ASA Stat. Ed. Section Newsletter - V6 N2

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


Contents of Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000):
  • Message from the Section Chair
  • Editors
  • Subscription Information
  • Mark Your Calendar
  • Statistical Education in Indy 2000
  • Joint Committee Works for Undergraduate Education
  • January 2000 Statistics Workshop at LSU Targets Teacher-Educators
  • Suggestions for Invited Sessions at JSM 2001
  • She Does Statistics
  • Symposium on Undergraduate Statistics Education
  • Workshop on a Capstone Course for Undergraduate Statistics Majors
  • Conference on Information Quality
  • Promoting Student-Centered Learning in a Studio Classroom Environment
  • Statistics Education Presentations at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting
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    Message from the Section Chair

    Roxy Peck
    Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    Get Involved with Stat Ed at JSM this August
    Looking for a way to contribute at JSM? The Section on Statistical Education is assisting with several activities this year, and we could use your help. Here are three things to add to your "to do" list for JSM.

    The Statistics Education Booth. Last year, the Center for Statistics Education debuted the Statistics Education booth, and it was a great success. You can help out this year in the following ways: a) Volunteer to spend an hour or two to help staff the booth. b) Volunteer to prepare a one-page handout on an activity suitable for use in a school classroom. You can pick the grade level. Last year a number of ASA members stopped at the booth looking for ideas for statistics related activities that they could do with their kids or with their children's class as a school volunteer. We'd like to have something to offer them this year.

    Public Statistics Day. Public Statistics Day is an event held in conjunction with JSM that allows school kids to participate in a half-day of statistics related activities led by statisticians. Public Statistics Day was held in 1996, 1997, and 1998, but was canceled last year because the Baltimore schools were not in session. We are going to try again this year in Indianapolis with a different twist. Working with the Indiana Association of Home Schools, we have invited children in home schooling programs to participate and, in addition to activities for the kids, we are also planning a parents' session on how statistics can be incorporated into a home school curriculum. Public Statistics Day will be held on Thursday afternoon on the last day of JSM. If you would be interested in leading an activity and can stay a couple of extra hours on Thursday, please contact me for more details.

    Attend the Stat Ed Business Meeting. This is an easy one -- no advance work required!

    And, of course, be sure to attend all of the great sessions sponsored by Stat Ed. Tom Short has put together an impressive program and Jim Matis has organized a great set of round tables as well.

    Hope to see you in August. And, don't forget to email me if you can help out with the Stat Ed booth or Public Statistics Day. I can be reached at rpeck@calpoly.edu

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    EDITORS

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


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

    Terry King
    Department of Mathematics & Statistics
    Northwest Missouri State University
    Maryville, Missouri 64468-6001
    (660) 562-1805
    Fax: (660) 562-1188
    tlking@mail.nwmissouri.edu

    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@maroon.tc.umn.edu

    Tom Moore
    Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
    Grinnell College
    Grinnell IA 50112
    (515) 269-4206
    Fax: (515) 269-4984
    mooret@grinnell.edu

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    SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    Hard copy
    All members of the Section on Statistical Education are automatically sent a hard copy of this newsletter. Other ASA members can receive a hard copy by joining the Section on Statistical Education the next time they renew their ASA memberships (Dues are only $5.00). Non-members of ASA may receive a hard copy by sending $8.00 along with Name, Complete Mailing Address (if within the U.S.A. please include your 9-digit zip code), Telephone, Fax, and e-mail address to:
    Marie Argana
    American Statistical Association
    732 North Washington Street
    Alexandria VA 22314-1943.

    Electronic
    If you wish to receive the newsletter via email contact Terry King (see Editors). Please make sure to include your name and complete e-mail address in your message.

