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Distributed Requirements: Statistical Reasoning (3 credits)

Statistical Reasoning


In the 21st century, our exposure to numerical and quantitative data has made statistical reasoning an essential intellectual and practical skill, part of a cluster of skills including critical thinking, information literacy, and problem solving.  The study of statistical reasoning allows students to develop and apply the requisite skills and tools to determine whether the results of empirical studies are meaningful enough to encourage change in one’s behaviors, attitudes, and/or beliefs.  Moreover, the proliferation of data sources and the rapidly increasing volume of digitally archived data requires that educated citizens are able to employ procedures and principles for gathering, analyzing, processing and communicating this information, in other words, to access, assess, and analyze statistical information fluently and critically.

Statistical Reasoning Learning Outcomes

Key Outcomes:

  • Understand that variability is natural and also predictable and quantifiable.
  • Recognize common sources of bias in surveys and experiments.
  • Determine when a cause and effect inference can be drawn from an association, based on how the data were collected.
  • Understand how to interpret statistical results in context and how to critique news stories and journal articles that include statistical information/information literacy.
  • Understand the basic ideas of statistical inference and how to make appropriate use of statistical inference.
  • Know how to obtain, generate, analyze, interpret, summarize, and communicate data/statistical results using the appropriate manual and software tools.

Evidence of Student Learning

Students will demonstrate the ability to successfully analyze and interpret data by applying the appropriate statistical tools to problem sets, online databases, case studies, natural and social scientific research, public opinion polls, news stories, and other assignments in statistical reasoning courses.

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