Tuesday, February 18th, 201412:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Presented by: Brad Bailey & Dianna Spence, University of North Georgia
In this presentation we will discuss student-directed discovery projects in statistics, which are intended as the means through which statistical content is taught to the students. In particular, we will delineate the purpose and scope of a project covering linear regression analysis and another project covering comparisons with basic t-tests. We will describe curriculum materials developed to help instructors facilitate such projects and provide the web address where these materials can be accessed. We will give examples of how instructors use the curriculum materials to guide students through the projects' stages. In particular, the materials can be used to provide the students with clear information about the project requirements and what activities the students are expected to be engaged in during each phase of the student-directed projects. These projects are truly student-directed in that the students select their own research topic, define their own variables, and devise and carry out their own data collection plan before analyzing and interpreting their data. The students report their results in two forms: a written report is provided to the instructor and a brief formal presentation is made before the rest of the class. In both formats, the students report the findings of their research project, as well as explain why they chose the particular research topic, explain how they gathered, organized and analyzed the data and list any short-comings they perceive in their own project. Our presentation will include specific examples of projects that students have conducted. Finally, we will also discuss the rationale for assigning such projects, including the potential benefits of such projects - benefits suggested by both prior and on-going research - and possible factors mediating those benefits.