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Faculty Views of Statistics in Teaching and Research Laura Taylor and Kirsten Doehler Assistant Professors of Statistics 1

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Outline 1. Background 2. Our Study 3. Our Survey & Results 4. Class Applications 5. Recommendations 6. Future Directions for this Research 7. Concluding remarks 2

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Background From 2005 to 2010, there was a 90% increase in elementary statistics enrollment, and 33% increase in non-advanced mathematics enrollment. Statistics courses are offered by a variety of departments. “Of all subjects taught as often as statistics, surely no other subject is so often taught by faculty with so little formal training in the subject.” – George Cobb (1993) 3

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Background GAISE Report Recommendations (2005) Emphasize statistical literacy and develop statistical thinking. Use real data. Stress conceptual understanding, rather than mere knowledge of procedures. Foster active learning in the classroom. Use technology for developing concepts and analyzing data. Use assessments to improve and evaluate student learning. Garfield (2000) and Garfield, Hogg, Schau, and Whittinghill (2002) Creation of a second course 4

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Our Study Goals: In which disciplines are faculty teaching statistical methods and using statistical methods in undergraduate research projects? How do faculty perceive the statistical preparation of students entering their classes? What suggestions do faculty from client disciplines provide for improving introductory statistics courses? 5

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Our Study Faculty from 7 colleges/universities SurveyMethods.com Voluntarily responses via e-mail Issues IRB Challenges Contacts at schools Maintaining versions of survey 6

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Results: Teaching and Use of Statistics Teaches Statistics in Classes Business/ Management EducationHealth/ Medicine STEMSSocial/ Behavioral Sciences Other Yes56.1% (n=37) 18.4% (n=14) 22.7% (n=27) 64.2% (n=97) 52.3% (n=80) 13.5% (n=24) No43.9% (n=29) 81.6% (n=62) 77.3% (n=92) 35.8% (n=54) 47.7% (n=73) 86.5% (n=154) 7

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Survey Item What statistical procedures do you teach or have you taught? Please check all that apply. a) Computing Descriptive Statistics (such as mean, median, standard deviation) b) Creating Histograms, Bar Charts, Scatterplots and other Graphs c) T-tests d) Hypothesis Tests for Proportions e) Chi-Square Tests f) Test of Normality g) Confidence Intervals h) Correlation i) Least Squares Regression j) Logistic Regression k) Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) l) Nonparametric Methods m) Cronbach’s Alpha n) Structural Equation Modeling o) Exploratory and/or Confirmatory Factor Analysis p) If other, please specify 8

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Results: Teaching and Undergraduate Research TopicTeaching Percent (Rank) Undergraduate Research Percent (Rank) Computing descriptive statistics95.7% (1)94.% (1) Creating graphs90.0% (2)82.7% (2) Correlation78.9% (3)73.3% (4) T-tests73.8% (4)74.1% (3) Confidence intervals63.8% (5)54.6% (7) Chi-square tests56.3% (6)56.5% (5) Least-squares regression55.2% (7)42.6% (8) ANOVA53.0% (8)56.0% (6) 9

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Results: Teaching and Undergraduate Research Cronbach’s Alpha Teaching Undergraduate Research Business/ Management n=37 Education n=14 Health/ Medicine n=27 STEMS n=97 Social/ Behavioral Sciences n=80 Other n=24 Overall n=279 16.2%28.6%25.9%2.1%38.8%29.2%20.4% Business/ Management n=32 Education n=24 Health/ Medicine n=56 STEMS n=56 Social/ Behavioral Sciences n=104 Other n=41 Overall n=359 25.0% 28.6%3.9%49.0%19.5%25.9% 10

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Results: Teaching and Undergraduate Research “Other” Topics Teaching Undergraduate Research Business/ Management n=37 Education n=14 Health/ Medicine n=27 STEMS n=97 Social/ Behavioral Sciences n=80 Other n=24 Overall n=279 32.4%7.1%18.5%11.3%31.3%8.3%20.1% Business/ Management n=32 Education n=24 Health/ Medicine n=56 STEMS n=56 Social/ Behavioral Sciences n=104 Other n=41 Overall n=359 12.5%20.8%12.5%16.7%29.8%7.3%18.7% 11

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Results: Satisfaction with Student Preparation I am satisfied with the statistical knowledge and preparation of students entering my courses. Strongly agree, 9.4% (n=26) Moderately agree, 17.0% (n=47) Neutral, 30.7% (n=85) Moderately disagree, 30.3% (n=84) Strongly disagree, 12.6% (n=35) If we consider grading ourselves with these responses (A – F), our GPA would be 1.80/4.00 12

