Monday, July 21, 2014 TED video + assessment + discussion board

The folks of TED have created, a website that allows you to use their videos (or any video available via youtube) and create a lesson around the video. You can create an assessment quiz (and save your student's grades on the assessment). You can also create discussion boards and post your own commentary/links related to the content of the video.

I know, right?

There are several lessons that relate to statistics and research methods. Here is a shorter video that teaches the viewer how to assess the quality of medical research, and here is a list of TED talks about Data Analysis and Probability While the teaching of statistics and research methods are my jam, you can use any old video from youtube/TED (like the many talks featuring psychology research) and create an online lesson and assessment about the talk. Pretty cool! I think these could be use as bonus points, a quick homework assignment, and as a way to reiterate the more conceptual ideas surround statistics.

From Not all scientific studies are created equal by David H. Schwartz

Also, if you are looking for more statsy videos to use with this tool, I do use a "video" label with this blog. Not all of the videos links I provide are hosted by youtube, but I bet that you could find most of these videos in youtube with just a little bit of Googling.

Do note:
1) In order to have full use of this site, you and your students do need to register.
2) I don't see a way to automatically upload assessment data into Blackboard or other learning management systems.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Five Thirty Eight's "How to Tell Someone’s Age When All You Know Is Her Name"

Nate Silver and Allison McCann created graphs displaying baby name popularity over time. The data and graphs can be used to illustrate bimodality, variability, medians, interquartile range, and percentiles.

For example, the pattern of popularity for the name Violet illustrates bimodality and illustrates why measures of central tendency are incomplete descriptors of data sets:

"Other names have unusual distributions. What if you know a woman — or a girl — named Violet? The median living Violet is 47 years old. However, you’d be mistaken in assuming that a given Violet is middle-aged. Instead, a quarter of Violets are older than 78, while another quarter are younger than 4. Only about 4 percent of Violets are within five years of 47."

Relatedly, bimodaility (resulting from the current trend of giving classic, old-lady names to baby girls) can result in massive variability for some names...

...versus trendy baby names that have smaller interquartile ranges...

Your blogger exceeds the 75th percentile for Jessica Age. She considers herself a trendsetter, not old for her name.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Every baby knows the scientific method

I am the mother of a boundary-testing two year old and my little guy likes to replicate his research findings with me all day long. We're currently trying to pull a sufficient n-size to test his hypothesis of whether or not I will ever let him eat dog food. I don't want to p-hack, but I'm pretty sure that that answer is no.