    Web Versions
    All issues of the newsletter are also available on the World Wide Web at http://www.stat.ncsu.edu/stated/newsletter/index.html, and can be reached through the Statistical Education Section home page as well. Three different versions are available. The first is a "frames" version which displays the contents and articles on the same screen, along with contact information. The second and third Web versions of the Newsletter are both non-frames versions. The second version accesses each article as a separate file. If a surfer chooses to print an article, only that one article will appear on paper. The third version is a continuous feed version. That is, if a surfer chooses to print, then the entire newsletter will appear on paper.

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    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    Information about the following Joint Statistical Meetings may be obtained from the
    ASA office:
    732 North Washington Street
    Alexandria, VA 22314-1943
    Phone: (703) 684-1221
    E-mail: meetings@amstat.org.

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    Statistical Education in Indy 2000

    Tom Short
    Villanova University
    2000 Program Chair

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    The Section on Statistical Education offers plenty to keep you busy at JSM 2000 in Indianapolis!

    The three Invited sessions we have been allocated include "Distance Learning in Statistics Education", "Using Technology to Develop Statistical Reasoning and Thinking", and a panel discussion on "The Teaching of Statistics Across Disciplines and Departments".

    The Section is also the primary sponsor for two Topic Contributed (nee "Special Contributed") sessions, three Topic Contributed panels, and five Regular Contributed sessions.

    Jim Matis, the 2001 Program Chair, has arranged an appetizing menu of Statistical Education Roundtable Luncheons to be held on Tuesday, August 15.

    We are also pleased to be the primary ASA Section sponsor for John Spurrier's half day continuing education workshop titled "A Capstone Course for the Undergraduate Majors: Putting Pieces Together."

    And these are only the events for which the Section is the primary sponsor!

    On the JSM 2000 Program you will find many sessions that will be co-sponsored by our Section, but three of special interest are Invited sessions on topics directly related to Statistical Education. 1) The Journal of Statistics Education won an Invited session in the Journals competition with a proposal titled "The Journal of Statistics Education: Promoting Diversity and Innovation in Statistics Education for the 21st Century." 2) The Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences will be presenting an Invited session titled "The Importance of Statistics in the Education of Future Teachers", and 3) the ASA/MAA Joint Committee on Undergraduate Statistics is sponsoring yet another Invited session titled "Designing Undergraduate Courses Beyond Stat 101."

    On top of all of this the "Undergraduate Education Symposium" and the "Beyond AP Statistics" workshop are satellite events of interest to statistics educators.

    Please visit the JSM 2000 Web site at http://www. amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2000/ and the JSM 2000 preliminary program site at http://www.amstat.org/ meetings/jsm/2000/jsm2000prog/index.cfm for specifics on times, dates, abstracts, housing information, and directions.

    Let's race to Indy in 2000!

    Tom Short, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Ave., Villanova, PA 19085-1699, Phone: 610-519-6961, Fax: 610-519-6928, E-mail: thomas.short@villanova.edu

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    Joint Committee Works for Undergraduate Education

    Allan Rossman
    Dickinson College

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    In 1997 the ASA and the MAA (Mathematical Association of America) officially formed a Joint Committee on Undergraduate Statistics. This group had previously existed on an informal basis for many years under the leadership of George Cobb. Its charge is "to stimulate effective change in undergraduate statistical education, particularly in the majority of institutions where the department of mathematics bears the primary responsibility for the teaching of statistics." This goal is particularly important considering that three times as many sections of elementary statistics courses are taught in Departments of Mathematics as in Departments of Statistics.

    One of the earliest and most influential of the committee's projects was the development of a series of recommendations for teaching introductory statistics. These recommendations -- to teach statistical thinking; to emphasize more data and concepts, less theory and fewer recipes; and to foster active learning -- were published with extensive commentary in the MAA Notes volume Heeding the Call for Change.

    Another large committee project has been conducting a series of faculty development workshops for mathematicians who teach statistics. These STATS workshops, funded by NSF and administered through the MAA, have informed mathematicians of the group's recommendations for teaching statistics and have provided hands-on experiences with models for implementing them. A total of 21 STATS workshops were held at locations around the country between 1993 and 1999, reaching a total of 500 participants. More information is available at http://www.dickinson.edu/~rossman/STATS/.

