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Introductory Statistics

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'Introductory Statistics follows the scope and sequence of a one-semester, introduction to statistics course and is geared toward students majoring in fields other than math or engineering. This text assumes students have been exposed to intermediate algebra, and it focuses on the applications of statistical knowledge rather than the theory behind it. The foundation of this textbook is Collaborative Statistics, by Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean, which has been widely adopted. Introductory... More
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Date Added to MERLOT: August 22, 2008
Date Modified in MERLOT: January 30, 2018
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Send email to illowskybarbara@fhda.edu
Submitter: Judy Baker
Keywords: cool4ed

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Primary Audience: College General Ed, College Lower Division
Mobile Platforms: Not specified at this time
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View on web, download as PDF or iPub.  Also available as printed copy for a fee.

Language: English
Material Version: Fall 2013
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: yes
Accessibility Information Available: yes
Creative Commons: Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution 3.0 United States

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Avatar for Kim Twist
45 weeks ago

Kim Twist (Faculty)

This textbook is a solid, basic introduction to statistics; the coverage is as I'd expect (a little bit of probability, covers basic regression, etc.). I am considering adopting it as a supplemental resource for undergraduates who feel they need more background work (in an introductory statistics class in the social sciences). 
 
My main textbook goes more deeply into research design, causality, and the logic of why we do statistical work, which is not the goal of this text, but the two complement each other well. If I were looking for a more no-frills, basic introductory book, I would certainly consider this book over many of the books available from textbook publishers.
 
The strength of this text is the number of practice opportunities - there are about 100 problems at the end of each chapter, plus dozens of examples throughout the chapters. This means there's a large amount of repetition, which will likely appeal to some students. Given the sheer number of questions, I haven't worked through very many of them, but haven't noticed errors in the ones I have gone through. There are answers to selected problems in the back, as is common with stat books. Each chapter ends with a list of terms and a brief review of each section, which seems useful.
 
The pace of the book is probably too slow for students who are more familiar with the material; I could imagine this working better as a main text for a high school statistics class. Although the pace isn't what I'd ideally want for undergraduates, this book doesn't talk down to students as many introductory statistics textbooks do (e.g. talking about how they're probably afraid of numbers).

 

Unlike some undergraduate textbooks, there aren't examples pulling from SPSS (I don't teach in SPSS, so this doesn't bother me), Excel, or R. There are tips along the way for using the TI 83/84, which, again, make the text feel like it's aimed at high school students.

 
The thing I dislike most about this book is the visual layout. Admittedly, this is a minor issue, but I found the pages to be too busy. Sections break at random points, there are boxes outlined in blue all over the place (some of which carry over from one page to another), and the font is small (which makes it hard to read on a smaller screen, and, on a page with only text, means the page looks a bit overwhelming). None of the figures appeared blurry on my screen, though I'd like to see the purple color used in the figures swapped for something easier to look at.