Something New to Try!

So, this is my first official blog post of #MTBoSBlaugust… I saw an activity at ESCALA’s HSI Summer Institute that I am going to adapt for my Statistics course.

What was the activity? In a group, we were asked to look at miscellaneous graphs related to how Latinx students were doing in K-12 and college, as well as some graphics related to Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs). After we had time to discuss the graphs, we were told to number ourselves off within our tables and #3 had to explain the graph the group looked at.

When would I use it? My plan would be to use this at the very beginning of the course as a way to introduce the different graphical displays for data.

This would be replacing my previous activity:

Mystery question: Students fill out questionnaires with one missing question, which they then get the data for. I give them large post-it notes and they have to display and summarize their data in any way they can think of while brainstorming what the question may have been that was answered. I do this before they are introduced formally to any displays, so it’s always a great opportunity to discuss some unfortunate choices. 🙂

Now, I’m a bit concerned that the fun aspect of the mystery question activity is worthwhile, along with the curiosity of wanting to know the question… and that we do learn about our fellow classmates. However, the fact that it is backwards from how we’d normally deal with Statistics – starting with a question and using data to answer it – maybe it’s worth scrapping? And I can infuse some interesting topics and social justice issues with the graphs I choose to have us discuss, so perhaps I won’t lose the curiosity with the switch. And it will be less of an organizational challenge than the mystery question (inevitably some student writes down units despite my numerous reminders not to) and possibly quicker to implement. Only time will tell. I may do both in my traditional class that meets twice a week, but will likely opt for just the graph group descriptions in my hybrid class.

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