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.

1 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.”


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