Activity Series

  • Statway: Results and Lessons Learned

    Tuesday, October 11th, 20162:00 pm – 3:00 pm

    Presented by: Ann Edwards (Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching)


    Statway is an accelerated pathway for students who place into developmental mathematics that integrates college level introductory statistics with developmental mathematics learning outcomes. Developed by a network of practitioners and researchers organized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Statway has served over 11,000 students in more than 30 colleges and universities across the country since its launch in 2011. Statway students successfully complete their college level mathematics course credit at three times the rate of their peers in the traditional developmental sequence in half the time. This webinar will present the latest results, learning outcomes, and pedagogical approach of Statway, as well as lessons learned about the design and implementation of effective math pathways more generally.


  • Using Hunger Games Data to teach Randomization Tests

    Tuesday, June 28th, 20162:00 pm – 2:30 pm

    Presented by: Kyle Caudle, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology


    This webinar will discuss an activity-based method for teaching permutation goodness of fit tests. Using statistical analysis and computer simulations, I will explore the possibility that the Gamemakers, those in charge of planning the Hunger Games, fixed the lottery. No previous knowledge of randomization tests will be required for this webinar – previous knowledge of basic hypothesis testing would be helpful.


  • The Bubble Project

    Tuesday, April 26th, 20162:00 pm – 3:00 pm

    Presented by: Pamela Fellers, Grinnell College


    Many statistics courses incorporate a final project into the semester which typically begins mid-semester with the bulk of the work in the last few weeks. These projects often involve content from the first few weeks of class which students sometimes struggle with application to their final projects (e.g. data collection, numerical and graphical summaries, etc.) This webinar will present an example of how a short-term project has been incorporated into the first few weeks of the class as a way of gaining additional exposure to these early concepts as well as preparing the students for their larger-scale final projects.


  • Batting for Power

    Tuesday, October 27th, 20152:00 pm – 2:30 pm

    Presented by: Allan Rossman and Beth Chance, Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo


    We present an activity for introducing students to the concept of power and factors that influence power. The activity asks students to use a simulation-based approach, with an applet available here to investigate how likely a baseball player would be to convince a manager that he has improved his probability of getting a hit.


  • Being Warren Buffett: A Classroom Simulation Of Financial Risk

    Tuesday, March 24th, 20092:30 pm – 3:00 pm

    Presented by: Nicholas Horton, Smith 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 (see materials) 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 will be demonstrated along with a discussion of goals, context, background materials, class handouts, and references.

  • Teaching Statistics with Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Tuesday, April 28th, 20092:30 pm – 3:00 pm

    Presented by: Herbert Lee, University of California - Santa Cruz


    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. Topics from variability and exploratory data analysis to hypothesis testing and Bayesian statistics can be illuminated with cookies.


  • Fighting cancer with raspberries: demonstrating the value of random assignment

    Tuesday, May 26th, 20092:30 pm – 3:00 pm

    Presented by: Dennis Pearl, The Ohio State University


    This webinar will describe a computer lab activity using the Flash-based applet at to teach key principles regarding the value of random assignment:

    • how it helps to eliminate bias when compared with a haphazard assignment process,
    • how it leads to a consistent pattern of results when repeated, and
    • how it makes the question of statistical significance interesting since differences between groups are either from treatment or by the luck of the draw.

    In this webinar, the activity will be demonstrated along with a discussion of goals, context, background materials, class handouts, and assessments.

  • Is the iPod shuffle feature truly random? A simulation activity

    Tuesday, June 23rd, 20092:30 pm – 3:00 pm

    Presented by: Leigh Slauson, Otterbein College


    This webinar will describe an activity that uses the playlist from an iPod music player to teach the concept of random selection, the various sampling techniques, and the use of simulation to estimate probability. The webinar will include a discussion of the background of this activity, the learning goals of the activity, how this activity can be adapted to different levels of technology, suggestions for assessment, and other supplemental reference materials.


  • Bayes Goes to Bat: using baseball to introduce Bayesian estimation

    Tuesday, July 28th, 20092:30 pm – 3:00 pm

    Presented by: Jo Hardin, Pomona College


    Based on an activity by John Spurrier, we use a baseball example to introduce students to Bayesian estimation. Students use prior information to determine prior distributions which lead to different estimators of the probability of a hit in baseball. We also compare our different Bayesian estimators and different frequentist estimators using bias, variability, and mean squared error. We can see the effect that sample size and dispersion of the prior distribution have on the estimator.



  • Using Web Applets to Foster Active Learning in the Online Statistics Course

    Tuesday, August 25th, 20092:30 pm – 3:00 pm

    Presented by: Michelle Everson, University of Minnesota


    In a classroom setting, students can engage in hands-on activities in order to better understand certain concepts and ideas. Replicating hands-on activities in an online environment, however, can be a challenge for instructors. The purpose of this webinar is to present an applet that was created to replicate a "Post-it Note" activity we commonly use in classroom sections of an undergraduate introductory statistics course. The Post-it Note activity is meant to help students develop a more conceptual understanding of the mean and the median by moving a set of Post-it Notes along a number line. During the webinar, participants will have an opportunity to see and experience just how online students are able to interact with what we have named the "Sticky Centers" applet, and we will present the kinds of materials and assignments we have created to use in conjunction with this applet. The webinar will end with a preview a newer applet we are working on in order to replicate the famous "Gummy Bears in Space" activity (presented in Schaeffer, Gnanadesikan, Watkins & Witmer, 1996).