Cliff Konold, Director, Scientific Reasoning Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 2:00pm
Generally in learning statistical inference, students reason backwards from data to the (usually invisible) process that produced them. I will demonstrate an alternative approach in which students begin at the process end, designing their own "data factories." Based on their output, students modify their factories such that, for example, a collection of cats produced by a cat factory has features that look more like real cats. This work is part of the NSF-funded "Model Chance" project. In this project, we have been adding probability modeling to the existing data-visualization capabilities of TinkerPlots and, using that environment, exploring how data and chance might be better integrated in our instruction beginning in the middle school.
Uri Treisman, Director, Charles Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin
Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 2:00pm
Developmental education in America's community colleges has been a burial ground for the aspirations of our students seeking to improve their lives through education. Under the leadership for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Charles A. Dana Center, nineteen community colleges and systems are building accelerated pathways to and through developmental education with the goal of helping students with low levels of mathematical preparation complete a college credit bearing, transferable statistics course within one year. Uri will describe the work to date, the challenges the initiative faces, and the underlying ideas of improvement science that are driving its development.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 2:00pm
Since formal hypothesis testing and inference methods can be a challenging topic for students to tackle, introducing informal inference early in a course is a useful way of helping students understand the concept of a null distribution and how to make decisions about whether to reject it. We will present two computer labs, both using Fathom, that illustrate these concepts using permutation in a setting where students will be answering interesting investigative questions with real data.
Dianna Spence & Brad Bailey, North Georgia College & State University
Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 2:00pm
When instructors have their students implement "real-world" projects in statistics, a number of questions arise: Where can students locate real data to analyze? What kinds of meaningful research questions can we help students to formulate? What aspects of statistical research can be covered in a project? What are reasonable methods for evaluating the student's work? The presenters will share resources developed during an NSF-funded study to develop and test curriculum materials for student projects in statistics, using linear regression and t-test scenarios.
Brandon Vaughn, University of Texas
Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 2:00pm
Some students in statistics classes exhibit behaviors that share characteristics with the established construct of learned helplessness. This webinar will discuss this phenomenon, and detail an instrument recently developed which measures this (HILS: Helplessness in Learning Statistics).
Jiyoon Park & Audbjorg Bjornsdottir, University of Minnesota
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 2:00pm
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.
Ellen Gundlach & Nancy Pelaez, Purdue University
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 2:00pm
Ellen and Nancy use Calibrated Peer Review, an online writing and peer evaluation program available from UCLA, to introduce statistical literacy to Nancy's freshman biology students and to bring a real-world context to statistical concepts for Ellen's introductory statistics classes in an NSF-funded project. CPR allows instructors in large classes to give their students frequent writing assignments without a heavy grading burden. Ellen and Nancy have their students read research journal articles on interesting subjects and use guiding questions to evaluate these articles for statistical content, experimental design features, and ethical concerns.
George Cobb, Mount Holyoke College
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 2:00pm
What's the best way to introduce students of mathematics to statistics? Tradition offers two main choices: a variant of the standard "Stat 101" course, or some version of the two-semester sequence in probability and mathematical statistics. I hope to convince participants to think seriously about a third option: the theory and applications of linear models as a first statistics course for sophomore math majors. Rather than subject you to a half-hour polemic, however, I plan to talk concretely about multiple regression models and methodological challenges that arise in connection with AAUP data relating faculty salaries to the percentage of women faculty, and to present also a short geometric proof of the Gauss-Markov Theorem.
Thomas Moore, Grinnell College
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 2:00pm
Permutation tests and randomization tests were introduced almost a century ago, well before inexpensive, high-speed computing made them feasible to use. Fisher and Pitman showed the two-sample t-test could approximate the permutation test in a two independent groups experiment. Today many statistics educators are returning to the permutation test as a more intuitive way to teach hypothesis testing. In this presentation, I will show an interesting teaching example about primate behavior that illustrates how simple permutation tests are to use, even with a messier data set that admits of no obvious and easy-to-compute approximation.
Diane Fisher, University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Jennifer Kaplan, Michigan State University; and Neal Rogness, Grand Valley State University
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 2:00pm
Our research shows that half of the students entering a statistics course use the word random colloquially to mean, "haphazard" or "out of the ordinary." Another large subset of students define random as, "selecting without prior knowledge or criteria." At the end of the semester, only 8% of students we studied gave a correct statistical definition for the word random and most students still define random as, "selecting without order or reason." In this session we will present a classroom approach to help students better understand what statisticians mean by random or randomness as well as preliminary results of the affect of this approach.