What do I do on the first day of class?

We asked contributors to talk about how they spend the first day of class is a randomization-based course.  The three contributors focused on motivating the study of statistics and introducing students to key ideas, whether or not the curriculum is randomization-based.

Getting Students Excited about Statistics Kari Lock Morgan
First Day of Class: Observational Units and Variables Allan Rossman
Teaching by Chance Rob Gould
Introducing the Logic of Inference on Day One Soma Roy

Click here to view snippets.

One thought on “What do I do on the first day of class?

  1. Tim Erickson

    I used the activity mentioned in the link below in my high-school non-AP course when we started randomization-based inference. But this year I’m teaching a college course in the Spring (2015) so I might use the “Aunt Belinda” situation from that post on Day One. I think this fits in Rob’s paradigm. (Hey! I got to use paradigm in a post! )


    Or I might do something more like Kari’s, which has been super-effective for me in the past. I tend to use US Census data (because I’m a Fathom guy and Fathom makes Census microdata so easy to get). The task has been to get some data, make a bunch of graphs, and try to understand what they say. THEN you find something interesting to you, and make a “claim”: a statement that can be either true or false. Finally, you have to come up with a data display—some visualization—that speaks to the claim one way or another.

    As Keri says, this gives students a lot of ownership: these Census claims are often personal and powerful: “Blacks get less education than others” from an African-American student. “The older an Asian is, the more likely he or she is an immigrant.” “Women get paid less than men.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *