By Travis Loux (Saint Louis University)
Collection and analysis of real-world, personally relevant data is a primary recommendation for teaching introductory statistics (GAISE 2016). In this project, students are asked to collect information on their sleep habits over the course of several weeks. Students then apply the concepts learned throughout the course to the individualized data they have collected. These concepts include: study design, representative sampling, and non-response bias; descriptive statistics and graphs; sampling variability; confidence intervals and hypothesis tests; linear regression; and ethics of sharing personal information. The personal and well-understood context of this project allows students to be able to think critically about the quality of their data, statistical assumptions, and interpretations of their results. Reflective questions asked in each assignment showed high student engagement with the data and project. This project was undertaken in an introductory biostatistics class for public health, health management, and biostatistics majors at a mid-sized four-year university.