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Results: Satisfaction with Student Preparation For students taking my classes, I believe that they would be more prepared if they took additional statistics classes, 45.3% (n=337) are adequately prepared and do not need additional statistics classes, 29.4% (n=219) are overly prepared and have taken more statistics classes than they need, 0.3% (n=2) do not need to take any statistics classes to be successful/Question does not apply, 25.0% (n=186) 13

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Survey Item How can the Department of __________________ better prepare students for using statistics in your discipline? 14

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Results: Suggestions for Improvement SuggestionPercent (Number) of Individuals Identifying this Suggestion Increase statistical literacy, concepts, and interpretations. 24.8% (n=35) Be relevant.16.3% (n=23) Cover specific content.15.6% (n=22) Create a discipline-specific statistics course. 14.2% (n=20) Miscellaneous12.1% (n=17) Connect introductory statistics to a specific discipline. 9.9% (n=14) 15

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Results: Suggestions for Improvement SuggestionGAISE Recommendation Increase statistical literacy, concepts, and interpretations. 1. Emphasize statistical literacy and develop statistical thinking. 3. Stress conceptual understanding, rather than mere knowledge of procedures. Be relevant.2. Use real data. Cover specific content. Create a discipline-specific statistics course. Miscellaneous Connect introductory statistics to a specific discipline. 16

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Class Applications - Overview Numerous qualitative data available. Students can explore the data using Excel, or, if they use SAS they can gain practice importing data and using basic procedures (FREQ, MEANS, UNIVARIATE) to obtain summary results and graphs. Alternatively instructors can provide students with appropriate tables, graphs, and summary statistics. 17

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Accessing the Data At the end of Section 2 (page 4) of the paper: The StatUse.txt file gives information on all columns of the data set. 18

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The Data statuse.csv StatUse.txt 19

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Class Applications – Data Available 1.Affiliation Area 2.Job Title 3.Years Teaching (time category) 4.Have you ever taken a statistics class? 5.How often statistics is used or taught in my classes (5 options available) 20

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Class Applications – Data Available 6.Do you currently or have you in the past taught statistical analysis methods in your undergraduate courses? 7.What statistical procedures do you teach or have you taught? * * 1 column in data for each of 16 options 21

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Class Applications – Data Available 6.Do you currently or have you in the past taught statistical analysis methods in your undergraduate courses? 7.What statistical procedures do you teach or have you taught? * * 1 column in data for each of 16 options 22

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Class Applications – Data Available 6.Do you currently or have you in the past taught statistical analysis methods in your undergraduate courses? 7.What statistical procedures do you teach or have you taught? * 8.Do you currently or have you in the past used statistical analysis when advising undergraduate research projects? 9. What statistical procedures do you use in undergraduate research projects? * * 1 column in data for each of 16 options 23

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Class Applications – Data Available 10. Level of agreement or disagreement with the following statement: “I am satisfied with the statistical knowledge and preparation of students entering my courses.” 11. For students taking my classes, I believe that they a.would be more prepared if they took additional statistics classes. b.are adequately prepared and do not need additional statistics classes. c.are overly prepared and have taken more statistics classes than they need. d.do not need to take any statistics classes to be successful. e.Question does not apply. 24

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Class Applications – Example A Taken a Previous Stats Class NoYesTotal 113630743 Question: Is this proportion of college faculty that have taken a statistics class more than 75%? 1-proportion Z-test with a “greater than” alternative and a null value of 0.75 has p-value<0.0001 Question: What proportion of college faculty do you think have taken a statistics class at some point? 25

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Class Applications – Example B Taken a Previous Stats Class NoYesTotal Taught Statistics No97367464 Yes16263279 Total113630743 Question: Is the proportion of people who have taught statistics in a class different among those who have taken a statistics class and those who have not? 2- independent proportions Z-test has p-value<0.0001 26

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Class Applications – Example C Use of Statistics in Class Almost all the time FrequentlyOccasionallyRarelyNeverTotal Social/ Behavioral Sciences 194795523153 STEMS 264765223154 Total 45941510746307 Question: Is there a relationship between frequency of the use of statistics in class and affiliation area (STEMS and Social/Behavioral Sciences)? A chi-squared test results in a p-value=0.7780 27

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Recommendations Keep clear and open lines of communication between Math/Stat faculty and faculty in client disciplines Creation of a second course - Option 1: second course within client discipline - Option 2: second course within Math/Stat discipline Options for second course: computer lab, team- taught 28

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Future Directions for this Research Additional items: - Are faculty willing to increase credit hours to require a second statistics course? - If not, are faculty willing to drop some other major requirement? - Are other faculty aware of GAISE guidelines? - Would you be willing to team teach a second course in statistics? Additional topics in list of statistical methods. 29

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Thanks for listening! Questions? Kirsten Doehler (kdoehler@elon.edu)kdoehler@elon.edu Laura Taylor (ltaylor18@elon.edu)ltaylor18@elon.edu 30

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