Teaching statistical report-writing for Level 3 internal assessments Dr Nicola Ward Petty Statistics Learning Centre [email protected]
Plan Introduction Report writing • Issues • Strategies Statistics Learning Centre resources Questions
Introductions I’m Nicola Ward Petty Lecturer in Operations Research at University of Canterbury for 20 years. Included applied statistics to commerce students.
Now director of the Statistics Learning Centre. PhD in allocation of resources for the education of students who are blind or vision-impaired. School effectiveness, modelling, opportunity to learn.
With me: Dr Shane Dye Also from UC. Similar background.
Background Quiz a) How long have you been teaching mathematics?
b) How long have you been teaching statistics?
c) How confident do you feel teaching trigonometry? Very confident
d) How confident do you feel teaching statistical report-writing? Very confident
e) How do you feel about the new statistics curriculum?
New standards and literacy What literacy requirements do each of the standards have? Think of reading as well as writing. 3.08
Statistics and Report-writing Discuss with your neighbour. (Don’t all start at number 1) 1. Why is it important for students to be able to write good statistical reports?
2. How well are your students doing at writing reports? Why might they not be doing as well as you would like them to? 3. What are you doing to help them develop their report-writing skills? 4. Why is it difficult for mathematics teachers to teach reportwriting?
Statistics and Report-writing 1. Why is it important for students to be able to write good statistical reports? •
You don’t realise whether you understand or not until you try to write it down. The process is important.
Better critics of other reports
Part of the literacy initiative
Useful skill for employment – report writing, and literacy generally
Required for marking!
Statistics and Report-writing 2. How well are your students doing at writing reports? Why are they not doing as well as you would like them to? •
Writing too much – brain spill – 65 pages!
Not sure what is relevant so put everything in…
But leave out important aspects
Not enough linkage to the context …or…
Too much context and not enough analysis
Some are great – generally from social-science students
Statistics and Report-writing 3. What are you doing to help them develop their report-writing skills? •
Statistics and Report-writing 4. Why is it difficult for mathematics teachers to teach reportwriting? •
Not used to teaching or assessing written English
May feel uncomfortable and lacking in skills
Few resources available to help
May be unconvinced of the necessity of the task
The students themselves are not happy with writing
Activity Time series output from iNZight. Monthly retail sales in $m in the USA of different categories. Raw data. From http://www.economagic.com/cenret.htm
Your task Find something interesting in the graphs. Write down a good sentence and a not so good sentence about it. Share your sentences with your neighbour(s).
Choose your best and worst sentences and write in big letters on paper to show the class.
Time series output
Show us what you wrote! Short idea sentence to complete detailed sentence: Books peak in August. This is a good idea sentence! Books = the retail sales of books in the USA Peak in August = are greater in August than in any other month. Convert to a sentence: The retail sales of books in the USA are greater in August than in any other month of the year. Quantify: On average the sales in August are approximately twice what they are in other months except for December and January. Hypothesise: This is probably because August is the beginning of the school year in the USA, and people are buying textbooks.
Teaching strategies The report should not be the first thing they write Literacy is part of the statistics curriculum •
Small exercises for homework, peer review •
good feedback is necessary – descriptive rather than evaluative.
Checklists so they can see if the ideas are communicated well.
Warm-up sentences at the start of class
Write ALL the time while doing the analysis – clarifies thinking
“Fill in the gaps” activities give structure •
Make your own from a report. Remove words. (Cloze exercise)
On-line activities (NZStats 3 from Statistics Learning Centre)
Give examples and formats – writing guides
Page limits in assessments (self-defence for teachers)
Writing Guides Teach principles as well as guiding assignment All four internal standards: Time Series – Like a business report Bivariate – Scientific
Inference – Includes explaining the ideas of bootstrapping and confidence intervals Experimental Design – Description of the whole process so that it could be replicated
Feel free to copy and use our writing guides, but leave the branding on them. There are exercises to go with them on the StatsLC.com site.
More ideas (if room in brain) Think about the role of context in a mathematics problem. Now think about the role of context in a statistical investigation. How are they different? Where do the three external standards fit? 3.12
How do we teach students to make sense of questions?
Collaboration Request I would be keen to work with a teacher on the literacy aspects of the statistics curriculum. I provide – sounding board, ideas, some classroom help You provide – some time, students to play with
NOT a big formal research project. Just trying things out. Talk to me later if you are interested.
How to use NZ Stat 3 on-line resources
Teachers assign a certain activity or quiz for homework.
Students can show their completion by printing out the results. (We provide weekly reports)
Classroom enrichment •
Use the activities in class time to complement other work.
“Flipped” classroom - see my blog on this
The exercises in NZ Stats 3 can be used repeatedly.
Large database so students get a different test each time.
Students can also track their own progress.
Good for Scholarship as includes all standards.
Help with assignments •
NZ Stats provides guidelines and practice in report-writing
Replace the textbook/homework book •
Cheaper and better!
Features of NZ Stats 3
Immediate Feedback Easy access – any device Up-to-date and responsive Engaging – will have “badges” next year
Teachers can track activity and results with weekly reports
Weekly Report Example
Talk to me about our discounted introductory site licences. www.statsLC.com
NZ Stats 3
3.08 Time Series
Quiz to follow video
Can be sat multiple times with different questions – until all correct!
Summary of test
Notes for iNZight
Datasets formatted ready
Notes to guide assignment
Formal Inference 3.10
Experimental Design 3.11
What else would you like? Talk to me about our discounted introductory site licences. www.statsLC.com