ASA Stat. Ed. Section Newsletter - V13 N1

Newsletter of the Section on Statistical Education of the American Statistical Association


Contents of Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008):
  • Report from the Chair
  • Editors
  • Mark Your Calendar
  • Report from the 2008 Program Chair
  • Lunch and Coffee Roundtables for JSM 2008
  • CAUSE Webinars
  • CATALST Group Invites Visitors and Sabbatical Scholars
  • New Editor for Teaching Statistics and Opportunities for Involvement
  • AP Statistics Update
  • International Statistical Literacy Project of the International Association for Statistical Education
  • 2009 Best Cooperative Project Award in Statistical Literacy: Call for Nominations
  • The 2nd International CensusAtSchool Workshop
  • STATCOM Network Engages Growing Number of Student Volunteers
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    Report from the Chair

    Linda Young
    University of Florida

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    Thank you for the honor of serving as Section Chair for 2008. We have enthusiastic members who are ready to participate in all areas of statistical education. Some of these completed their terms on the Executive Committee in December 2007. They are 2006 Section Chair Chris Franklin, 2007 Program Chair Patti Collings, Publications Officer Sterling Hilton, and at-large members Julie Legler and Ginger Holmes Rowell. They have each helped ensure the continued vitality of the Section. Please join me in thanking each of them for their service. Other members are just beginning their service on the Executive Committee. Please join me in welcoming Section Chair-Elect Robert C. DelMas, 2009 Program Chair Peter H. Westfall, Publications Officer E. Jacquelin Dietz, Council of Sections Representative Ann R. Cannon, and at-large members Kim Gilbert and Carmen O. Acuna. One of the wonderful aspects of our Section is that there are many other active volunteers whose names do not appear here but who spend countless hours furthering statistical education at all levels, across the globe. Thank you so much for your hard work.

    As you know, ASA has been in the process of developing a new strategic plan. One of the eight theme areas is statistical education. Each year our Section and its members are offered numerous opportunities to become involved in all kinds of exciting statistical education projects. As we were discussing some of these at JSM in Salt Lake City, it became evident that the Section would benefit from conducting a strategic planning process. Jessica Utts, Past Section Chair, was part of the ad hoc committee that participated in the ASA planning, and she found it very effective. For the ASA strategic plan, a facilitator was used for a one full day in-person meeting. She directed the committee members in a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and then helped them reorganize all these into strategic issues for ASA, such as Membership, Journals, Visibility, etc. Based on Jessica's experience, we have decided to follow a similar process. First, a small group of about six people, representing the diverse areas of statistical education, will meet with a facilitator for a SWOT analysis and to organize these into strategic issues. Members of the section's Executive Committee will then join the smaller group to discuss the results and begin formalizing a strategic plan. To minimize costs, both of these initial meetings will be held prior to JSM. We will be providing full information on the exact status of the planning process during JSM. All members will have an opportunity to review and comment on the strategic plan before it is finalized. To help cover the costs of strategic planning, we submitted a member initiative proposal and were awarded $3000. Section funds will be used to defray additional expenses.

    Of course, we do not want to get so caught up in planning that we fail to do anything this year. Our common goal is to provide improved statistical education for students at all levels. If you have ideas about how we can more effectively facilitate that, please become more involved in Section activities and share your ideas. I encourage you to become involved in one or more of the exciting activities that are mentioned elsewhere in the newsletter. You may also e-mail me (LJYoung@ufl.edu).

    I am looking forward to a productive year as Chair of the Statistical Education Section!

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    EDITORS

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    Comments and suggestions for the improvement of the newsletter are most welcome, and should be sent to a member of the editorial board.

    Joan Garfield
    Department of Educational Psychology
    University of Minnesota
    332 Burton Hall
    128 Pillsbury Dr., S.E.
    Minneapolis MN 55455
    (612) 625-0337
    Fax: (612) 624-8241
    jbg@umn.edu

    E. Jacquelin Dietz
    Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
    Meredith College
    3800 Hillsborough Street
    Raleigh, NC 27607-5298
    (919) 760-8234
    Fax: (919) 760-8141
    dietzjac@meredith.edu

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    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    August 3-7, 2008
    Joint Statistical Meetings
    Denver, CO, USA
    http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2008/index.cfm

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    Report from the 2008 Program Chair

    Jackie Miller, The Ohio State University

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    JSM 2008 in Denver is shaping up to be exciting for the Section on Statistical Education. We have 5 invited sessions:

    1. Innovative and Controversial Approaches to Student Assessment
    2. Pedagogical Issues in an Introductory Statistics Course
    3. Stirring the Pot: Radical Ideas in Statistics Education
    4. Teaching Introductory Statistics Online
    5. Training TAs to Teach in Graduate School and Beyond
    We were allotted 4 invited sessions based on the size of our Section, and "Stirring the Pot" won a slot through the invited session competition.

