TY - JOUR
AU - Albert, Jim
AU - Cochran, James
PY - 2010/04/26
Y2 - 2024/06/12
TI - The Use of Sports in Teaching Statistics
JF - TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology
JA - TRAILS
VL -
IS -
SE -
DO -
UR - https://trails.asanet.org/article/view/the-use-of-sports-in-teaching-statistics
SP -
AB - Motivation to Use Sports Examples in Teaching Statistics Teaching introductory statistics is a challenging endeavor because the students have little prior knowledge about the discipline of statistics and many of them are anxious about mathematics and computation. Many students come to the introductory statistics course with a general misunderstanding of the science of statistics. These students regard "statistics" as a collection of numbers and they believe that the class will consist of a series of computations on these numbers. Indeed, although statistics texts will discuss the wide application of statistical methodology, many students will believe that they will succeed in the class if they are able to recall and implement a series of statistical recipes. Statistical concepts and examples are usually presented in a particular context. However, one obstacle in teaching this introductory class is that we often describe the statistical concepts in a context (such as medicine, law, or agriculture) that is completely foreign to the student. The student is much more likely to understand concepts in probability and statistics if they are described in a familiar context. Many students are familiar with sports either as a participant or a spectator. They know of popular athletes, such as Tiger Woods and Barry Bonds, and they are generally knowledgeable about the rules of major sports, such as baseball, football, and basketball. To many students, sports is a familiar context in which an instructor can describe statistical thinking. Students often know and have some intuition about the issues in a particular sport. Since they are knowledgeable in sports, they can see the value of statistics in gaining additional insight on particular issues.
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