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Activity Number: 502 - Learning Beyond the Introductory Statistics Classroom
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Thursday, August 6, 2020 : 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics and Data Science Education
Abstract #313142
Title: The Great P-Value Debate
Author(s): Jennifer Broatch*
Companies: Arizona State University
Keywords: Active learning; classroom activity ; p-value

We, as statistics and data science educators/researchers, are familiar with the debate surrounding the p-value, yet our students are not. This speed session will present a simple, yet powerful activity that familiarizes students with current research as well as facilitates the students’ understanding of p-values themselves. In this activity, students engage in the “Great P-value Debate;” they are presented with initial results from a scientific experiment and must argue “for” or “against” a definitive conclusion based on a marginal p-value. Students acquaint themselves with current literature, such as the Nature article, the ASA Statement on P-values, and popular articles and videos presented by 538. Students pick a “side” to argue and in a debate-style format they must convince a real scientist (my colleague) of an appropriate conclusion. Students were also asked to submit a written one-page argument. Without any prior class discussions, students discussed replication and p-hacking, to name a few concepts. Student feedback from the activity was overwhelmingly positive, and student understanding of p-values was improved from previous years.

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

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