The material covers a multitude of statistical topics from t-test to regression to principle component analysis. The material contains some overview of the topics, but mainly it is a source of projects and labs that instructors can use to help students understand topics in hands-on ways.
Type of Material:
This material can be used in a variety of undergraduate classes ranging from regression to experimental design to categorical data analysis. Recommended use for this material would be as a supplement to a classroom setting for individuals. The assignments can be used for homework, labs, or projects.
Varies depending on type of project chosen, but some technical requirements include an internet browser, flash player, Adobe Reader or PDF reader, Microsoft Office, and sound.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The purpose of this site is to challenge critical thinking skills and allow greater understanding of statistical concepts through hands-on laboratory experiments. Students learn and apply their knowledge of statistics. Students also get experience learning how to write a statistical report and/or create a statistical poster.
Target Student Population:
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The pre-requisites vary depending on the type of project chosen. Students should have at least had one semester of introductory statistics before doing one of these projects.
Evaluation and Observation
The written material provided on the website is well-written and clear. With each chapter, there is written documentation on the subject, an introductory lab and a project for the students to do. Instructors can choose what material he/she wants to use for instruction. The hands-on material is a great way for students to understand the material through applied learning. There are many interactive activities that can make learning fun for students.
In order to have the complete chapters, the instructor must email an individual (it is not provided on the website). In addition, some of the projects require IRB approval which can make completing projects in one semester difficult.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The labs and projects have the potential to be an effective learning tool for the students. Students are able to see how statistics are used for important decisions. The material refers to other topics that would be needed to understand a certain concept. Critical thinking concepts and questions are given. For many of the projects, student handouts are readily available.
The labs require much help from an instructor that should be familiar with the lab; and a number of the labs require IRB approval. There do seem to be topics missing but the website indicates that more information is to come.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
There is a fair amount of documentation for each chapter and lab. Most links were clearly labeled and in tables to ease use and organization.
Not all the written material is provided on the website. Instructors must email an individual to obtain the entire material. Also, the IRB approval on some of the labs can complicate the labs. It may be helpful to change font to a san-serif font. The wealth of information that do not have links available is a bit overwhelming.