# Significance Testing Principles

• ### Analysis Tool: Student's t-test JAVA Applet

This java applet can be used to determine whether or not the means in two sample populations are significantly different.

• ### Analysis Tool: Student's T Tester JAVA Applet

This applet performs the Student's t test on two sets of data, and reports the average and variance for both sets of data, the t score, degrees of freedom, and one and two tailed P values.

• ### Webinar: Using the Online Dice-Based Golf Game GOLO to Illustrate Probability

March 23, 2010 Activity webinar presented by John Gabrosek & Paul Stephenson, Grand Valley State University and hosted by Leigh Slauson, Capital University. GOLO is a dice-based golf game that simulates playing a round of golf. GOLO can be used to illustrate basic probability concepts, descriptive summaries for data, discrete probability distributions, order statistics, and game theory. Participants had a chance to play the online version of GOLO.
• ### Webinar: Using Games to Teach Design of Experiments

April 27, 2010 Activity webinar presented by Shonda Kuiper, Grinnell College, and hosted by Leigh Slauson, Capital University. Educational games have had varied success in the past. However, what it means to incorporate games into the classroom has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. The goals of these games are to 1) foster a sense of engagement, 2) have a low threat of failure, 3) allow instructors to create simplified models of the world around us, and 4) motivate students to learn. This webinar uses the same reaction time game to demonstrate a simple 1- 2 day activity that is appropriate for introductory courses as well as an advanced project that encourages students to experience data analysis as it is actually practiced in multiple disciplines. In the introductory activity students are asked to spend 15 minutes playing an on-line game. Data collected from the game is used to demonstrate the importance of proper data collection and appropriate statistical analysis. The advanced project asks students to read primary literature, plan and carry out game based experiments, and present their results.
• ### Song: Plus or Minus Two

A song parody by Steve Sodergren (a.k.a. Al G Bra: see www.reverbnation.com/algbra) that may be sung to the tune of "With or Without You" by U2. Can be used to stimulate conversation about confidence intervals and the typical use of 95% confidence in the media when it is not otherwise reported (i.e. being within plus or minus two standard deviations for intervals based on a normal sampling distribution). This song appears on Al G Bra's "Hotel Califormula" CD.
• ### Webinar: Taking your Class for a Walk ... Randomly

An important idea in statistics is that the amount of data matters. We often teach this with formulas --- the standard error of the mean, the t-statistic, etc. --- in which the sample size appears in a denominator as âˆšn. This is fine, so far as it goes, but it often fails to connect with a student's intuition. In this presentation, I'll describe a kinesthetic learning activity --- literally a random walk --- that helps drive home to students why more data is better and why the square-root arises naturally and can be understood by simple geometry. Students remember this activity and its lesson long after they have forgotten the formulas from their statistics class.

• ### Quote: Bernard on Experimentation

In the philosophic sense, observation shows and experiment teaches. This is a quote by French physiologist Claude Bernard (1813 - 1878). The quote is from his 1865 book "An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine" as translated by Henry Greene (the first printing of this english translation was in 1927 by Macmillan).
• ### Quote: Acton on Power

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. is a famous quote of English historian Sir John Dalberg-Acton (1834 - 1902). Of course, Lord Acton was not referring to statistical hypothesis testing when he made the remark in an April 1887 letter to Mandell Creighton. However, the widespread knowledge of the quote by students makes it an interesting way to cover the idea that statistical significance is not the same as practical significance.
• ### Cartoon: Multiple Testing Animation

A three slide animation dealing with the multiple testing issue of getting false positives when a large number of tests are conducted. The cartoon animation was drawn 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.
• ### Quote: Machol on Coincidences

Most accidents in well-designed systems involve two or more events of low probability occurring in the worst possible combination. is a quote by American systems engineering expert Robert E. Machol (1917 - 1998). The quote is found in his 1975 column "Principles of Operations Research" for the journal "Interfaces" vol. 5, pages 53-54 (this column was titled "The Titanic Coincidence."