    In addition, we have 12 topic-contributed sessions:

    1. An Overview of K-16 Poster and Project Competitions
    2. Best Practices in Statistics Training: Lessons Learned from VIGRE Programs
    3. Challenges and Opportunities for Using R and Other Software in Introductory and Intermediate Probability and Statistics
    4. Clickers in the Statistics Classroom
    5. Collaborative Projects in Statistics Education Research
    6. Getting It Real: Group Projects and Critical Thinking
    7. NSF Programs Supporting Statistics Education and Strategies for Becoming a Successful Investigator
    8. Research Using the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics (SATS)
    9. Spanning the Globe: The Intro Stats Course as a Gateway to the Rest of the World
    10. Statistical Literacy 2008
    11. Teaching Ethics in the Statistics Class
    12. Teaching Through Service Learning (SL) – Getting Statistics OUT of the Classroom While Enhancing Learning

    We have about 50 contributed papers as well as several invited posters and many topic-contributed and regular contributed posters that you will be able to visit during JSM 2008 (over 20 posters total). This is not to mention the full slate of coffee and luncheon roundtables that Peter Westfall has organized in his role as 2009 Program Chair.

    If you count up the number of possible session slots (2 on each of Sunday and Thursday and 4 on each of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday), there are 16 session slots. Between our invited and topic-contributed sessions alone, we have 17 sessions. With our contributed paper sessions, we should have about 24 sessions that will be available to choose from throughout JSM for which the Section on Statistical Education is the primary sponsor. We will also be co-sponsoring several other sessions throughout JSM. Wow!

    This has all been made possible by the members of our Section who have been willing to step forward to organize a session or to contribute a paper or poster to the program. Many people have also volunteered to chair sessions, which is much appreciated. With so many sessions, I definitely needed people who were willing to chair sessions!

    By the time you read this update on JSM, all of the sessions will have been organized. However, as I write this, I am waiting for the last submissions to come in before the deadline – itís now 11:19 ET on February 4, and submissions close at midnight. As I wait for these last submissions to come in, I am proud of what we as a Section have come together to do. The program for the Section on Statistical Education at JSM 2008 in Denver is going to be fantastic! Thank you all for your help, support, and contributions to this excellent program.

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    Lunch and Coffee Roundtables for JSM 2008

    Peter Westfall, Texas Tech University

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    The Stat Ed Section will sponsor an excellent set of coffee and luncheon roundtables at this year's JSM in Denver, August 4, 5, and 6. Space is limited, so make a note to sign up early. There will be one coffee roundtable and three luncheon roundtables on each of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Topics include assessment, outreach, computing, biometrics, quantitative literacy, non-statisticians teaching statistics, barriers to learning, student evaluations, distance ed, active learning, myths and fallacies, and multivariate thinking. There is an excellent line-up of presenters including Bernie Harris, Cynthia Gargano, Deborah Nolan, Dexter Whittinghill, John Bailer, Mark Berenson, Milo Schield, Monnie McGee, Patricia Rutledge, Patti Collings, Paul Fields, and Sue B. Schou. Consider attending multiple roundtables, but again, space is limited, so sign up early.

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    CAUSE Webinars

    Dennis Pearl, The Ohio State University

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    The Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education offers a monthly series of half-hour webinars (seminars on the web) hosted by Jackie Miller from Ohio State University. CAUSE webinars are free, but participants must pre-register at http://www.CAUSEweb.org/webinar/. You can also view and listen to past webinars at this website. Here is a synopsis of upcoming events in the series (all times are Eastern time zone):

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    CATALST Group Invites Visitors and Sabbatical Scholars

    Joan Garfield, University of Minnesota

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    We are pleased to announce the establishment of the CATALST group in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. CATALST stands for Change Agents for Teaching And Learning STatistics. We are conducting statistics education research studies, developing and evaluating new curriculum, hosting seminars and outside speakers, and more. We welcome visiting scholars to come and share their work with us and form new collaborations. If you have a sabbatical coming up and would like to spend some time with us, please let us know. We also have teaching opportunities to supplement sabbatical support.

    Please check out our website at http://www.tc.umn.edu/~delma001/CATALST.

