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Introductory Statistics: Analyzing Data with Purpose (ISAP)

A gateway introductory statistics course that emphasizes the need for data in decision making

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Course Overview

The Dana Center Mathematics Pathways (DCMP) Introductory Statistics: Analyzing Data with Purpose (ISAP) course is a college-level introductory statistics course organized around broad statistical concepts and intended to serve students pursuing careers in business, allied health, nursing, and the social and behavioral sciences.

The in-class activities, along with the accompanying homework, are openly available for use by any instructor.

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Statistics differs from mathematics in several ways. Statistics is inherently a data-based discipline that requires students to recognize variability in data and to take it into account to make decisions in a way that acknowledges and quantifies uncertainty. This introductory statistics course is grounded in data, with engaging contexts bringing meaning to the work. Students are asked to learn from data and communicate with data, with a focus on the investigative process that leads to data-based conclusions.

Throughout this course, students construct and test hypotheses, solve problems, reflect on their work, and make connections between concepts.

Students will use the DCMP Data Analysis Tools  to facilitate data analysis and exploration, and to support the development of understanding important concepts such as sampling variability.

This course can be taught using 3 or 4 contact hours per week.

Explore Introductory Statistics: Analyzing Data with Purpose Materials

Table of Contents

Learning Outcomes

This course develops essential conceptual understanding by supporting students in:

  • Learning good practice in study design
  • Presentation and interpretation of univariate data using both graphical and numerical methods
  • Probability
  • Discrete and continuous probability distributions
  • Linear regression
  • Statistical inference
  • Confidence intervals
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Inference for regression
  • Analysis of variance

In this course, statistical thinking is viewed as an investigative process that leads to data-based conclusions. This type of statistical thinking promotes student success in future courses, helps students gain skills for the workplace, and prepares them to become well-informed, engaged citizens.

Online Homework Platform

The Dana Center has partnered with Lumen Learning to provide faculty and students with an optional online homework platform. To learn more about using the Dana Center’s courses on Lumen Learning's Online Homework Manager (OHM), fill out this form.

Student Voice

As a Latina, I really connected with the lesson highlighting Justice Sotomayor and her joyful description of my culture.

– DCMP Introductory Statistics student in Arizona

Course Information and FAQ

Institutions can use these materials in many different ways to support student achievement in Introductory Statistics: Analyzing Data with Purpose. To meet your institution’s placement policies and serve your students at their preparation level, several implementation options are available.

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  • College Ready/Bubble Students

    College-ready and bubble students (those who place close to the cut-off for college-readiness) take the college-level Introductory Statistics: Analyzing Data with Purpose course. Research shows that students near the cut-off for being deemed college-ready are as likely to pass a college-level course with a B or higher as those who place directly into the college-level course. The preview assignments that are part of Introductory Statistics: Analyzing Data with Purpose are designed to refresh students in the foundational skills required to fully engage in each class meeting.

  • Unprepared Students Option 1

    Students who place in Elementary Algebra or above can take Introductory Statistics: Analyzing Data with Purpose paired with the DCMP QR corequisite support course.

    Introductory Statistics: Analyzing Data with Purpose + Corequisite Supports can be offered as either a co-mingled or a cohorted course.

    • Co-mingled: The ISAP parent course contains a mix of college-ready and underprepared students. The underprepared students meet for additional contact hours to complete the corequisite work.
    • Cohorted: Specific sections of ISAP meet for extended hours and are designated solely for underprepared students.

    In the corequisite course meetings, underprepared students work collaboratively on the foundational skills needed to engage in upcoming ISAP class meetings. This work prepares them to complete the ISAP preview assignments individually at home.


  • Unprepared Students Option 2

    Students who place below the Beginning Algebra level may still need two semesters to complete their college math requirement. We recommend one semester in the Foundations of Mathematical Reasoning course followed by a semester in the Introductory Statistics: Analyzing Data with Purpose course.

    Students in this model may or may not need the corequisite support course during the ISAP semester. Consider letting the students choose whether to enroll in the additional supports. Alternatively, the two courses can be compressed into one semester by meeting seven or eight hours per week.

  • Very Underprepared Students

    Students who place at the Arithmetic or Adult Basic Education level may need additional supports when taking the Foundations of Mathematical Reasoning course. We offer a paired DCMP Foundations of Mathematical Reasoning corequisite support course. We recommend seven contact hours with this model. In the second semester, successful students move on to Introductory Statistics: Analyzing Data with Purpose with paired DCMP corequisite course (recommended seven contact hours).

    While this model requires a significant number of contact hours, it reduces the number of semesters needed to reach and complete the college-level course, and provides increased supports in a just-in-time manner.

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