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Measures of Location

  • 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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  • Averages don't always reveal the most telling realities. You know, Shaquille O'Neal and I have an average height of 6 feet. is a quote from American political economist and former Secretary of Labor, Robert B. Reich (1946 - ). The quote was first published on October 6, 1994 in the Business section of "The Chicago Tribune". Robert Reich is 4 foot 10 inches tall. (Picture of Robert Reich is by Michael Collopy)
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  • This webinar, presented by Larry Lesser of University of Texas at El Paso, provided a tour of the new CAUSEWeb fun page, showing some sample songs, jokes, and cartoons. Participants engaged in a discussion of the pedagogical issues involved in teaching with humor and were provided resources and a bibliography on the topic. Watch the webinar to learn how to make learning fun! (recorded April 11, 2006)
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  • A cartoon to teach the idea that the mean is affected by outliers while the median is not. Cartoon by John Landers (www.landers.co.uk) based on an idea from Dennis Pearl (The Ohio State University). Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites.

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  • A cartoon suitable for use in teaching about linear estimates (also references median and bell-curve). The cartoon is number 314 from the webcomic series at xkcd.com created by Randall Munroe. Free to use in the classroom and on course web sites under a creative commons attribution-non-commercial 2.5 license.

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  • Who says a statistics teacher can't play a `mean` guitar ... with X-barre chords? Quote by University of Texas at El Paso professor of Mathematical Sciences, Lawrence Mark Lesser (1964-)

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  • A set of twenty statistics anagrams that might be used for an end of semester terminology review. This collection of anagrams appeared in the article "Even More Fun Learning Stats" by Lawrence M. Lesser in issue #49 (2007) of "Stats" magazine (pp.5-8,19, 27).

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  • A statistics scramble that might be used in teaching about the relationship between the mean and the median in a skewed distribution. A set of five anagrams must be solved to reveal the letters that provide the answer to the clue in the cartoon. The cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist John Landers based on an idea by Dennis Pearl. Free for use on course websites, or as an in-class, or out-of class exercise.

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  • This song that may be used in teaching about box plots. The lyrics were written by Alan Reifman, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University. The lyrics may be sung to the tune of Billy Joel's 1978 song "Big Shot." The lyrics won first prize in the song category of the 2009 A-Mu-sing contest. Musical accompaniment realization and vocals are by Joshua Lintz from University of Texas at El Paso.

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