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Activity Number: 476 - Teaching Introductory Statistics
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 2, 2017 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract #324688 View Presentation
Title: Writing Assignments for Statistics
Author(s): Brad Luen*
Keywords: introductory statistics ; writing ; statistical literacy ; statistical thinking ; assessment

Working through textbook calculations, no matter how well-designed, is of limited relevance to the ways that most students will need to understand statistics in their future careers and lives. Writing assignments centered around statistical ideas introduce students to habits of empirical thinking, a crucial skill set for modern citizenship as well as for quantitative and qualitative research. However, constructing assignments that allow inexperienced students to apply a concept meaningfully rather than slinging jargon or using a rote-learned tool requires considerable care at the design stage. I present examples of writing assignments I have used over several years of teaching undergraduate journalism students, and analyze features that have made them more or less successful at forcing students to grapple with the issues that statisticians would want them to keep in mind. I discuss strategies and resources that will enable statistics writing assignments to be used in a wider range of institutions and courses.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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