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Volume 4, Number 2 (July 1996) ISSN: 1069-1898

Clint W. Coakley, "Suggestions for Your Nonparametric Statistics Course" (49K)

Nonparametric methods form an integral part of many degree programs and concentrations in statistics. In this article a number of useful approaches are suggested to aid the instructor of a nonparametric statistics course. These include ideas for classroom presentations, projects, writing components, student-generated data, and computing. Each suggestion is discussed in the context of nonparametric methods instruction. These techniques help students develop an appreciation for the field of nonparametric statistics and the broad range of its applications in practice. Appendices include a partially annotated bibliography of textbooks and monographs from the field of nonparametric statistics and a collection of Minitab macros. --CWC

Key Words: Assumptions; Computing; Distribution-free; Pedagogy; Rank-based procedures; Projects; Software for teaching statistics; Student-generated data; Writing.

Katrina Roiter and Peter Petocz, "Introductory Statistics Courses -- A New Way of Thinking" (40K)

This paper presents a framework for the design and analysis of introductory statistics courses. This framework logically precedes the usual process of putting together the syllabus for an introductory statistics course. Four approaches, or paradigms, of statistics teaching are put forward, together with tools for deciding which blend of approaches is most useful in any particular case. These approaches do not correspond to the two traditional schools of thought in statistics education -- probability-driven or data-driven -- but rather constitute a new approach. --KR

Key Words: Statistics education; Course design; First statistics course.

Ronald C. Serlin and Joel R. Levin, "Two Alternative Developments of the Hypergeometric Formula: Turning the Tables" (11K)

The common development of the hypergeometric probability formula is typically confusing to students in introductory statistics courses. Two alternative developments that appear to be more intuitive and conceptually consistent are presented. --RCS

Key Words: Teaching statistics; Probability.

"Teaching Bits: A Resource for Teachers of Statistics" (49K)

This column features "bits" of information sampled from a variety of sources that may be of interest to teachers of statistics. Joan Garfield abstracts information from the literature on teaching and learning statistics, while Laurie Snell summarizes articles from the news and other media that may be used with students to provoke discussions or serve as a basis for classroom activities or student projects. --JG

Allen L. Shoemaker, "What's Normal? -- Body Temperature, Gender, and Heart Rate" (12K)

This article takes data from a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association that examined whether the true mean body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the dataset suggests that the true mean is approximately 98.2, it helps students to grasp concepts about true means, confidence intervals, and t-statistics. Students can use a t-test to test for sex differences in body temperature and regression to investigate the relationship between temperature and heart rate. --ALS

Key Words: Normal distribution; Two-sample t-test; t-statistic; Regression; Confidence interval.

Editorial Board for Volume 4, Number 2

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