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Setting up your own course web site: Sept. 29, 2017 Webinar

Video of the webinar

A course web site is an essential resource for an instructor: it provides a place for you to post links to StatPREP lessons as well other tutorial material and data sets of particular interest to you and even your own course handouts. Many instructors have access to “course management software” systems such as Blackboard or Moodle to which students can log in and view a home page. We’ll focus on another approach which requires no institutional resources and uses a completely free web service: GitHub. In the webinar, we’ll go through the steps of setting up a GitHub account and a course “repository” which serves a complete website with an address like (where you’ll customize the ID and course name to suit your situation). Then we’ll demonstrate how to create a web page that can include links to StatPREP tutorials and other resources you choose, upload data sets so your students can easily access them, and all the other things that can make your course more accessible and engaging for students.

Follow this link to the notes and GitHub repository used in the webinar. (Page down on the site to see the notes.)

Behind the Scenes: transforming traditional to data-centric. Part I

It seems so sensible to say that statistics should be data-centric. But traditionally statistics has been taught as an extension of mathematics. Data didn’t enter into it except as fodder for exercises and test questions.

In this Behind the Scenes series, we’ll look at some examples of turning traditional lessons into data-centric ones. Read more

Lesson: An Experiment with Paper Planes

One of the best ways for students to learn about data is to collect and enter data into a shared spreadsheet. This lesson (link to tutorial document) does exactly that.

On the surface, the lesson is about performing an experiment, Read more

Lesson: Driver reaction times

An all-too-common style of statistics exercise gives students some numbers and asks them to calculate a confidence interval or conduct a hypothesis test.

The StatPREP driver-reaction-time lesson is our re-interpretation using data and computing of a textbook-type exercise that asks for the confidence interval Read more

Participating in a Webinar

Points of webinar etiquette

  1. We’ll activate the webinar link 15 minutes or so before the webinar. This will let you establish and check your connection to the webinar before it starts. Once it’s working, let the connection continue.
  2. We definitely want you to participate actively, but when there are several people participating, we will be hearing the background noise from several different sources. So mute your audio input (there’s a button) until you want to say something. At that point, have at it. Use your own judgment about when to re-mute the audio. This is not the world of 1960s television with the “Roger”, “Over”, and “Over and out.” If you are in a dialog, then leave your audio unmuted.
  3. Shortly before the official start time, we will turn on the recorder. This is a good time to double-check that you have muted your audio input so that your sighs, exasperations, and witty critical observations don’t show up on the recorded video (unless you want them to).
  4. The initial part of the webinar will be a presentation, so the webinar organizers will be controlling what appears on the screen. Do feel free to ask questions that will be of general interest.
  5. The presentation will typically involve to some extent the carrying out of a task. For instance, in the very first webinar, the task involves creating a account, setting up a repository, and editing a file on GitHub. It might be that you can follow this and carry out the task yourself. But that’s not obligatory. Feel free just to watch and listen.
  6. After the presentation part of the webinar, we’ll switch to a “clinic” format. This is where you get to resolve any technical difficulties and there can be a back-and-forth among individual participants and the presenters.
  7. Occasionally you will want to share your screen with the group so that you can show someone else how to do something or can ask someone else for help finding some button or other resource. When you have given or gotten the help needed, unshare your screen so that someone else can have a turn.
  8. The clinic will last up to 90 minutes. Feel free to take a break and come back later. Don’t worry about repeating questions that somebody might have asked earlier. The point is to get things working for you, whatever it takes.