eCOTS 2014 - Virtual Poster #13

"Integrating Writing in the Statistics Curriculum"
Dean Poeth & Jane Oppenlander, Union Graduate College


Effective written communication is an important competency for students to acquire, regardless of their discipline. This poster describes the integration of writing in introductory statistics courses. A three-part problem-solving approach is used which begins with developing a written problem statement, conducting the appropriate statistical analysis, and interpreting and communicating results in the context of the problem domain. Examples of student learning assessments, classroom activities, and writing resources are given. Successful and unsuccessful strategies to develop writing skills are discussed.



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Nicholas Horton:

Communication is a key capacity for any statistician, since if you can't communicate, your results and insights will be left on the cutting room floor. The ASA's guidelines for undergraduate programs in statistics highlight the importance of writing and related skills, and Dean Poeth & Jane Oppenlander's poster describes one way that writing can be successfully integrated into a program. The 1/3 1/3 1/3 rule (developing a problem statement, analysis, and communication) is something that I'll adopt in my classes.

It would be nice to see this incorporate reproducible analysis tools (see Mine's talk from Monday). @askdrstats

Dean Poeth:

Thank you for your comment Nicholas.

Måns Thulin:

Something that I've found to be very useful when it comes to helping students develop their writing skills is to not only ask them to proofread each others assignments, but to actually make a new assignment out of proofreading and commenting upon someone else's assignment. This seems to help the students shift their focus to the writing rather than the scientific/statistical content, also when working on their own texts. Like Nicholas Horton, I also liked the 1/3-1/3-1/3 rule a lot and will discuss it with my students for sure.

Dean Poeth:

Thank you for your comment Måns.