statPREP regional workshops

Participants for regional workshops will be selected through an application process. The application can be found here.

The workshop itself is free. In addition, there will be a limited stipend (up to $100 per participant) to help defray costs of local travel (gas, parking, etc.).  The intent is that participants will live in the local area and thus will not require lodging overnight.

Most instructors will make their first contact with StatPREP at one of our regional hub summer workshops. After the workshop, instructors will be supported by the regional hub coordinators and by a national learning network that shares teaching materials, online tutorials for instructors, student tutorials, software support, and expert help.

The workshops are designed with a view to the needs of instructors. You’re busy. Time to learn new skills is limited. It’s likely that you already have a syllabus and a textbook and don’t have the luxury of being able to revise an entire course.

Workshops will begin late afternoon on a Friday and meet again for a full working day on Saturday. You’ll be able to access the necessary software with nothing more than an up-to-date web browser, and you’ll have continuing access throughout the 5-year StatPREP project and, pending funding, thereafter. Should you wish, you can also run all the software, which is free, open source, and widely available, on ordinary laptops.

Each workshop will begin with a brief introduction to the software — R and RStudio — and the interactive computational narratives that StatPREP will provide and that you can modify to suit your preferences and student audience. Next, you’ll choose one of several topics in your present course on which to focus at the workshop.

Much of Saturday will be in small topic-oriented groups, learning how real-world data sets can be used to illuminate the topic. First, we’ll cover how to lead your students though the topic as a classroom demonstration. We’ll also familiarize you with optional student exercises and projects. Later, the participants of each group will make a consensus classroom demonstration to the entire workshop so that you can see a range of techniques for leading a demonstration as well as the workings of the other topic areas. (See the examples below.)

At the end of the workshop you’ll be ready to lead a data-oriented demonstration/discussion with your students on the topic you chose, one that starts with real-world questions and uses data to help students achieve statistical and mathematical understanding as well as to appreciate the power of being able to participate in the data revolution.

In the months after the workshop, ongoing support for you will be available through the regional hubs and the national learning network. Should you wish, you’ll be able to access materials on any of the other topics. In the follow-up workshop the next summer, you’ll have a particularly good opportunity to pick up another topic.

These initial steps can be the start of a longer journey, learning as much as you wish about computing with data and rooting your teaching in data.