Are you new to statistics instruction and interested in creating a student-centered learning environment?
Are you a veteran statistics instructor looking to update your teaching practice?
Are you designing a corequisite support course to accompany the introductory statistics course?
Are you looking for a support group of peers and other statistics education leaders? Are you willing to try out new classroom techniques?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we invite you to participate in FOCI Series 7.
This FOCI series is designed for higher education mathematics and statistics faculty members or those who support students in statistics classes, such as corequisite instructors and tutors.
Series 7: Strengthening Conceptual Understanding in Introductory Statistics
Incorporating active and inclusive teaching and learning strategies (for in-person or virtual settings)
In this series of six sessions, participants examine strategies for engaging students with the foundational concepts of a modern introductory statistics course, and explore equity-minded strategies that deepen students’ conceptual understanding. This series is appropriate for instructors of in-person and virtual classes as well as for those designing statistics corequisite support courses.
No previous knowledge is required! This series will provide an introduction to active and inclusive pedagogies within the context of foundational statistics concepts. In each 2-hour session, we will use authentic situations to explore, struggle with, and make sense of pedagogical and content challenges. Prior to each session, you are expected to do a limited amount of preparation work, often a short reading, video viewing, document analysis, and/or personal reflection. After each session, you commit to trying a technique or approach we discussed during the session.
Session 1: Guiding Student Thinking about Implications of Data Collection
- Establish a safe, supportive, participant-centered learning environment for the cohort and set goals for participation and growth.
- Explore types of statistical studies.
- Engage in activities that illustrate various types of biases and potential confounding variables in the context of a statistical study.
- Consider how to develop understanding of the relationship between study design and the types of conclusions that are appropriate.
Session 2: Developing Student Understanding of Sampling Variability
- Use simulation to explore sampling variability.
- Consider ways to motivate understanding of sampling distributions and how a sampling distribution provides information about the long-run behavior of a sample statistic.
- Reflect on ways to develop conceptual understanding of statistical inference.
Session 3: Fostering Understanding of Statistical Significance and Practical Significance
- See how an activity can be used to develop a conceptual understanding of hypothesis testing and p-values.
- Engage in an activity that develops understanding of “statistically significantly different.”
- Explore the meaning of statistical significance and of practical significance, and understand the difference between them.
Session 4: Building a Foundation for Selecting Appropriate Data Analysis Methods and Graphical Displays
- Consider how an understanding of basic statistical terms, including population, parameter, sample, statistics, and variable types, provides a foundation for data analysis methods.
- Engage in activities that allow students to focus on selecting methods of analysis appropriate for a given research question.
- Explore how understanding of variable types in a dataset equips students for choosing suitable graphical displays.
Session 5: Providing Experience with Describing Relationships and Building Linear Prediction Models
- Experience activities that use applets to develop an understanding of correlation and least squares regression.
- Build linear regression models and assess their usefulness for making predictions.
- Explore the difference between a statistical relationship and a cause-and-effect relationship.
Session 6: Developing Conceptual Understanding of Probability and Addressing Probability Misconceptions
- Consider ways to help students develop the ability to communicate effectively using probabilities.
- Explore common student probability misconceptions and discuss ways to address them.
- Plan for next steps.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE COST TO PARTICIPATE IN FOCI?
FOCI costs $600 per person to participate.
Teams of 3 or more from the same institution will receive a $100 discount ($500 per person). To receive the discount, please register all members of your team at once and as soon as possible. Cohorts are filling quickly.
Institutions, systems, or states may also reserve entire cohorts. Complete the form above for more information.
Do I need any previous knowledge of statistics instruction?
Although prior knowledge is helpful, the strategies that will be explored to deepen students’ conceptual understanding will also support those new to statistics instruction or to statistics corequisite support courses.
WHAT IS MY COMMITMENT?
Actively participating in the full series of 6 sessions (12 total hours)
Each session is 2 hours long. During each session we will use authentic situations to explore, struggle with, and make sense of pedagogical and content challenges. Session delivery uses the video and audio features of Zoom. This technology enables us to converse “face-to-face” in real time, in large and small groups, without the expense and hassle of traveling to a central location.
Preparing for each session and trying new ideas in your own classroom after each session
Prior to each session, you are expected to do a limited amount of preparation work, often a short reading, video viewing, document analysis, and/or personal reflection. After each session, you commit to trying a technique or approach we discussed during the session.
Contributing to the large and small group discussions; supporting your peers
Contribute in the large and small group discussions, bringing your own perspectives and prior experiences into the conversations. Collegially engage in conversations and application activities focused on deepening student understanding through effective student discourse and collaboration.
WHAT SUPPORT WILL I GET FROM THE DANA CENTER?
You will receive high quality, well-researched, and thoughtful materials for the entire series. All session materials – readings, reflections, handouts, and slide decks - will be provided. You will also have access to recordings of the sessions so that you can review the content on your own.
Support from trained facilitators
Dana Center curriculum and professional learning specialists will lead the sessions. These individuals are available to answer questions and provide support during and between the sessions. They can address content and application questions as well as technology issues (e.g. the video conferencing platform).
Certificate of completion
You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the series that may be submitted with tenure or promotional materials for your department. The topics and number of hours of professional learning you completed will be listed on the certificate.
I TEACH EXCLUSIVELY ONLINE. IS THIS SERIES FOR ME?
Yes! This series will address in-person, completely online, and hybrid instruction. Strategies for adjusting activities will be explored.