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USCOTS 2009 - Interest Groups


Statistics Education Research Cluster

Goal: To bring together individuals interested in becoming part of a collaborative statistics education research community. We invite people who may or may not teach statistics and who come from various disciplinary backgrounds. Cluster participants will participate in an orientation meeting on Thursday afternoon prior to the beginning of USCOTS, will have lunches together each day, attend research breakout sessions at USCOTS, and participate in a post USCOTS session on Saturday afternoon.

Clusters of about four participants will be formed and will be mentored for two years by member of the CAUSE Research Advisory Board. They will be expected to follow a plan that guides them to explore and define a problem of mutual interest, to read and discuss the research literature that informs this problem, to prepare a written literature review, and to design and carry out a collaborative research study that informs the teaching and learning of statistics. For information on the experience of the previous research clusters, see Collaborative Projects in Statistics Education (PDF). To apply for this cluster please select the "Statistics Education Research" category under on-going interest groups when you register for USCOTS. You will also need to read the details about applying and participation in a research cluster.

Study of Fun Cluster

Larry Lesser and Dennis Pearl invite self-nominations to join us in a special cluster devoted to the study of fun. There is a great need for more systematic and sustained investigation into what role various types of fun can or should play in increasing student motivation, understanding, and retention in statistics courses. This cluster will organize through conference calls prior to USCOTS, meet on Thursday afternoon June 25th prior to USCOTS, and have two meals together at USCOTS. Continuing after the conference through monthly conference calls and other communication, the cluster will examine previous research in the use of fun items in teaching statistics, work through possible methods of making fun materials more effective, and will collaborate in research to assess the classroom effectiveness of using fun.

For an introduction to this topic see www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v16n3/lesser.html To apply for this cluster please select the "Teaching with Fun" category under on-going interest groups when you register for USCOTS. Applications received by May 1, 2009 will receive full consideration in the selection of participants.

Teaching Statistics in the Online World

Michelle Everson and David Zeitler invite self-nominations to join us in a special cluster devoted to studying the pedagogy of statistics utilizing online technologies. Today's younger students have grown up online and older non-traditional students are rapidly joining them given the number of hybrid and online course options that now exist at many colleges and universities. Teaching statistics to these online students utilizing new technologies can pose many unique challenges and opportunities for the statistics instructor, and this cluster will examine research related to teaching and learning in the resulting hybrid and online environments, discuss ways to structure such environments in order to optimize student learning and create a sense of community among students, and collaborate on research in order to better understand how to effectively teach statistics to this online generation.

This cluster will organize through conference calls prior to USCOTS, meet on Thursday afternoon June 25th prior to USCOTS, and have two meals together at USCOTS. After USCOTS, communication will be continued through monthly conference calls and other means (e.g., e-mail correspondence). To apply for this cluster please select the "Online Teaching" category under On-going Interest Groups when you register for USCOTS. Applications received by May 1, 2009 will receive full consideration in the selection of participants.

Student Attitudes Cluster

Increasing numbers of statistics teachers and researchers believe that students' attitudes help determine classroom climate, course completion, course achievement, future course enrollment, and students' use of statistical thinking in their lives. These outcomes are important to most instructors. Yet there is little classroom-relevant research regarding students' attitudes. Candace Schau developed the SATS-36© to assess students' attitudes toward statistics (see www.evaluationandstatistics.com). Marjorie Bond and Candace have put the SATS-36© on the web for easy data collection. We invite established and new researchers to self-nominate and join us in studying students' attitudes toward statistics using the SATS-36© (and any extensions of interest). The members of this cluster will organize through conference calls prior to USCOTS. We will meet on June 25 (exact time to be determined later). After USCOTS, members will continue to communicate and work together on projects of interest through e-mail, conference calls, and meetings (as possible). Our goals are to examine existing theories and research relevant to student attitudes', create simple methods to help instructors understand their students' attitudes toward statistics, identify needed classroom-based attitude research, and collaborate on some of that research over the next two years.

To apply for this cluster please select the "Student Attitudes" category under on-going interest groups when you register for USCOTS. Applications received by May 1st, 2009 will receive full consideration in the selection of participants.

Other Options (not facilitated)

Get together with other statistics educators to organize your own interest group around a topic of your choice. CAUSE will provide free meeting space at USCOTS and conference calls for the group to talk and share ideas after USCOTS. To apply to participate in one of these informal groups, please select any of the following categories under On-going Interest Groups when you register for USCOTS: "Intro Statistics," "Post-Intro Stat Courses," "Graduate Students," or "AP Statistics."

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