    Another ongoing project has been working with the revision of the MAA's "Guidelines for Departments and Programs in the Mathematical Sciences." Don Bentley and Ann Watkins have been instrumental in encouraging this document to be attentive to the needs of statisticians.

    One of the committee's current projects has been to draft a proposal and charter for creating a Special Interest Group of the MAA (called a SIGMAA) devoted to statistics education. Approval from the MAA for this group, similar in structure to an ASA section, is expected soon.

    Another project is to hold a workshop this fall at Grinnell College, under the direction of Tom Moore and with financial assistance from ASA, to make curricular suggestions for undergraduate mathematics as it relates to the preparation of future statisticians. This will be one of a series of workshops for client disciplines that the MAA is encouraging as part of its review of its recommendations for the undergraduate mathematics curriculum.

    Among the committee's more regular projects, it sponsors contributed paper sessions at the January Joint Mathematics Meetings and is sponsoring an invited session at this summer's Joint Statistical Meetings. The committee also provides assistance with other projects, such as ASA's Undergraduate Statistics Education Initiative, Joan Garfield's NSF-funded project to evaluate the impact of educational reform efforts on the teaching of introductory statistics, and Tom Moore's project to edit an MAA Notes volume on resources for teaching statistics.

    The ASA/MAA committee meets twice per year, at the January Mathematics Meetings and at the August Statistical Meetings. All meetings are open, so please consider attending this August's meeting in Indianapolis, scheduled for Tuesday, August 15 at 8:30 am. For more information, please consult the Committee's web page at http://www2.austin.cc. tx.us/statcomm/ or contact me at rossman@dickinson.edu.

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    January 2000 Statistics Workshop at LSU Targets Teacher-Educators

    James Madden

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    Data-handling, statistics and probability are receiving increased attention in K-12 school curricula, and university-based teacher preparation programs around the state of Louisiana have responded by giving these topics greater prominence. A workshop at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, January 5--8, 2000, brought together 25 teacher-educators from 11 colleges and universities around the state to share perspectives with one another and with national leaders in curriculum design.

    The workshop was sponsored by the Louisiana Collaborative for Excellence in the Preparation of Teachers (LaCEPT) and organized by LSU Professor James Madden. It gave participants an opportunity to showcase their own ideas and in addition featured day-long working sessions led by Professor J. Laurie Snell (Dartmouth) and Professor Beth Chance (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo).

    Workshop participants split into four working groups. Each group concentrated on a specific lesson topic. During Laurie's day, the groups developed ways of integrating web-based resources in lesson design. On Beth's day, the groups designed evaluation instruments to use in conjunction with their topic.

    The participants plan to continue working on the design and implementation of course modules during the year and to share their products with one another. A record of the workshop together with up-dates on follow-up activities can be found at: http://www.math.lsu.edu/~madden/workshop

    LaCEPT receives funding from NSF and the State of Louisiana and is administered by the Louisiana Board of Regents. Since the mid 1990's, it has played a key role in encouraging and supporting the reform of university-based teacher preparation programs.

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    Suggestions for Invited Sessions at JSM 2001

    James Matis
    Texas A&M

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    Planning for the JSM 2001 in Atlanta is under way. The theme of the JSM is 'Statistical Science for the Information Age'. The Section on Statistical Education will be the primary sponsor of at least three invited paper sessions. Suggestions for these invited sessions are most welcome. In addition to the proposed title, such suggestions should include a brief abstract and names of possible participants. The suggestions must be received by late July for consideration by the section executive committee. Please send suggestions to James Matis by e-mail (matis@stat.tamu.edu) or regular mail (Dept of Statistics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3143).

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    She Does Statistics

    Martha Aliaga

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    Upon finishing my tenure as chair of the Committee on Minorities in Statistics at the American Statistical Association, I envisioned a book featuring the life and work of women statisticians. That book should inspire young women to pursue a career in statistics. So the audience was targeted at ages 17-21 and the royalties were designed to be a source of financial support for a scholarship for a minority student in a statistics graduate program. This scholarship would allow students to attend the annual meeting of the American Statistical Association by paying for air fare, hotel, and meals.