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    New Editor for Teaching Statistics and Opportunities for Involvement

    Roger Johnson, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    Gerald Goodall, editor of the journal Teaching Statistics over the last ten years, has decided to step down from this role. Gerald has, in fact, the distinction of being the longest serving editor of the journal; his predecessors, in chronological order, being Peter Holmes, David Green, and Neville Hunt. It is now my privilege, pleasure, and responsibility to serve the journal in this capacity.

    The articles in Teaching Statistics are directed toward teachers of students ages roughly 9 - 19 and are generally no longer than four journal pages in length (about 2,500 words). The journal seeks to support not only specialist statistics teachers but also those in other disciplines who make widespread use of statistics in their teaching. Teaching Statistics seeks to inform, enlighten, stimulate, correct, entertain and encourage. Contributions should be light and readable with formal mathematics being kept to a minimum.

    The Teaching Statistics homepage is available at http://www.rsscse.org.uk/ts/. All of the articles that have been published in Teaching Statistics (this goes back to 1979) are available electronically through the Blackwell Synergy site at http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/test. A number of articles at this site, including the first issue of 2008 and the award-winning C. Oswald George articles, are available for download without charge. Furthermore, you may sign up for email alerts of, for example, the tables of contents of issues of Teaching Statistics at this Blackwell Synergy site. Teaching Statistics is published by Blackwell Publishing, now part of Wiley.

    Please feel free to contact me at Roger.Johnson@sdsmt.edu if you would like to have material considered for publication in the journal or would enjoy serving as a referee.

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    AP Statistics Update

    Christine Franklin, University of Georgia

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    The 2008 AP Statistics Reading is quickly approaching. The reading will be held in Louisville, KY, June 5-11. We are expecting approximately 110,000 exams and planning for a total of 540 readers. Numerous evening activities are planned for the reading: The opening party, new reader (the acorns) gathering, College Board night, Best Practices night, Stats Papers night, and the closing party. A very special evening at the reading is the Professional Night. This yearís speaker will be Dan Teague from the North Carolina School of Science and Math. Dan is a former AP Statistics Test Development Committee member and is presently serving as Vice-President of the Mathematics Association of America (MAA).

    If you are a new reader, Jason Molesky has set up a website with very useful information about the reading experience (itís also a great website for experienced readers). The web link is: http://web.mac.com/statsmonkey/APStats_at_LSHS/AP_Reading_FAQ.html

    If you havenít signed up to be a reader and are interested, go to the AP Central website and use the online application link to submit your application. If you applied in recent months and havenít received an invitation for 2008, know that you will likely receive an invitation for the 2009 reading.

    Iím looking forward to June in Louisville.

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    International Statistical Literacy Project of the International Association for Statistical Education

    Juana Sanchez, UCLA

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    Please remember that the deadline in the northern hemisphere for teachers to register on behalf of their students for the International Statistical Literacy Competition is March 30, 2008. To register, please go to the competition website at http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/islp/competition, select the language of your choice, and complete the registration form. For those of you with English as the language of choice for the competition, there are already some training materials prepared by the ISLP and links to other materials for training at http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/islp/competition-english. The first training package and appendix contain basic concepts to be expected to appear in the question of the competition. Training package 3 will contain questions similar to those that will appear in the competition.

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    2009 Best Cooperative Project Award in Statistical Literacy: Call for Nominations

    Juana Sanchez, UCLA

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    The International Statistical Literacy Project of the International Association for Statistics Education (ISLP/IASE), a section of ISI, is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2009 Best Cooperative Project Award in Statistical Literacy. The 2007 Award went to Project ALEA of Statistics Portugal (http://www.alea.pt).

    This award is given every two years in recognition of outstanding, innovative, and influential statistical literacy projects that affect a broad segment of the general public and are fruit of the cooperation of different types of institutions (national statistical office and schools, schools and statistical societies, statistical societies and statistical offices, statistical societies, colleges, schools, etc.). A project making a good candidate for this award should have the following characteristics:

    1. It is currently alive and has potential to remain so in the future; that is, the project is currently being maintained. Projects that stopped being maintained in the past should not apply.
    2. Access to the project resources and membership in the project is free to all.
    3. It educates on concepts of statistical theory and data analysis, their use in the development of information about countries and societies, and their application in a broad spectrum of disciplines and areas of society, with concern towards modern data handling, experimentation, and graphical methods.
    4. It has contents that are pedagogically sound for a general audience (adults and young, media and statisticians, teachers and students, social and natural sciences).
    5. It involves two or more institutions that would usually not work in cooperation. Examples are projects that involve the cooperation between a National Statistical Office, a school and a government education office, like the ALEA project, winner of the 2007 award. Other examples are cooperation among universities and schools, or schools and statistical societies or media experts, statistical societies, national statistical offices, schools, and combinations thereof.
    6. It is attractive to a wide audience; i.e., it has a "fun" appeal to it, invites viewers to enter and learn, read and use the project on a daily basis as a source of knowledge and information. Some characteristics that make it such are color, variety, easy-to-find material, dynamism, currency, sound pedagogy, contemporary subject matter, and interactivity.
    7. It has archives that are widely available. For example, if there is a contest regularly run, past winners should be known. If current events have been interpreted statistically in the past, those interpretations should be easy to access.
    8. It has international outreach and makes creative use of available resources. For example, a web page in English would help the dissemination of the resources to many countries.

