Teaching Introductory Statistics

Presented by

Roger Woodard, North Carolina State University; & Scott McDaniel, Middle Tennessee State University

Monday, July 14 - Thursday, July 17, 2008


Notice: This workshop is now full due to an overwhelming response, but we are still taking stand-by registrations for the waiting list.

About the Workshop

The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education (CAUSE) in conjunction with East Tennessee State University is sponsoring a workshop on teaching introductory statistics. This 4 day workshop will expose participants to current ideas in teaching and planning a course on introductory statistics.

The workshop will explore many topics in the development and improvement of an introductory statistics course. The workshop will begin with methods of planning a course to highlight key concepts. Participants will then move on to the building and planning hands-on activities. Participants will also explore CAUSEweb.org, an online digital library of statistics teaching materials. The workshop will also help participants develop assessment strategies and instruments that identify student learning. This will include use of the online Assessment Resource Tools for Improving Statistical Thinking (ARTIST).

Workshop Logistics

Location: The workshop will be held on the campus of East Tennessee State University located in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Workshop session times: Monday, July 14 - Thursday, July 17 from 9:00am - 5:pm on Monday through Wednesday and 9:00am-2:00pm on Thursday.

Lodging: Lodging will be provided for workshop participants who live further than 30 miles from East Tennessee State University at the Carnegie Hotel, located at 1216 State of Franklin Road in Johnson City, on Sunday night, July 13th through Wednesday night July 16th with morning checkout on Thursday, July 17th prior to the workshop session. Complimentary wireless internet and parking is available to all hotel guests.

Transportation: Workshop participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the workshop. The Tri-City Airport (TRI) serves this area and the Carnegie Hotel offers a free airport shuttle. The workshop site is a very short walking distance from the hotel for those participants that need lodging. There is no charge to commuters for parking on campus.

Meals: Workshop participants are responsible for their own breakfast and dinner each day. Lunch will be provided each workshop day.

Cancellation Policy: CAUSE reserves the right to cancel this workshop if a minimum enrollment is not reached by May 15, 2008.


Please note: CAUSEweb workshops receive principal funding from a National Science Foundation grant. As part of that award, Science and Mathematics Program Improvement (SAMPI) at Western Michigan University will be conducting an independent evaluation of all CAUSEway activities and workshop participants are expected to fully participate in this evaluation.

About the Presenters


Roger WoodardRoger Woodard is the Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Statistics at the North Carolina Sate University. Dr. Woodard received his doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has extensive experience in the use of technology and teacher training issues in the undergraduate classroom. Dr. Woodard has served as the editor of the CAUSEweb resource library and the editor of MERLOT-Statistics, both which are digital libraries of statistics teaching materials. He has conducted extensive research in the use of learning styles in teaching introductory statistics. Dr. Woodard specializes in statistics education and training of instructors. Dr. Woodard is the 2005 recipient of the American Statistical Association's Waller Award for Excellence and Innovation in Statistics Education.


Scott McDanielScott McDaniel is an assistant professor in the Department of Academic Enrichment at Middle Tennessee State University. His research interests include pedagogies for teaching with technology. Scott has received numerous internal and external grants and awards for his work in developing learning modules for statistics courses. He is currently finishing the last year of a 3-year NSF funded grant, Independent Interactive Inquiry-Based Learning Modules: Using Audio-Visual Instruction for Post-Calculus Probability and Statistics Concepts. He received his BS, MS and Ed.S. from MTSU and has his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Tennessee State University.

Notice: This workshop is now full due to an overwhelming response, but we are still taking stand-by registrations for the waiting list.

Workshop Agenda

The workshop will consist of nine sessions held during 9:00 am - 5:00 pm each day. The contents of the sessions are described below.

Sessions 1 and 2: Planning a conceptual course using common threads and big ideas

During these sessions we will examine the main ideas that underlie a statistics course. Facilitators will share their planning process for a course, including methods used to identify key ideas. Participants will work in groups to build their own concept map for introductory statistics.

Sessions 3 and 4: Making the class interactive with activities

In these sessions facilitators will provide a framework for incorporating student activities within the classroom. Participants will use this framework to identify and prepare activities of their own for use in the classroom. Participants will also be introduced to CAUSEweb.org, an online library of statistics teaching materials to aid in finding materials for classroom use.

Sessions 5: Finding and using real data

A very effective strategy to encourage student involvement in the classroom is to have them use real data. In this session facilitators will share their experiences in using real data. Participants will find sources of data from the internet and explore in-class activities, which can generate data from the students themselves.

Session 6 and 7: Using technology in the classroom

These sessions will demonstrate a wide variety of statistical packages and their use in the classroom. These sessions will compare the advantages of various packages for classroom use. Extensive discussion will be given for using simulations to help students understand statistical concepts. Demonstrations will include calculator and computer based data collection systems.

Session 8: Assessment in the classroom

In this session participants will be introduced to a variety of assessment techniques that allow them to evaluate student learning. This session will also include an introduction to the Assessment Resource Tools for Improving Statistical Thinking (ARTIST). This comprehensive web-based resource includes an assessment builder and extensive resources for creating authentic assessments.

Session 9: Participant discussions and presentations

During this final session participants will compile the resources and materials they have found during the preceding sessions into a cohesive notebook to take back for use in their own courses. This session will include presentations and discussions of the materials each participant produced.