    The book will be a joint effort of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and the American Statistical Association, and I will be the editor and one of the authors. Dick Scheaffer of ASA and Andrew Sterrett of MAA have been instrumental and enthusiastic supporters of this project. I have received 30 articles already and we are now in the final stages.

    Although the idea was simple, finding the authors was more difficult than expected since many found it difficult to relate to that age group. The time to finish the book stretched beyond what I had hoped for. I am inviting women statisticians, especially minorities, to send me papers to be included in the book. My experience convinces me that role models are important in the decisions that young girls will make in choosing careers.

    Each contribution needs to have from two to three pages about why you decided to become a statistician and present two or three problems that you have solved in your job using statistics. These problems should show how statistics can help solve practical problems and should be of interest to our audience. You should ask yourself whether a girl in the target age range would be interested in reading about the problem and would understand the answer. The solutions of these problems could be included in the explanation or placed at the end of the book, where solutions will be inserted.

    I see "She Does Statistics" as a great book for teaching high school students as well summer program participants and as a great birthday present to a future college student.

    If you would like to participate in the project please contact Martha Aliaga, 4077 Frieze Building, Department of Statistics, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, aliaga@umich.edu

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    Symposium on Undergraduate Statistics Education

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    Those interested in undergraduate statistics education should plan to attend the Symposium on Undergraduate Statistics Education. The Symposium will be held just prior to JSM in Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon August 12 and Sunday morning August 13.

    The Symposium will address recommendations for undergraduate statistics programs (majors, minors, and concentrations), first courses in statistics, and marketing statistics as a field of study to students, employers, and academic institutions.

    The Symposium requires a separate registration, so watch for the registration form with your JSM registration materials. And, if you register for JSM online, be sure to remember to send in the separate registration form.

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    Workshop on a Capstone Course for Undergraduate Statistics Majors

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    The Section on Statistics Education will co-sponsor a 1/2 day continuing education workshop at the 2000 Joint Statistical Meetings entitled "A Capstone Course for Undergraduate Majors: Putting Pieces Together." The workshop will be held on the morning of Wednesday, August 16. Prof. John D. Spurrier of the Department of Statistics at the University of South Carolina will be the instructor. Dr. Spurrier will present examples of capstone experiences which tie together various skills learned throughout the curriculum. He will also discuss modules for improving the student's important non-statistical skills such as seeking employment, making written presentations, and making oral presentations. The workshop is based on his Duxbury Press book "The Practice of Statistics: Putting the Pieces Together." All preregistered participants will receive a complimentary copy of the text. You can preregister for the workshop when you preregister for the JSM. The preregistration price of the workshop for ASA members is $60. Questions about the workshop can be directed to Professor Spurrier, Department of Statistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, e-mail spurrier@stat.sc.edu, telephone (803) 777-5072, fax (803) 777-4048.

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    Conference on Information Quality

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    The 2000 conference on Information Quality (IQ-2000) will be held at MIT from October 20 (Friday evening) to October 22 (Sunday noon), 2000. The purpose of the conference is to promote the exchange of knowledge about IQ research and practice. Updated information on the conference is available at the web site http://web.mit.edu/TDQM/.

    The conference program will include tracks of practice-oriented and rigorously reviewed research papers, as well as sponsored panel sessions. IQ-2000 strongly encourages practitioners to submit papers that distill experiences, lessons, and perspectives. These papers will be fast tracked for acceptance.

    Suggested Topics (but not limited to): (a) IQ in the Context of The Internet and the Web, or Electronic Commerce, or Data Mining and Data Warehouses. (b) IQ Tools, Metrics, Measures, and Methodologies. (c) IQ Policies and Standards. (d) IQ Improvement Case Studies. (e) Experience Reports on IQ Practices. (f) Cost/Benefit Analysis of IQ Improvement.

