First eCOTS Claims Success
The first biennial Electronic Conference on Teaching Statistics (eCOTS) was hosted by the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics (CAUSE) from May 13–18. The conference was presented over the Internet and showcased three themes: Debating the Big Ideas of Teaching Statistics, Statistics for the Modern Student, and Commercial Resources for Teaching Statistics.
A total of 420 statistics educators and students registered to participate live in the eCOTS program offerings. The week began with a series of 30-minute breakout sessions. Sessions covered a variety of topics, including interactive teaching of probability distributions and theory, using advertisements to teach statistical literacy, the second course in statistics, teaching bootstrapping and randomization-based methods, data visualization on the iPad, teaching in the online environment, using games to teach statistics, statistical computing, simulation and audience response systems in the statistics classroom, and what students need to know about statistics in the 21st century.
Twenty-two virtual poster presentations were pre-recorded and available throughout the week. Posters provided five-minute audio-visual presentations on teaching statistical bioethics online to involving undergraduates in statistical consulting to understanding the beguiling coincidences seen in big data. Participants could view posters and leave feedback on a special discussion board set up for each poster.
A short workshop was held on May 17 about the CATALST project at the University of Minnesota. This workshop was led by three graduate students from the statistics education program at the University of Minnesota: Rebekah Isaak, Laura Le, and Laura Ziegler. The fully subscribed workshop gave participants a two-hour introduction to the CATALST curriculum.
The final day of eCOTS began with a keynote presentation by Hans Rosling, who talked about using a fact-based worldview to engage statistics students. This was followed by a series of panel presentations in which the leaders of breakout sessions reconvened to respond to audience questions and discuss their work in more detail. The conference culminated in a keynote presentation by Webster West, who focused on the effect of technology on the teaching of statistics.
Those interested in learning more about eCOTS and viewing recordings from breakout sessions, posters, keynote talks, and panel presentations are encouraged to visit CAUSEweb.
CAUSE is pleased to announce “Identifying and Addressing Difficult Concepts for Students in the Introductory Statistics Course,” a one-day workshop geared toward instructors at two-year colleges or instructors who are new to teaching statistics. The workshop will be led by Marjorie Bond of Monmouth College on September 15 in Monmouth, Illinois, and November 7 in Jacksonville, Florida, as a pre-AMATYC conference workshop. There is no registration fee to attend. Visit the website for details and register.