    To nominate a project, interested parties must submit a nomination letter and/or questions to Juana Sanchez, Director of the ISLP (jsanchez@stat.ucla.edu), no later than February 28, 2009. In your letter, please explain how the project nominated satisfies all the characteristics described above. If the project does not have a web page, the ISLP reserves the right to request additional information. Projects will be evaluated by a panel of international statistical literacy experts selected by the ISLP during the Spring of 2009. The winner and finalists will be announced during the ISLP open meeting at the ISI Meeting in Durban, South Africa, August 2009. The web site of the contest is http://www.stat.auckland.ac.nz/~iase/islp/bestproject.

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    The 2nd International CensusAtSchool Workshop

    Juana Sanchez, UCLA

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    The 2nd International CensusAtSchool Workshop will take place at UCLA, Los Angeles, during July 28-29, 2008. This workshop is appropriate for school teachers, statistics educators, government statisticians, education leaders and anybody interested in data handling and chance at the school level and beyond. Representatives from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will provide overviews of how they conduct the CensusAtSchool projects in their countries, as well as hands on demonstrations of the activities prepared for the teachers and the students. Leaders of statistics education in the United States will open the workshop and will also present information about projects conducted in the United States to increase statistical literacy. This will probably be the only time that all five CensusAtSchool countries will gather in the US for a meeting like this. The website where you can find the flyer, the program and registration form can be found at http://censusatschool-california.stat.ucla.edu/. The registration deadline is May 31, 2008.

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    STATCOM Network Engages Growing Number of Student Volunteers

    Andrea Rau, STATCOM Network Outreach Coordinator, Purdue University

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 2008)


    STATCOM (Statistics in the Community) is a student-run organization that provides pro bono statistical consulting services to local government and nonprofit organizations. Originally established in 2001 by a statistics doctoral student at Purdue University, Nels Grevstad, STATCOM has continually grown each year to meet the demand for statistical consulting on a local level. Since 2005, STATCOM has expanded from a single organization at Purdue University to a network of eight individual STATCOMs at universities both in this country and abroad, and this number continues to grow each year. Today, the STATCOM Network is made up of the following programs:

    In addition to the projects taken on by individual STATCOM organizations within the network, there have been several exciting network-wide developments in the past year. At the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in August of 2007, the STATCOM Network Business Meeting provided a forum for representatives from each STATCOM to meet one another and discuss voting points, including the STATCOM Network mission and vision statements as well as the continued development of the STATCOM Network framework.

    In 2007, the continuing expansion of the STATCOM Network led to the creation of the position of STATCOM Network Outreach Coordinator. The responsibilities of this coordinator include maintaining communication among STATCOM Network members, generating interest in STATCOM at new universities, and writing the semi-annual STATCOM Network Newsletter. As new STATCOM members within the network become established, this position will rotate from one university to the next, allowing students throughout the network to benefit from taking on leadership roles.

    Finally, the first STATCOM Network Newsletter recently became available in January 2008, and can be found at the STATCOM Network page of the American Statistical Association (ASA) webpage, found at http://www.amstat.org/education/statcom/Newsletters.htm. This newsletter is an excellent means of communication, not only for members within the STATCOM Network, but also for the general public interested in pro bono community work. It features information about the wide-ranging and exciting projects taken on over the past semester by members of the STATCOM Network, including work with a local cancer support group, the Volunteer Center of Story County (VCSC), the Illinois State Police, and a Chicago charter school. It also highlights the efforts of members of the Chicago chapter of the ASA to establish a multi-school city-wide STATCOM program.

    For more information about the STATCOM Network, or to learn about joining the STATCOM Network, please see the STATCOM Network page on the American Statistical Association (ASA) website at http://www.amstat.org/education/statcom, or contact the current STATCOM Network Outreach Coordinator, Andrea Rau, at statcom-outreach@stat.purdue.edu.

    The first STATCOM Network Newsletter:

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