    Please send 4 copies and an electronic text version in MS Word 97 format of your paper, panel, or tutorial submission to the following address by the June 26th deadline.

    Barbara Klein, Don Rossin, School of Management, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, MI 48128.

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    Promoting Student-Centered Learning in a Studio Classroom Environment

    Deborah J. Rumsey
    Department of Statistics
    Kansas State University

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    A new state-of-the-art statistics studio classroom is in its first semester of use at Kansas State University. The classroom is the only one of its kind, creating unique opportunities to promote student-centered, team-based learning within a "high-tech" "high-touch" environment. It is being used to teach the introductory level statistics course. Currently, the new environment is being offered to students in the social sciences; an extension is eventually planned to include students in business and the natural and physical sciences.

    The classroom was designed by two interdisciplinary teams from Kansas State University representing the Department of Statistics, the Educational Communications Center, the Information Technology Assistance Center, the Division of Continuing Education, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Services and Technology, Elizabeth Unger (who funded the project.) The first classroom development team focussed on the physical design of the classroom, while the second team focussed on developing appropriate curricular materials and learning technology. Members of the KSU Department of Statistics involved in the project include Deborah Rumsey, James Higgins, Lynda Ballou, Dallas Johnson, and John Boyer, Jr.

    The objective in designing the studio classroom was to create an environment for student-centered learning and collaboration, where the instructors serve as learning facilitators, rather than lecturers. The classroom is managed by a team of two instructors, primarily graduate teaching assistants, and seats forty students. The students meet twice a week for 75 minutes each time. The room contains five octagon-shaped tables. Each table contains four computers; each computer is shared by two students who comprise a team. Teams are chosen at random, and are rearranged several times during the semester. This allows students the opportunity to work with several different teammates during the course, and helps to create an environment of cohesion and collaboration. The tables are large enough to provide ample work space for the students, and are arranged so that instructors move freely about the classroom and between the tables (one table in each corner, and one table in the middle of the classroom.) Comfortable chairs with casters allow students to focus on their work in a professional, but comfortable environment.

    The studio classroom is outfitted with 20 high speed computers, each with a 21-inch monitor allowing for easy viewing by both teammates. This helps students to stay focussed on their activities. The computers are linked to a server, and are also networked together using new technology called Classnet. Classnet technology allows the instructor to direct traffic on all of the computers in the class using a simple control panel. For example, suppose the students at computer #4 have a really interesting histogram, and would like to be able to share it with the rest of the class. Using Classnet, the instructor can project what is displayed on computer #4 onto any group of computers in the classroom with a touch of the control pad. This technology enables students to collaborate and exchange their results with their classmates easily and spontaneously. Instructors can also demonstrate ideas to the class easily without having the need for all students to be facing one direction in the classroom.

    Other technology that is used in the statistics studio classroom includes a high resolution visual presenter. A visual presenter is basically an overhead projector with a camera on the head. It creates an image of the object, digitizes the image, and projects it onto a screen. In this case, the image is projected onto all of the computers in the class. An additional feature of the visual presenter is that it will project the image of any object (not just overhead transparencies) including newspaper articles, textbooks, dice, or any other 3-dimensional object. This allows for the instructor to extend the range of items that can be presented to students. The instructor podium includes a computer, the visual presenter, speakers, VCR, and a mouse pen. A mouse pen is used to draw images onto the instructor's mouse pad that are then projected onto the students' computers. This gives a chance for the instructor to interact with the technology in a manner similar to the way John Madden scribbles on our TV screens during a televised football game while he talks to us. It keeps the instructor in touch with students; this is especially important in a high technology environment.

