Measures of Location

  • A song to be used in discussing how the mean and standard deviation work well in describing symmetric distributions while the median and IQR are valuable when you need more resistant measures for skewed distributions. The lyrics were written by Mary McLellan from Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas as one of several dozen songs created for her AP statistics course. The song may be sung to the tune of “Faithfully,” the 1983 ballad by the band Journey. Also, an accompanying video may be found at
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8lry78zBWE See also the companion song “Which Measure and Spread to Use” also written by Mary McLellan with the same learning objective.

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  • A song to be used in discussing how the mean and standard deviation work well in describing symmetric distributions while the median and IQR are valuable when you need more resistant measures for skewed distributions. The lyrics were written by Mary McLellan from Aledo High School in Aledo, Texas as one of several dozen songs created for her AP statistics course. The song may be sung to the tune of the 1976 pop song “Dancing Queen,” by ABBA. Also, an accompanying video may be found at
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5-wg3OYUIE See also the companion song “Which Measure Should I Choose” also written by Mary McLellan with the same learning objective.

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  • A video to teach about the central limit theorem and various issues in one-sample hypothesis testing. The lyrics and video were created by Scott Crawford from the University of Wyoming. The music is from the 1988 song "I'm Gonna Be (500 miles)" by the Scottish band The Proclaimers. The video took second place in the video category of the 2013 CAUSE A-Mu-sing competition. Free for non-profit use in classroom and course website applications.
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  • A video to dispel myths about Statistics and excite students early in a course. The lyrics and video were created by Scott Crawford from the University of Wyoming. The music is from the 2000 song "Where Are You, Christmas? " written by James Horner and Will Jennings for the movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". The video received an honorable mention in the video category of the 2013 CAUSE A-Mu-sing competition. Free for non-profit use in classroom and course website applications.
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  • A joke for use in discussing measures of central tendency. The joke was written by Jackie Bryce Miller, University of Michigan and won third place in the 2015 A-Mu-Sing competition.
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  • This is a song suitable for middle school level statistics in reinforcing key elements of the scientific method. College-level use might include playing before a lecture to lighten the mood while setting up. The song's lyrics and music were composed by Jeff Hall audio file is a performance by the scientific jam band (see www.scientificjam.com/scijam2.htm)
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  • A fun song about the average by American humorist and singer-songwriter Carla Ulbrich. The song is also available at www.theacousticguitarproject.com/artist/carla-ulbrich/ and more about the singer can be found at her website at www.carlau.com. For classroom use, you might ask which lines in "Totally Average Woman" refer to ways in which the woman in the song is at the mean, and which refer to ways in which she is at the median. Permission from singer is for free use for teaching in classroom and course websites with attribution. Commercial users must contact the copyright holder.
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  • A song to teach about when the mean versus the median is better for describing a distribution. The lyric was authored by Lawrence Mark Lesser from the University of Texas at El Paso. The song may be sung to the tune of Taylor Swift's Grammy winning 2010 hit "Mean". Free for use in non-commercial teaching.
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  • A song lyric by Dennis Pearl of The Ohio State University written as a parody of the 1960 tune "Hit the Road Jack" by Percy Mayfield; made popular by Ray Charles in his 1961 recording. What to say in class before song: There are times when the mode may be preferred to the mean - especially if the concept of interest is tied to understanding the most likely situation. You might remember that Ray Charles used to sing a song about this... In a class where Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood methodology has been introduced you might add the following after the first sentence "For example when you assume a uniform non-informative prior for a parameter, then the m.l.e. coincides with the mode of the posterior distribution - and the mean of the posterior distribution may not be a good estimate." Tip for Teaching: The song takes up a bit too much class time for delivering its message. Thus, for in-class use, it is recommended to play only the first verse or three. Musical accompaniment realization and male vocals are by Joshua Lintz, female vocals are by Mariana Sandoval from University of Texas at El Paso.
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  • November 9, 2010 T&L webinar presented by Jiyoon Park and Audbjorg Bjornsdottir (University of Minnesota) and hosted by Jackie Miller (The Ohio State University). This webinar presents the development of a new instrument designed to assess the practices and beliefs of teachers of introductory statistics courses. The Statistics Teaching Inventory (STI) was developed to be used as a national survey to assess changes in teaching over time as well as for use in evaluating professional development activities. We will describe the instrument and the validation process, and invite comments and suggestions about its content and potential use in research and evaluation studies.
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