Summer Musing #1: APS Project – Making it Meaningful
I just love the summer because everything seems possible. No sense of time constraints or sudden schedule time changes. Hope you are also enjoying a summer of musing, dreaming and thinking about what might be possible! Here are my first thoughts about using Service Learning as a vehicle for deep learning in AP Statistics
Plan for the APS Poster and Project for 2015-16 year
This year I’d like my students to actually think about a long term important question that statistics can answer in some way. I’d also like the question to be connected as a community project as per Josh Wilkerson (website http://godandmath.com/2014/06/12/bestpractices/) where the students identify, contact and work with a community partner (business, medical, law, non-profit, etc.). Josh has some great support materials and a well thought-out process that I may want to emulate. What I’d like to do is have students pick a topic that might tie into an eventual community partner situation. First semester they would collect data around their question maybe via a survey and second semester connect with a community partner in a service-learning project. I plan to work with Christine Van der Hoeven with this aspect.
First Semester Ideas:
Josh shares the following for the set-up for a successful AP Stats Service Project:
The first fall project is a study in response bias in which students work in teams and gain experience in giving surveys, analyzing bias, and producing a statistical poster. The second fall project requires students to work in different teams to analyze data from the Census at School website. The second project gives students experience in working through real world data sets in Microsoft Excel, creating statistical charts and graphs, and developing an effective PowerPoint presentation. In total by the end of the fall the students have given surveys (both good and bad), examined data sets, worked with Excel, and given two different forms of presentations, all with different classmates as partners.
So I think I may use Jared Derksen’s Bias Project. This seems to be a fun way to get students out and about while also having them experience bias in surveying first hand.
I have wanted to use Census at School in my statistics classroom for a couple of years, but have never actually gotten around to really understanding how to use the site and then creating an activity that is worth the time it takes. Perhaps this summer I’ll make that happen!
I’m also thinking I’d like my students to complete a poster for the ASA Poster project (due April 1) http://www.amstat.org/education/posterprojects/index.cfm. Perhaps a follow-up write-up (a possible blog write-up like http://blogs.sas.com/content/iml/2013/08/12/do-dryer-balls-reduce-drying-time.html) would add depth to this first semester project.
- If I use the ASA guidelines, I won’t have to create all of the documentation. Students will have to decide if their project fits the requirements.
- Maybe spend a day having students determine a grading rubric for their class grade based on the ASA guidelines and then have peer grading of the projects using a Google Form; again a time saver for me. By having the students peer grade, the average of the graders will be the grade for the student. This takes me out of the picture while giving voice to students in class. If students disagree with their peer’s grade, I can act as the final determining body, but won’t have to spend a huge amount of time grading individual posters. I would have students create an argument for why their grade does not represent their final product.
- Also have students write a blog post like this for a follow-up analysis. Here is a possible example of what I’m thinking: http://blogs.sas.com/content/iml/2013/08/14/dryer-balls-and-drying-time-a-statistical-analysis.html or
Josh suggests this: For one of the very last assignments of the fall semester, give students the handout “AP Statistics Spring Project Questionnaire.” Take time to discuss with them the underlying motivation and general structure of the project, as well as sharing examples of successful projects from previous years (either in my class or that I have come across in different sources). Then ask them to submit a list of preferred community organizations that they wish to partner with for their project and to also indicate which other students with whom they would ideally like to work.
Second Semester Ideas:
Then the very first day of class of the second semester, I’ll dedicate to officially assigning the project (and revealing groups and assigned members?) Students would then determine possible community partnerships and begin the communication with them. I had already contacted our Career and Technical Education supervisor for advice for helping my students with making community connections last spring so I’ll need to reconnect with her about how to best support the students in finding a community partner. She did suggest not to give students a list, but rather let them work at making the connections. She believes this is more empowering to the students and makes for a more committed relationship.
As a culmination of this work, they would write up the data analysis using inference in a scholarly project perhaps using the ASA Project requirements. One thing I’m debating is should I have students submit their projects to the ASA by June 1? It may be a pretty tight timeline since we are in school until June 24. Maybe one of the presentation options is to do a summary presentation to the community partnership (and maybe share the video with the class?).
So I need to organize the sequence of learning opportunities, identify the supporting documentation needed and create those items I still may need. Luckily, school doesn’t start until after Labor Day so I still have lots of my summer available….but not all for curriculum planning, I promise.
What are your musings for your classes next year?