    New curricular materials were specially designed for use in the statistics studio classroom. The materials stress student-centered, discovery-based learning through interactive team activities. These activities engage students in discovering, applying, and communicating statistical ideas orally and in writing on a daily basis. Instructors typically will begin each class period with a short review/preview session providing an overview of what was covered yesterday and what will be covered today. Following this 10-15 minute session, students are turned loose to proceed at their own pace through the materials for the day. What is not finished during the day is left for homework. All materials are available on the course website for 24-hour access. Many of the activities involve use of the Internet (for example, a link to the U.S. Census Bureau to discuss sampling; a link to the Gallup Organization for information on how they conduct their polls.) The major statistical package used in the classroom is MS Excel, in addition to some new learning technology that is still under construction.

    The statistics studio classroom concept was first pilot tested during the summer of 1999 with 17 students in a makeshift classroom. The second pilot test occurred during the fall 1999 semester, with four sections of 40 students each. It was during this time that the actual studio classroom was being constructed.

    The response from the pilot tests was very positive. Students felt the environment was very relaxing, and they enjoyed the teamwork. Using a team-based approach, we were able to customize our teaching and reach more students at the level where help was most needed.

    We did notice that this type of learning environment requires a strong set of resource materials, especially materials for using MS Excel. If strong support materials are not made available to students, or if the students are not expected to make use of those materials, the instructors can be overwhelmed with technical questions. If, however, the technical issues can be addressed through resource materials, the students feel much freer to discuss more of the real statistical issues.

    We also realized that this environment requires a strong support system for the instructors; therefore, a 2-day orientation was developed. The spring 2000 semester marks the first official use of the new statistics studio classroom. We are teaching 11 sections of 40 students each (5 sections are led by a faculty and graduate teaching assistant team, and 6 sections are led by graduate teaching assistant teams.) The course is running very smoothly; instructors are very excited about the opportunities to communicate with students. They enjoy helping students learn statistics and watching them develop their own way of communicating the statistical ideas with each other. Students enjoy the new environment very much, and seem to enjoy the opportunities for collaborative learning and information exchange.

    Remaining challenges include developing new ways of assessing student knowledge within this new environment, and helping students to realize that we are not always going to tell them the answer -- that they are always encouraged to think things through using the resources available to them. We promote the idea that the student is the primary person responsible for his/her own learning, but they can also rely upon the other resources available to them: the course materials, the computer, the Internet, their teammate, other classmates, and finally, the instructors. Once students realize they can think independently and that they don't need the instructor as much as they thought they did, it is truly a magic moment. The biggest difference between the studio classroom environment and the traditional lecture style environment is that it requires the involvement of all students on a daily basis. Instructors can customize their discussions and get to know each student individually, and they can much more easily assess where the class is, in terms of learning the material.

    Students in the studio classroom are expected to develop the life skills that a productive member of today's workforce is expected to have: collaboration, teamwork, the ability to communicate orally and in writing, and personal accountability. Teams are rotated several times during the semester; each time new teams are constructed, students are asked to fill out an evaluation form regarding their teammate, as well as their own contribution and performance. These evaluations, combined with attendance, and an assessment by the instructors of the team's ability to work together, compose 10% of the final grade. We have found that student professionalism and accountability has been very high since implementing this system; students are less likely to be absent when they know that their teammate will have to go through the daily materials on their own.

    The statistics studio classroom promotes and encourages student-centered, discovery-based, team learning. Initial results show that this type of classroom can help students gain skills that are important for today's workforce, namely collaboration and teamwork, and it helps to increase the motivation and enthusiasm of instructors and students by allowing for additional ways for them to participate and communicate with each other.

    If you would like more information regarding the KSU Department of Statistics Studio Classroom, please contact us! Deborah J. Rumsey (rumsey@stat.ksu.edu) Department of Statistics, Dickens Hall Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66503.

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    Statistics Education Presentations at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting

    Carol Joyce Blumberg
    Winona State University

    Newsletter for the Section on Statistical Education
    Volume 6, Number 2 (Summer 2000)


    The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has approximately 22,000 members and is "concerned with improving the educational process by encouraging scholarly inquiry related to education and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results" (quoted from AERA webpage at http://www.aera.net). It is made up of 11 main divisions (one of which is Division D-Measurement and Research Methodology). Parallel to the divisions are almost 200 Special Interest Groups (SIGs), one of which is the SIG-Educational Statisticians. The purpose of the SIG-Educational Statisticians is to increase interaction among educational researchers interested in the theory, applications, and teaching of statistics in the social sciences.

