There are several learning materials you’ll be using in this course. Below are short descriptions of the content you'll typically find in each subsection.
For every learning module you will have an introductory audio presentation. Typically these presentations are long: over 45 minutes. For convenience they have been divided into chapters. In turn this makes it easy for you to listen to chunks of the presentation at a time. No need to listen to the full presentation in one go unless that's how you work best. These presentations are accompanied with a PDF handout.
Most learning modules will feature a small number of video presentations. Typically each video is short: under 7 minutes.
Most learning modules will also provide some readings. Some of these will be PDFs, others will be web-based articles.
Optional Textbook. There is no textbook for this course. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Instead we will use PDFs that you can download. Many students these days choose to read, and annotate, PDFs on a computer or tablet. Do whatever is best for you. I understand some students like to have a real textbook. Well, you can do that, but the text is optional.
The textbook I highly recommend if you want a textbook by your side is Richard Shavelson's Statistical Reasoning for the Behavioral Sciences (3rd edition only). The text costs $150 new, but you can find used versions from $25 and up. It's a great supplemental purchase. Check it out at Amazon using this link: Shavelson Textbook at Amazon.
In 1996 Richard Shavelson published the third edition of his textbook, Statistical Reasoning for the Behavioral Sciences. To accompany the text Maria Ruiz-Primo and I (Mathew Mitchell), along with Richard, created the Student Guide for Statistical Reasoning for the Behavioral Sciences 3rd Edition. One of the features of this student guide was a series of statistical playgrounds which were dedicated MS Excel spreadsheet products that did calculations on small samples for the key topics in the textbook.
Over time (20+ years) things have changed quite a bit. One of the downsides of the playgrounds is they were spreadsheet-based. They worked well, they were user-friendly, but still too many students tended to not feel "warm and fuzzy" about using spreadsheets (though it was definitely a step up in friendliness from using traditional statistical software). During the summer of 2017 I have re-conceptualized and reformatted the "playground" idea. The result is a series of web-based statistical playgrounds.
You will learn more about how the playgrounds work, and use them for several in-class activities, during the semester.
For your Statistical Reports project, and for several in-class activities, you will be using spreadsheets to help with your calculations. I will demonstrate how to do things with MS Excel but the steps are exactly the same, or very similar, with the following products:
- Apple Numbers
- Google Sheets
Thus you have 3 options for the spreadsheet program you use. You do not need to be a spreadsheet expert to begin the class. Nor will you be an expert at the end. But you'll be able to do key calculations for statistics using spreadsheets that will probably serve you well long after the course has ended.