STATS96 - University of the Pacific - Projects -- Thursday handout

(List of resources and assignment for Saturday)

List of resources
  1. My handout from Sunday, including guidelines to students about a write-up.
  2. Beth's handout posted, including her (more extensive) guidelines to students about a write-up. (This is also on the Web about halfway through the file at
  3. Robin's handout with description of how he does projects.
  4. Roberts' article. This book was sent to you. There's a copy on the table. Roberts, H. (1992) "Student-Conducted Projects in Introductory Statistics Courses", in Statistics for the Twenty-first Century, MAA Notes, no. 26.
  5. Ledolter's article from The American Statistician. (A few copies are on the table) Ledolter, J. (1995) "Projects in Introductory Statistics Courses" The American Statistician, Volume 49, Number 4, p. 364-367.
  6. Articles in JSE. There are many. Two are listed here. ( Mackisack, M. (1994) "What is the Use of Experiments Conducted by Statistics Students?" JSE, Volume 2, Number 1. Fillebrown, S. (1994) "Using Projects in an Elementary Statistics Course for Non-Science Majors" JSE, Volume 2, Number 2.
  7. Appendices in Spurrier, Edwards, and Thombs' Elementary Statistics Laboratory Manual on "Technical Report Writing", p. 305-320.
  8. Info from the Chance Web resources, including various guidelines for projects.

Shorter projects and activities

The two books we gave you on Sunday by Scheaffer, et. al. and Rossman are filled with good ideas. The lab manuals on the table: the Spurrier, et. al. book, and the locally produced lab manuals from UOP and Carleton, also have many good ideas. Beth's presentation Thursday afternoon is on activities.

Assignment for Saturday

On Saturday, we have 30 minutes per group for your presentations. My suggestion is that your project presentation take no more than 10 minutes and then you plan 15 minutes of presentation/discussion about projects and activities. Beth will be collecting material for duplication at three times: Friday night before dinner, Saturday before lunch, and Saturday night after the last presentation. Get your material for transparencies (up to five) and anything you want to hand out with your presentation to her by Saturday at lunch.

Written project report: Read at least Beth's and my descriptions of how to do these and any other descriptions you can find. Then discuss among yourselves what you think a report of a project like this one should look like and do that. Make it attractive and useful, but don't make it longer than is necessary. We will copy all of these for everyone in the workshop. Include in it the one page of your project proposal as an appendix. (Also, please turn in the peer review feedback. I want to read them to get an idea of how that went. I won't be handing out these evaluations of your work to everyone, of course. Each of you has already read three or four of these.)

Project presentation: I can think of two different styles for a presentation. One is to tell the students to present it as if they are presenting it to their supervisor who authorized the study, so , presumably, she is most interested in their conclusions -- what they are, how confident, and how applicable. The other is to present it to other people interested in statistics who are as interested in the statistical issues that you found and how you dealt with them as in the answer to the original question. At this particular workshop, we are interested in the latter type of presentation. In particular, we focused quite a lot on the formulation of the question, definition of the variables, and data collection issues. How and why did you change any of these as you did the project? Think about what you would like to hear in a presentation from your students and how you would describe it to them. Do some blend of that and what you think I'm asking for. (Part of the point here is for your group to discuss what a presentation should include.)

Presentation/discussion about projects and activities: This can take on a variety of forms. Here are some ideas, more or less in order of my preference. Do only one of these ideas. Remember to stick strictly to the time limits!! That's surprisingly hard. All of those other ideas you have -- send out e-mail messages over the next month. That will help us all continue our conversations.

  1. Presentation of activities or projects that members of your group have been using in class. This could take the form of having us do an activity, or an annotated list of these. (We'll duplicate lists and possibly other stuff. Maybe some of you could send out some of your material electronically when you go home.)
  2. Presentation of your group's ideas about how you plan to use projects/activities in class. Which of the ideas you have heard seem realistic to you and why? This could include a discussion of problems you see and asking the group for suggestions.
  3. Discussion of your group's ideas about what kinds of written instructions and support materials you should give your students when assigning a project like the one we did. Should they be extensive or short? Have lots of examples or fewer examples? Fairly directive or more open-ended?
  4. Presentation of some interesting activity or project that none of the presenters has already talked about. (Look in any of the books.)