CRITICAL THINKING WITH STATISTICS

STA1CTS

2018

Credit points: 15

This subject addresses La Trobe's Sustainability Thinking Essential. Sustainability Thinking entails deep appreciation of how the choices we make affects the natural, economic, social, political and cultural systems — now and in the future.

Subject outline

Critical Thinking with Statistics will help you to understand why we need data in our daily and professional lives, how data are produced, and how they are transformed using statistics into information that empowers us to make decisions and solve problems. This subject will make you appreciate how numbers reported in the media shape debates about social, economic, and environmental problems and policies. Importantly, it will also make you appreciate how numbers reported in the media can often be misleading, and it will teach you how to critically evaluate the information that you are bombarded with on a daily basis. The emphasis in this subject will be on key concepts rather than mathematical calculations, and you will learn statistics by doing it with the SPSS statistical software package and real data from your discipline area (i.e., science, psychology, or business).

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorWarren Paul

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 1 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

PrerequisitesN/A

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjects STA1LS, STA1SS, STA2LS, STA2SS, STA1STM, STA1PSY, ECO1ISB

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Readings

Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsIntroduction to the Practice of StatisticsRecommendedMoore, McCabe, Alwan, Craig & Duckworth, 2011, 3rd ed.Freeman, NY
ReadingsStatistics for PsychologyRecommendedAron, A., Aron, E. and Coups, E., 2013, 6th ed.Pearson
ReadingsStatistics in PracticeRecommendedMoore, Notz & Fligner, 2015, 1st ed.Freeman, NY

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Interpret and convey statistical information using the terminology and important concepts of statistical design and analysis.

Activities:
Students' understanding of terminology and concepts is developed and assessed in online quizzes. Their ability to convey statistical information using these concepts and the correct terminology is developed though writing conclusions from statistical analyses.

02. Apply the appropriate descriptive tools of statistics to summarise data and reveal important features that will help to answer questions.

Activities:
In assignments, students are given projects involving real data that have a context, question, and data set. They must choose the appropriate tools to analyse the data in SPSS, and answer the question. In the final exam, students are given 1) descriptions of studies that aim to answer certain questions, and from these they must be able to identify the type and number of variables, the type of study, and the appropriate tools for analysis, and 2) SPSS output associated with a particular context and question, from which they must interpret the graphs and numerical summaries to answer the question.

03. Apply the appropriate inferential tools of statistics to weigh up evidence and draw conclusions.

Activities:
In assignments, students are given projects involving real data that have a context, question, and data set. They must choose the appropriate tools to analyse the data in SPSS, and answer the question. In the final exam, students are given 1) descriptions of studies that aim to answer certain questions, and from these they must be able to identify the type and number of variables, the type of study, and the appropriate tools for analysis, and 2) SPSS output associated with a particular context and question, from which they must carry out hypothesis testing and estimation to answer the question.

04. Critically evaluate the statistics presented in reports and the media in order to assess the value of the information.

Activities:
In an assignment, students are given a media article to evaluate.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Albury-Wodonga, 2018, Semester 2, Day

Overview

Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorWarren Paul

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
One 2.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Computer Laboratory Week: 31 - 43
One 2.0 hours computer laboratory per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Assessments

Assessment elementComments% ILO*
10 weekly online quizzes (equivalent to 750 words)20 01, 02, 03, 04
One 2-hour examination40 01, 02, 03
Two assignments (750 words each)40 01, 02, 03, 04