Statistics text and course reactions

During the fall term of 2016 the MS 150 Statistics course shifted towards increasing use of Google Sheets. Developments in Sheets meant that Google Sheets had become far more capable than Microsoft Excel, especially when coupled with the Statistics add-on from Google. With the add-on Sheets now produced box plots, graphical confidence intervals for linear regressions, and automatic generation of histograms.

Over the winter break 2016-2017 the statistics text supporting the course was rewritten to support the use of Google Sheets and to be mobile friendly. The text was also designed to be usable in an off line environment. The text is a single web page that will remain available in a tab of a modern browser as long as the tab is kept open, whether or not the device is on line. Students can load the page at school and then take their device off campus while retaining the text on their device.

With the textbook on line and available, the hard copy text book was no longer required in the syllabus. A very limited print run of hard copies of the text was produced to support those few students who might still prefer a paper based copy of the text.
In a term end survey completed by thirty students in the course, none indicated that they had purchased the paper based copy of the textbook.

When asked whether they read the textbook, 29 of the 30 students self-reported that they had read the textbook always or sometimes. 

Asked whether the textbook had explanations that they could understand, 23 responded always and another six responded sometimes. One of the reasons the course uses a text produced by the instructor is to provide a more comprehensible text for the students. Many commercial texts are difficult to read at best, even for a reader knowledgeable in statistics.

The students shifted to using the online text, referred to the text, and found the text to be helpful. The students would benefit from any steps that the institution could take to assist in the acquisition of technology by those students who do not yet have such technology.
The survey also looked at the affective domain question of student attitudes towards the subject matter. Being self-reported, the students may have been shy to report a negative attitude towards statistics. That said, the course may have contributed to an increase in positive attitudes towards the subject matter. The survey was administered just prior to the end of the term, hence the phrasing "attitude towards statistics during the term."

The survey wrapped up with seven open response prompts. The students were instructed to respond to one of the prompts. These reactions and statements provide insights that cannot be captured in charts and numbers. The insights are provided below.

My learning of the content was most helped when… 
...I do things in schoology because dana explained everything clear.
...i first don't know how to do math in excel and learning new functions. Also gave me ideas of things that i don't know about statistic. I also learn how to make presentation and other statistic stuff to use in part of life.
...i knew how to deal with the statistics, because it took me so long to understand how to calculate the basics ones. Then, by the time i get used to it i finally know how to calculate the sample size, mean, stdev, mode, etc.
...there is a lot of work to do because it is help me improve my knowledge of being identify the solution and can get easily know how to measure easily.
...we do fun activities to understand more on what the statistical calculations are saying. (M&Ms activity) This helped me because it is great to learn while enjoying what you're learning.

The activity that contributed the most to my learning was…
...presenting every now and then because I have a dislike toward presenting and I always wanted to overcome the fear of presenting. It is very helpful when I get to present so that I can start practicing for the classes that will require a lot of presenting.
...was the presentations, because the presentations helped me understand more about the chapters we just covered. And it is very helpful and fun.

The biggest obstacle for me in my learning the material was… 
...I am struggled with my speed and took me to a place where I lost my memories, meaning that am too slow to catch-up with the others when taking a test. just my speed makes me nervous. so I think to me, the time limit is not enough. thank you.
...I had to learn do save my work online as well as the formulas that I've learn in the spread sheet.
...understanding the meaning of the statistical numbers and where it came from and the purpose of it, because in most of my math classes i just solve the problem, but i don't know or how and why i got that number. however, this class gave me clear understanding of the material.

I was most willing to take risks with learning new material when…
...when taking this course because i want to learn what statistic was like. therefore, this course is challenging but i know i can do it. this class was very helpful and i want you to improve it.

During the first day, I remember thinking… 
...about dropping the class because those formulas and numbers are confusing but then i realize that if i practice more, it can help me success.
...about the class if i'm not going to pass the course just because it started at 8 o'clock but i always woke up late. luckily my grandpa always wake me up every morning. not gonna pass this course, but now i realize that its easy if we always came to class first impression of the class was negative during the first few days of the semester. The first objectives learned in this course was what I had kept memorized and fully understood.
...of dropping the class because I heard that there will be a lot of presentations, and I really don't like to do presentations, but as the class keep going, I actually found out that doing a presentation is a very fun activity to do, especially with a partner.
...that statistics was going to be very challenging because my friends who took this class before me told me it was challenging.
...that taking this course would give me more works like solving equations and so on. The title course MS 150 got me thinking that this course is all about solving math problems, but as I continue on taking this course throughout this Semester, I came to think of it that it is not all about solving equation as I expected but in a very different way which I myself find it interesting.I found the Statistics MS 150 course very demanding. [The instructor] pushes the class very hard and he covers a lot of material in the span of a semester. But, it was all worth it. I learned a lot. I was particularly impressed with the reading requirements, that made statistics less mechanical and more a part of living. I appreciated the emphasis on experimental design. I began this class with worries and now I'd say I'm celebrating the fact that this would meet my statistics requirement and I wouldn't have to take any more statistics. So now I know that I taking this course would be able to help me conduct research in my chosen field. withdraw from this class because i thought it will be really difficult for me but at last i am surprisingly completed it in a successful way.

What I think I will remember five years from now is…
...everything was goes great I first surprised in learning that google sheets and slides does a lot more than i think the others like excel can do. i would remember how i calculated my works and could never be incorrect for it tells when it is wrong.
...mostly the basic statistics because we've been using the basic statistics for mostly all over our quizzes, work, and tests.
...some of the basic statistical formula..
...the using of spread sheets, google docs because it is very helpful and I'm sure it will help me in the future during work.

What is something covered in this course material that you can do now that you could not do or did not fully understand at the beginning of the term? 
At the beginning, everything is very new to me due to the source or site that we used which is GOOGLE SHEETS that i really enjoyed using because it automatically calculates and help me know the formulas used. I will surely always remember how to calculate POPULATIONS AND SAMPLES, MEASURES OF MIDDLE AND SPREAD, etc. With the use of GOOGLE SHEETS, which i will always use, i will remember how to calculate data, make different kinds of GRAPHS, make boxplot (which is very new to me), and do quartiles.
In the beginning of the term,it was hard for me to understand statistics.but because our activities and discussions, i was able to do my statistic report/PowerPoint.
One thing that I have covered and learned while attending this class is using google sheet. I used to use google sheet before but I don't know that it is an easy way to calculate numbers and find answers in an easy ways.
The beginning of this semester i think im not gonna pass this course,but now i realize that its easy if we always came to class
The formulas covered in this course material was challenging at the beginning of class but as the activities followed requiring us to use each formula and gathering information's/data to present, i become familiar with the formulas.


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