YouTube Conference Announcement

Please share with your students. You do not need to be using StatCrunch in your classes – Pearson shares a free 6-month subscription with all students who register for the contest. Registration ends on March 15, and the project deadline is April 22.

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I will be using Twitter to report out as I go.

Also looking forward to catching up with some old friends and making some new friends. My college will have 9 instructors in attendance (home-field advantage) so this should be a fun, educational experience.

]]>I will be using Twitter to report out as I go.

Also looking forward to catching up with some old friends and making some new friends. My college will have 9 instructors in attendance (home-field advantage) so this should be a fun, educational experience.

]]>This Thursday I will be co-presenting a commercial session (C4 – 1:40-2:55pm in Marina 3) with Diane Hollister. We will give an overview of how Learning Catalytics works, as well as how we use it in our classes. If you would like to start using student response systems in your class, this is the tool for you!

I hope to see you there – George

]]>Last week in my Statistics classes we learned to construct confidence intervals for a population proportion and a population mean. On the last day of the week I had students work on a project that contained a mixture of these types of confidence intervals, and then students had to extend their knowledge to use the interval to perform a two-tailed hypothesis test. I walked through one example with them, and then students worked in pairs to write up the other four hypothesis tests on the worksheet.

You can find a summary of the class session, as well as get a copy of the handout, on my StatBlog.

I feel that it was a great way to introduce hypothesis testing before we get to the hypothesis testing chapter.

I’d love to hear what you think, either in the comments or by dropping me a line on Twitter.

George

]]>I first formalize the hypothesis testing language and procedure with a test for the linear correlation coefficient. Students were already doing this “test” anyway by comparing their correlation coefficient to a table of critical values to determine if a linear relation existed. I use StatCrunch to generate a P-value, so the test is more consistent with the tests that will follow.

Today, in week 7 of the course, we covered the one proportion test. We use the binomial distribution to compute P-values. (Later on, when I cover the one proportion Z-test, we will refer back to this binomial test when conditions for the Z-test are not satisfied.) Students are definitely developing an understanding of the null and alternative hypotheses, what the level of significance represents, what a P-value is, how to make a decision about the null hypothesis, and how to make a conclusion about the alternative hypothesis.

This test is accessible to students, and a great application of binomial probabilities. Introducing it this early in the course keeps students focused on the big picture in this course, which most assuredly is not to compute means or draw pie charts. It is a great midpoint on our journey from simulation (coin-flipping) to the Z-test. After we make it to the Z-test we will come back and reexamine these two techniques.

If you’d like copies of the documents I used, or you want to see how the class progressed, check out this post on my StatBlog.

Questions/comments are always welcome – George

]]>- My students are more active and engaged in class.
- I am able to cover much more material than I ever covered before – including simulations, bootstrapping, and non parametric tests.
- My students level of understanding when it comes to inferential statistics and the “big picture” is higher than ever.

I am currently blogging each day, documenting my progress this semester.

You can check out my progress on this web site: http://georgewoodbury.com/statblog/

There are three portions to consider when flipping your class: pre-class, in-class, and post-class. Today I will write about what my students do before class. (I’ll come back to the other two as the semester progresses.)

In my class we are using the Interactive Statistics online text that I wrote with Mike Sullivan. My students complete an Interactive Reading Assignment (IRA) before they come to class. In the IRAs students read a little, watch a little, and do a little. They read standard text, which is supplemented with concept videos, example videos (including StatCrunch videos), applets, and activities. Along the way, students answer conceptual questions and solve problems and these are recorded into their MyLab gradebook. If you worry about students actually doing the work before class, having some sort of assignment that is submitted before class definitely increases completion.

Students complete an IRA before class on days that we cover a section, but I do not have pre-class assignments for days that we work on projects.

If you have any questions about these interactive reading assignments, please leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter. I love to share!

]]>First, students need to dispel that myth that there is only one way to solve a problem. This week I was introducing the general addition formula for finding the probability of *A* or *B* occurring. I asked students for the probability of drawing a king from a deck of cards, and they got 4/52 pretty quickly. Then I asked for the probability of drawing a heart. Again, a quick reply of 13/52 followed. When I asked for the probability of drawing a king or a heart, the initial response was 17/52, obtained by totaling the 4 kings and the 13 hearts. A student pointed out that simply counting those cards produced only 16 that were kings or hearts.

I asked them to come up with a strategy for solving these problems. Some suggested taking one group, like hearts (13), and adding the extra kings (3) to the total. Others suggested adding the kings (4) and hearts (13), then subtracting away their overlap (1). We all agreed that there was more than one way to get there, and that was OK.

Fast forward to today. I gave my students the probabilities that a student was taking math, taking English, and taking math and English. They applied the general addition rule with little difficulty. Then I proposed using a Venn diagram, and some students understood the addition rule much better after that. I then added that they could begin with the probability that a student is taking math, then add on the probability that a student is taking English but not math.

I made a big deal about how there is usually more than one way to solve problems in math, and that the best approach is to try to find your own way. I shared some of Jo Boaler’s research and they seemed more at ease with the idea of trying to find their own way to solve problems. Hopefully they continue to be creative.

]]>When I first started my homework assignments had somewhere between 15 and 20 questions. My chapter quizzes, which became semi-chapter quizzes, also had between 15 and 20 questions.

As I have aged, I apparently have become a minimalist! I have drastically cut down the length of my assignments, and I have done so with my students’ success in mind. I start each section with a media assignment that is a mix of concept and example videos accompanied by 5 or 6 problems. (I blogged about this type of assignment here.) When students are working on a smaller number of problems they are more likely to take them seriously and less likely to just use the learning aids to slosh their way though them all. This assignment should be enough to get students prepared for my section quiz.

Students next take a 5-problem quiz. (Read more about quizzes here.) I select 5 problems that I think are the most important for that section. With only 5 questions, students are more likely to try the quiz a second (or third) time, which is a plus. The quiz loads a personalized homework assignment that focuses on the areas that each student needs to work on. (Read more about personalized homework here.) Although the personalized homework could be at most 15 problems long, it is often shorter than that. Also, because students know they need to improve on these topics, it has less of a drill-and-kill feel to it.

Since I have adopted this approach, I rarely hear complaints about how long the assignments are. Instead, I hear students tell me how the assignments are helping them to learn and understand. Isn’t that refreshing!

I encourage you to look at your assignments and see if you can streamline them.

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