    This year I had the honor of serving as the Program Chair for the SIG-Educational Statisticians portion of the AERA Annual Meeting. The meeting itself was held from April 24 to April 28, 2000 in New Orleans, Louisiana and had over 13,000 attendees. SIG-Educational Statisticians, either by itself or jointly with Division D, sponsored 1 invited speaker session, 3 formal paper presentation sessions on educational statistics, 1 formal paper presentation session on statistics education, 2 symposia on statistics education, 22 roundtables (where a person sits for 40 minutes at a round table that can seat 10 people and discusses his/her paper with individuals that stop by the table) on either educational statistics or statistics education, a business meeting with a Presidential address, and a social hour.

    Whether a paper was being given as a formal presentation or as a roundtable, the authors were required to write a paper to be passed out during the session. Below is a list the papers presented in the area of statistics education along with the first author's email address. All authors have agreed to send copies of their papers to interested individuals. Please contact them directly. A complete listing of all of the papers given under the auspices of SIG-Educational Statisticians can be found at http://quarles.unbc.ca/psyc/zumbo/aera/2000/longlisting.htm. Since the person maintaining the webpage is moving institutions, it may occur that the webpage becomes inactive. If this happens, please contact me and I will supply you with a copy of the listing.

    The invited presentation was by Roxy Peck (California Polytechnic State University) on Advanced Placement Statistics: The Curriculum, the Examination, and the Grading Process. The discussant for this session was Chandler Pike (Mercer University). Roxy and Chandler prepared a handout that is available from Roxy at rpeck@calpoly.edu.

    The first symposium "Reconsidering Outcomes of Statistics Courses: Statistical Literacy, Reasoning, and Thinking" was organized by Joan B. Garfield. The papers in this session were: Statistical Literacy as a Goal of Introductory Statistics Courses by Deborah J. Rumsey, Kansas State University (rumsey@math.ohio-state.edu), The Role of Statistical Reasoning in Learning Statistics by Joan B. Garfield, University of Minnesota (jbg@tc.umn.edu) and What is Statistical Thinking and How Can it Be Developed? by Beth Chance, California Polytechnic State University (bchance@calpoly.edu). The second symposium "Teaching Multivariate Statistics: Perspectives on Curriculum and Assessment" was organized by Ann O'Connell. The papers in this session were: Curriculum and Sequencing Issues in Multivariate Analysis by Sharon L. Weinberg, New York University (slw1@is2.nyu.edu), Approaches to Assessment in Multivariate Analysis by Ann O'Connell, University of Connecticut (oconnell@uconn.edu), Teaching Advanced Topics in Multivariate Analysis by Jorge L. Mendoza, University of Oklahoma (jmendoza@psycology. psy.ou.edu), and Incorporating Matrix Algebra in Multivariate Analysis Courses: Building on Univariate Prerequisites and Algebraic Competencies by Ron C. Serlin, University of Wisconsin, Madison (rcserlin@facstaff.wisc.edu).

    The papers (in alphabetical order by first author's last name) that were given in formal paper sessions or as roundtables are:

    Dues for joining the SIG-Educational Statisticians are only $5.00 US per year. If you are already an AERA member, you may join by simply checking off SIG-Educational Statisticians the next time you renew your AERA membership. If you are not an AERA member, you may join by sending US$5.00 either in cash or by check to Janet Holt, Department of Educational Technology, Research, and Assessment, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb IL 60115.

    For further information please feel free to contact me at Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Winona State University, Winona MN 55987-5838; phone/voice mail: (507) 457-5589; fax: (507) 457-5376; email: wncarolj@vax2.winona.msus.edu.

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