Teaching Statistics with Modules


EMR16: Real-Life Statistics: Your Chance for Happiness (or Misery) is taught around real-life modules, and all major assignments apply statistical topics directly to the real-life topics.

The modules are Romance, Finance, Medical, Elections, and Wine & Chocolate.  Each module begins with an interesting idea or paradox.  For example, the romance module, which is the first unit, starts by asking students "OKCupid has hired you to improve their surveys.  What questions would you ask to predict successful matches?"  This then leads to a discussion about forming a question and concepts and measurement.  For the Wine & Tasting module, which will require students to design their own chocolate-tasting experiment, the module starts with in-class chocolate tasting, where students are asked questions about their chocolate, to which they respond with clickers.  They see that as more people are allowed to vote, the answer gets closer to the truth.  This leads into the unit on research design.  

For more information about this real-life module structure, see the attached paper, by Xiao-Li Meng and Kari Lock, two of the original designers of the course.

module.pdf28 KB