Students' understanding of statistical concepts is improved by integrating Statistical Vignettes into database activities (Project EDDIE)

Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm
Poster Session Part of Friday Poster Session


Dax Soule, CUNY City College
Meethila Rahman, CUNY Queens College
Tanya Josek, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Steven Juliano, Illinois State University
Michelle Weirathmueller, JASCO Applied Sciences
Rebekka Darner, Illinois State University

Teaching and learning statistics is challenging for many students and instructors. Interpreting and discussing patterns in datasets requires using terminology and statistical concepts that students often struggle to grasp. Engaging in instruction of these concepts may detract from other goals, especially when some students are familiar with the concepts and others are not. Our goal was to develop a set of flexible vignettes that instructors could integrate or assign as related material to complement course activities that focused on data analyses and interpretation.

These Statistical Vignettes describe basic statistical concepts using datasets and story-lines that students can relate to. The suite of Statistical Vignettes currently covers concepts such as significant figures, correlation and regression, normal distribution, mean-median-mode, and hypothesis testing. Each Statistical Vignette consists of a slide deck, with appealing cartoon illustrations, that includes instructor notes and is designed to take 15-20 minutes of time. The characters involved in each vignette are based on real scientists coming from diverse backgrounds, contributing to DEI goals. Statistical Vignettes can be used as a stand-alone activity or integrated into other course material that use the same concepts. For example, a data-based activity exploring climate change may incorporate the Statistical Vignettes on linear regression.

We assessed the effectiveness of the SV's by conducting a quasi-experiment through the use of knowledge tests before and after exposure to the correlation coefficients and linear regression statistical vignettes. The students answered questions regarding definitions, graph interpretations and made calculations. Using their answers, we identified some learning gains in student understanding of correlation coefficient and linear regression.

These Statistical Vignettes are available open access as teaching materials on the Project EDDIE website (