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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 508
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract - #304079
Title: Organizing a Statistics Study Abroad Course
Author(s): Justin Fisher*+
Companies: U.S. Government Accountability Office
Address: 441 G Street, Washington, DC, 20548, United States
Keywords: study abroad ; teaching statistics ; practicum

There have been efforts to make statistics more interactive and collaborative by bringing real life examples into the classroom, but rarely do we think about taking students out of the classroom and into the field. Although study abroad programs have traditionally focused on arts and humanities, students of statistics would be well-served to gain hands-on experience in foreign settings. Survey research is a natural fit and, with a growing literature on translation, cognitive review of questions, and a theory of sources of error which is contextual, students can experience statistics in a real life setting. Students from The George Washington University designed a survey and collected data about sustainable tourism in Peru as part of a course entitled Survey Methods in the Developing World. Upon their return to the US, they analyzed the data and wrote a report for a client and documented their process.

How should a statistics study abroad be structured? How do professors find meaningful projects for which data needs to be collected and analyzed? What are the challenges to setting up such a program? How can this be replicated at other universities?

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