USCOTS 2011 - Interest Groups

Teaching Statistics In The Online World

Michelle Everson and David Zeitler invite self-nominations to join us in a special cluster devoted to studying the pedagogy of statistics utilizing online technologies. Today's younger students have grown up online and older non-traditional students are rapidly joining them given the number of hybrid and online course options that now exist at many colleges and universities. Teaching statistics to these online students utilizing new technologies can pose many unique challenges and opportunities for the statistics instructor, and this cluster will examine research related to teaching and learning in the resulting hybrid and online environments, discuss ways to structure such environments in order to optimize student learning and create a sense of community among students, and collaborate on research in order to better understand how to effectively teach statistics to this online generation.

This cluster will organize through conference calls prior to USCOTS, meet at USCOTS and after USCOTS communicate through monthly conference calls and other means (e.g., e-mail correspondence). To apply for this cluster, please select the "Online Teaching" category under On-going Interest Groups when you register for USCOTS.

Study Of Fun

Larry Lesser and Dennis Pearl invite self-nominations to join our ongoing cluster devoted to the study of fun. There is a great need for more systematic and sustained investigation into what role various types of fun can or should play in increasing student motivation, understanding, and retention in statistics courses. This cluster will conduct conference calls prior to USCOTS, meet at USCOTS, and continue after the conference through monthly conference calls and other communication. The cluster will examine previous research in the use of fun items in teaching statistics, work through possible methods of making fun materials more effective, and will collaborate in research to assess the classroom effectiveness of using fun. While the topic is 'fun', the group is serious in committing to timely and regular communications, participation in monthly conference calls, and working towards grants and/or publishable papers on the nature or effectiveness of various modalities and implementations of fun. To apply for this cluster please select the "Study of Fun" category under on-going interest groups when you register for USCOTS. Also, please read the Nov. 2008 JSE overview paper and then complete and return this survey and send it by e-mail to Selection of participants will be competitive and applications received by April 10, 2011 will receive full consideration.

Student Attitudes And Motivations

This cluster will be facilitated by Candace Schau and Marjorie Bond. Increasing numbers of statistics teachers and researchers believe that students' attitudes and motivations help determine classroom climate, course completion, course achievement, future course enrollment, and students' use of statistical thinking in their lives. Yet there is little classroom-relevant research regarding students' attitudes and motivations. Candace Schau developed the SATS-36C to assess students' attitudes and motivations toward statistics (see We originally formed our Cluster at the 2009 USCOTS. Our broad Cluster goals are to better understand students' motivations and attitudes toward statistics through high quality research and evaluation projects and to encourage statistics educators to consider the importance of good attitudes and motivations. We now invite established and new researchers to self-nominate and join us in studying students' motivations and attitudes toward statistics using the SATS-36C (and any extensions of interest). The members of this Cluster will organize through e-mail and conference calls; we then will meet at USCOTS. After USCOTS, Cluster members will continue to work together on projects of interest. Please consider joining us.

Post-Intro Course

The number of students taking college introductory statistics courses and Advanced Placement statistics courses has risen dramatically in recent years. This growth, along with increased use of more sophisticated statistical methods in client disciplines, has created demand for further coursework in statistics. But, unlike in other fields, in statistics there is no single, standard, content-driven, "second" course. Changes in the discipline, in pedagogy, and in technology suggest opportunities for several possible "post-intro" courses. Shonda Kuiper and Danial Kaplan invite self-nominations to join us in a special cluster devoted to the second course in statistics. This group discusses challenges in developing a unified post-intro curriculum, trends among post-intro courses currently offered, and implementation of a second course that addresses changes in the discipline. This cluster will meet at USCOTS as well as communicate through conference calls and shared web documents after USCOTS. To apply for this cluster please select the "Post-Intro" category under On-going Interest Groups when you register for USCOTS.

Other Clusters

  • Introductory Statistics

  • AP Statistics

  • Statistics Education Research