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Guessing Correlations

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Guessing Correlations

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Demonstrates Correlation Coefficients in Statistics.
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Material Type: Simulation
Technical Format: Website, Java Applet
CAUTION: Java Applets may not run on all browsers
Date Added to MERLOT: May 27, 1997
Date Modified in MERLOT: February 07, 2018
Submitter: Ric Stewart


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Primary Audience: College General Ed
Mobile Platforms: Not specified at this time
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessibility Information Available: no
Creative Commons: unsure


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Discussion for Guessing Correlations

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Avatar for Beverly Wood
3 years ago

Beverly Wood (Faculty)

I don't always have time to use this in class at the end of Intro Stats but when I do (or sometimes when I assign it as homework) there are always students who LOVE it. The visual impact of seeing a variety of correlations coefficients in the side-by-side scatter plots is perfect for some students.

Used in course

Avatar for Robert Lockwood
5 years ago

Robert Lockwood (Faculty)

This is an easy to use and fun applet to help students visualize the pattern of a correlation between two variables. I think students will like the ability to compete against the world. This certainly could be incorporated into an online lecture to reinforce the concept around the strength and direction of a correlation.

Time spent reviewing site: 20 minutes

Avatar for Megan Mocko
5 years ago

Megan Mocko (Faculty)

This is one of my favorite applets to use in class. I use this in the middle of the lecture, to break up the lecture a little. I have the students guess the values of coorelation as a group. They always find it fun to play a game in the middle of class!

Used in course

Avatar for Dorothy Fuller
5 years ago

Dorothy Fuller (Faculty)

This tool has become a favorite in my Introduction to Educational Research course. Many of my students have complained that they find scatter plots confusing or even incomprehensible. When they use this tool, they normally compete with themselves, and many have reported not only their enjoyment, but also their increased understanding and decreased apprehension with this statistical application. It is definitely a winner.

Used in course

Avatar for Karen Nielsen
5 years ago

Karen Nielsen (Student)

Very straight-forward and simple. The option of having students compete against each other is a nice touch, but instructors will need to set up their own group id via email in advance.

Technical Remarks:

As another reviewer pointed out - sometimes two correlations are very similar (such as .86 and .87). I think this could get frustrating for students.

It would also be nice if a group id could be generated automatically instead of by emailing the material's creator.

Avatar for Michael Ernst
8 years ago

Michael Ernst (Faculty)

This is a great, simple tool to help students start to make the connection between the numerical value of a correlation and the picture in a scatterplot. I like the suggestion in one of the peer reviews of also varying the sample size.
Used in course

Avatar for Camille Fairbourn
8 years ago

Camille Fairbourn (Faculty)

This applet is a great way for students to practice identifying correlations visually. I incorporated it into an assignment where students had to "play" the game until they guessed 20 correctly. You can also set up your own competition among your students to see who can get the most correct in a row--it's very motivating!

Technical Remarks:

Sometimes the correlations between two or more plots are not distinguishable by eye: 0.25 is not much different from 0.27 and in those cases it can be frustrating to guess wrong. Otherwise it's great.
Time spent reviewing site: 6 months
Used in course

Avatar for Jay Holden
8 years ago

Jay Holden (Staff)

One of my students brought this correlations quiz to my attention. I used it in the classroom and had students pick their answers before reviewing the correct answers and the reasons for these answers. From now on I will attempt to use this in my teaching of statistics in psychology. My student's direct words on this L.O. were: "One concept I had trouble with in psychology was correlation. At first I was confused because the correlation can either be positive or negative; however, the sign does not represent strength. The sign just represents whether the correlation is inversely proportional or directly proportional. Also a correlation of -1 is stronger than a correlation of -.5. Normally a person would think -.5 is higher. This L.O. is a good tool because it gives the learner a visual. It is easier to picture the correlation by seeing a scatterplot. When the dots are closer together you know it is a correlation close to 1. If it is increasing it is positive and if it is decreasing it is negative. By looking at the different scatterplots and trying to guess the correlation the learner is able to grasp this concept better. The learner will be able to figure out which correlations are stronger much faster after using this L.O."
Time spent reviewing site: 1 hour
Used in course

Avatar for Tatiana Sviridovsky
15 years ago

Tatiana Sviridovsky (Faculty)

I love it!

Avatar for Susan Kistler
18 years ago

Susan Kistler

Great practice with awkward interface. This applet appears outstanding at offering students practice in estimating correlations from scatterplots. A number of my own students tried it and found it to help in an area in which they were not confident of their own abilities. The challenge of its use is in working with the interface. It is difficult to get all of the parts of the applet that you need on the screen at once. We found it easier to use in Netscape if you used the ""options"" to remove the toolbar, location, and directory buttons from view while using the applet and then scrolling down slightly so that the four graphs and four multiple choice options were all visible at once.

Avatar for Dale Mead
19 years ago

Dale Mead (Student)

Great way to make correlations visually clear; lots of fun. I didn't have as much trouble seeing the whole applet, probably because I have a 17"" screen. Is it possible to use true radio buttons - i.e., only one can be selected at a time on a line? When I changed my ""vote"" by clicking a second button on a row, the first remained selected. Even clicking again on the first choice didn't toggle it off. I had to start over to clear the multiple choices. But I plan to spend more time with this; it sharpens my eye for correlations.