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Estimation Principles

  • December 9, 2008 Teaching and Learning webinar presented by John H. Walker, California Polytechnic State University and hosted by Jackie Miller, The Ohio State University. Ethics play an important role in statistical practice. How can we educate our students about statistical ethics--especially when our courses are already packed with so much...statistics? At the Joint Statistical Meetings in August, 2008 Dr. Walker was the discussant in a session on "Teaching Ethics in Statistics Class." The webinar first briefly reviews the points raised by the speakers in that session. George McCabe (Purdue) contrasted the "old" introductory statistics course with its emphasis on methodology to the "new" course. Patricia Humphrey (Georgia Southern) spoke about how she covers ethical data collection in her introductory classes. Paul Velleman (Cornell) talked about the role of judgment in statistical model building and how it makes students (and sometimes us) uncomfortable. The webinar presentation discusses each of these points in the context of the American Statistical Association's "Ethical Guidelines for Statistical Practice" as well as discussing experiences in teaching statistical ethics in an undergraduate capstone course for statistics majors. It closes with an example of statistical ethics in the use of multiple comparison procedures.
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  • January 13, 2009 Teaching and Learning webinar presented by Jo Hardin, Pomona College and hosted by Jackie Miller, The Ohio State University. This webinar discusses the development and teaching of a freshman seminar course. In this course, students investigate the practical, ethical, and philosophical issues raised by the use of statistics and probabilistic thinking in realms such as politics, medicine, sports, the law, and genetics. Students explore issues from fiction, the mainstream media, and scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. To do all of this, they must consider a wide range of statistical topics as well as encountering a range of uses and abuses of statistics in the world today.
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  • February 10, 2009 Teaching and Learning webinar presented by Andrew Zieffler, Bob delMas, and Joan Garfield, University of Minnesota, and hosted by Jackie Miller, The Ohio State University. This webinar presents an overview of the materials and research-based pedagogical approach to helping students reason about important statistical concepts. The materials presented were developed by the NSF-funded AIMS (adapting and Implementing Innovative Materials in Statistics) project at the University of Minnesota (www.tc.umn.edu/~aims).

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  • webinar illustrates how personal response systems (clickers) can be used to address the realization of these three recommendations in large lecture classes (over 70 students). The session discusses general issues of the implementation of clickers and then provides an example of each of the following three uses of clickers in the classroom: 1) questions designed to highlight common conceptual misunderstandings in statistics, 2) questions designed as review questions for topics already addressed, and 3) questions that were part of a class activity to help students learn a concept.
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  • April 14, 2009 Teaching and Learning webinar presented by Beth Chance and Allan Rossman, Cal Poly, and John Holcomb, Cleveland State University, and hosted by Jackie Miller, The Ohio State University. This webinar presents ideas and activities for helping students to learn fundamental concepts of statistical inference with a randomization-based curriculum rather than normal-based inference. The webinar proposes that this approach leads to deeper conceptual understanding, makes a clear connection between study design and scope of conclusions, and provides a powerful and generalizable analysis framework. During this webinar arguments are presented in favor of such a curriculum, demonstrate some activities through which students can investigate these concepts, highlights some difficulties with implementing this approach, and discusses ideas for assessing student understanding of inference concepts and randomization procedures.
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  • May 12, 2009 Teaching and Learning hour-long webinar panel discussion presented by Laura Kubatko, The Ohio State University; Danny Kaplan, Macalester College; and Jeff Knisley, East Tennessee State University, and hosted by Jackie Miller, The Ohio State University. National reports such as Bio2010 have called for drastic improvements in the quantitative education that biology students receive. The three panelists are involved in three differently structured integrative programs aimed to give biology students the statistics that are useful in learning and doing biology. The three programs have some surprising things in common for teaching introductory statistics. All three involve connecting calculus and statistics. All three reach beyond the mathematical topics usually encountered in intro statistics in important ways. All three aim to keep the mathematics and statistics strongly connected to biology. The panelists describe their different approaches to teaching statistics for biology and discuss how and why an integrated approach gives advantages. Important issues are how to tie statistics advantageously with calculus, how to keep "advanced" mathematical and statistical topics accessible to introductory-level biology students, and how to employ computation productively. The discussion contrasts a comprehensive "team" approach (at ETSU) with stand-alone courses (at Macalester and at OSU) and refers to the institutional opportunities and constraints that have shaped the programs at their different institutions.

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  • June 9, 2009 Teaching and Learning webinar presented by Dalene Stangl, Duke University, and hosted by Jackie Miller, The Oho State University. This webinar presents the core materials used at Duke University to teach Bayesian inference in undergraduate service courses geared toward social science, natural science, pre-med, and/or pre-law students. During the semester this material is presented after completing all chapters of the book Statistics by Freedman, Pisani, and Purves. It uses math at the level of basic algebra.
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  • July 14, 2009 Teaching and Learning webinar resented by Margo Vreeburg Izzo, The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, and hosted by Leigh Slauson, Otterbein University. Teaching a diverse college population is a challenge that most college faculty face each day. Universal Design for Learning is an approach to teaching that takes into consideration different student experiences, different cultures, and other issues such as disability. By examining curriculum and instruction through the context of universal design, you can engage as many students as possible in your college classroom and increase achievement by engaging students through a variety of methods ranging from electronic voting machines during class lectures to podcasts to deliver/reinforce essential course content.
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  • March 24, 2009 Activity webinar presented by Nicholas Horton, Smith College, and hosted by Leigh Slauson, Otterbein College. Students have a hard time making the connection between variance and risk. To convey the connection, Foster and Stine (Being Warren Buffett: A Classroom Simulation of Risk and Wealth when Investing in the Stock Market; The American Statistician, 2006, 60:53-60) developed a classroom simulation. In the simulation, groups of students roll three colored dice that determine the success of three "investments". The simulated investments behave quite differently. The value of one remains almost constant, another drifts slowly upward, and the third climbs to extremes or plummets. As the simulation proceeds, some groups have great success with this last investment--they become the "Warren Buffetts" of the class. For most groups, however, this last investment leads to ruin because of variance in its returns. The marked difference in outcomes shows students how hard it is to separate luck from skill. The simulation also demonstrates how portfolios, weighted combinations of investments, reduce the variance. In the simulation, a mixture of two poor investments is surprisingly good. In this webinar, the activity is demonstrated along with a discussion of goals, context, background materials, class handouts, and references (extra materials available for download free of charge)

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  • April 28, 2009 Activity webinar presented by Herbert Lee, University of California - Santa Cruz, and hosted by Leigh Slauson, Otterbein College. Getting and retaining the attention of students in an introductory statistics course can be a challenge, and poor motivation or outright fear of mathematical concepts can hinder learning. By using an example as familiar and comforting as chocolate chip cookies, the instructor can make a variety of statistical concepts come to life for the students, greatly enhancing learning. As illustrated in this webnar, topics from variability and exploratory data analysis to hypothesis testing and Bayesian statistics can be illuminated with cookies.
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