Date of Award:

8-2018

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mathematics and Statistics

Advisor/Chair:

Kady Schneiter

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Jürgen Symanzik

Third Advisor:

Victor R. Lee

Abstract

Integrating real data into a classroom is one of the recommendations in the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) college report which lays out guidelines for an introductory statistics course (Committee, GAISE College Report ASA Revision, 2016). In order to assess the effect of using real data in a classroom, the students received physical activity trackers to wear during an undergraduate introductory statistics course taught in the summer. This tracker, a Fitbit, enabled students to monitor and record their steps, calories, and active time throughout the class. Collecting personal activity data (PAD) creates a large database which students can then analyze and use to build statistical thinking. Since the students are intimately familiar with the data they gathered, they could focus on the patterns they saw in the data based on their own personal experiences. With this data, the students completed tasks that asked them to analyze their physical activity using methods including summary statistics and bivariate analysis. These projects encouraged students to think about problems that arise from data collection and analysis in real life situations. We saw that using PAD helped the tasks become more personal, increased interest and engagement, and reinforced the material taught in class.

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