Isolated Statisticians Meeting Minutes
7:00 pm, Sunday, August 6;
Moderator Ann Cannon welcomed the group and had everyone introduce themselves. There were 35 people in attendance.
Joy Jordan, the author of the isostat website, described what information is currently on the website, and she asked for suggestions of additional information to be posted.
It would be helpful to have summaries from the isostat listserv discussions (based on a posed question) posted to the website. In general, people should send summaries of suggestions after the listserv
It would be nice to have more pictures on the site, so it seems more welcoming.
It would be helpful to have a list
Would it be helpful to send the chairs of graduate program an email about the isostat group? Or could something be posted along with the job postings each year (getting new Ph.D.s to think about a liberal arts college)? There is a meeting of department chairs at the JSM, and perhaps an announcement could be made at this meeting.
Should information about mentoring program be on the website?
Also, the JSM session on “Nuts and Bolts of Assessment” link should be added.
Should we continue with big group discussion, or might it be good to have small group discussions? Are there some topics that some people are more interested in or not interested in? Perhaps the big discussions can happen first, and then breakouts sessions can occur at dinner or drinks.
Jean wondered what topics should be covered (e.g., binomial distribution or not?), and what textbooks do people use.
Minitab – two-thirds
JMP, SAS, DataDesk – very small number
R – a few more
Excel – no one
Why? Minitab isn’t out on the Mac platform. Students can’t get data into the calculators. Choose the tool that is most appropriate. People have had success with showing students computer skills in class and expect them to do things outside the classroom. (Jean doesn’t have the capability to use computers.) What about on exams? Cut back on calculations. Does this mean assignments are different from tests? Could ask conceptual questions on homework; could do take-home tests. Decrease the amount of time students spend on calculations – more time about the concepts. Carolyn Cuff can send Jean tests. Jerry, Jean’s new mentor, will show him his tests.
How many people give take-home exams? Is there cheating? You can give everyone a slightly different data set. Would it be helpful to create a survey for our group to see the practices of each other in the introductory statistics class?
Marj will do a survey next year of her client departments at Monmouth. She will share results of the survey.
Would it be helpful for people in isostat to share syllabi and questions on the website? Will this really be useful – questions perhaps not an instructor’s style or to overwhelming. Perhaps it’s the discussions that would be more helpful. When, say putting together a new course, it would be helpful to have a sense of topics, textbooks, etc. Joy will post to the isostat listserv to put a call out for intro stats syllabi (algebra-based). Then these can be posted to the website.
This might be a good question for
the survey. Tom Moore and Julie Legler did a survey of liberal arts colleges.
(This should be posted to website, as well as the article by
ARTIST, Moodle, etc. – how have
people used these and to what success?
Delicacy of sending students back
to their client disciplines when they’ve been assigned a statistics problem.
Research areas in other disciplines are getting more sophisticated. If students
do senior projects where they must understand this work, then students must
have some support (the world of statistics doesn’t end with introductory
students). After the first course, students should know it’s okay and expected
that they’ll need to consult a statistician when needed. It’s sometimes a
challenge to find the time to work with these students. One possibility is to
meet with both the student and the faculty member (and the student must be
prepared to run the meeting).
At a small school, there may not be enough students to study – it may be helpful to merge with other schools. Ann suggested that this question should be posed to the listserv.
Only a small percentage of people at the meeting have complete control over stats offerings. There was a suggestion to tread lightly and form alliances (have a friendly conversation with others teaching stats). Common course at Grinnell, which statisticians make suggestions about (taught by many departments). Long-term solution is to gradually take back the courses (since some people are teaching these that don’t want to) – this depends on the size of the institution.
Chapters of the ASA can now process Mu Sigma Rho student nominees (Nick gave a handout) – most of the schools don’t have their own MSR chapters. There is information on the website.
John announced that the
· Paul Roback asks for help: 10:30 session tomorrow needs a chairperson (chair couldn’t make it for family reasons) – Kate said she’d do it.
· Section on Statistical Education business meeting is at 5:30 on Wednesday – everyone is welcome, even if you’re not yet a member of the section.