the Memorathon Game in order to test which variables have the largest effect on memory. You can leave all the variables blank when you are simply trying out the game, however, if you want to find your score in the database of results, input any specific course ID and student ID. Memorathon is part of the Stat2Labs collection at Grinnell College which includes instructor notes and student handouts.
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  • A game to help in the active learning of concepts in experimental design, regression, and significance testing. Shapesplosion is an on-line game in which a person is expected to place specifically shaped pegs into the appropriate holes within a short time period. In this project, students are asked to use the Shapesplosion game to design an experiment and collect data. This game is specifically designed so that students have the opportunity to develop and test their own unique research question. You can leave all the variables blank when you are simply trying out the game, however, if you want to find your score is the database of results, you will need to select the Participant Info box. This resource is particularly suitable for project oriented teaching and is part of the Stat2Labs collection at Grinnell College that includes instructor notes and student handouts created with funding from NSF-DUE grant #1043814 (Shonda Kuiper, PI).
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  • A cartoon to be used in discussing the value of stratified sampling (or blocking in experiments) with diverse populations. The cartoon was used in the January 2017 CAUSE cartoon caption contest (see "The Elevator I" for the cartoon with the winning caption). This caption is a shortened version of a caption submitted anonymously to the contest. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers based on an idea from Dennis Pearl of Penn State University.
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  • A quote that might help in a discussion of the value of observational over experimental when the Hawthorne effect is important. The quote is by American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978). The quote is found in her book Blackberry Winter (1972).
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