Here are some important threads that connect the concepts in this unit
to those in other units of the course. It will be important to stress
these connections as they arise and foreshadow what is to come, so
students can better understand how each unit relates to one another and
the big picture of statistics.
• Exploratory Data Analysis
• Comparing Groups
- This unit introduces statistics as a science of data. It is
important that students first develop research questions pertaining to
their data and then organize the data appropriately to answer those
questions. If students lose sight of what they are trying to answer,
they will not be able to effectively interpret and communicate their
findings from the data.
- Every analysis should begin with basic numerical and
graphical summaries as described in this unit. This avoids applying the
wrong procedure later in the course and also will be used to check
underlying assumptions for these procedures.
- In this unit, students will be introduced to the idea of
comparing features and patterns between multiple groups – using simple
numerical and graphical summaries – in order to examine whether a
difference between the groups might exist.
- Comparing groups will be a theme throughout the course, as
students will be introduced to many other ways of comparing groups in
the probability and inference units of the course.
- A major question in statistics is: “Is the observed
difference due to chance?” Remind students that while the tools they
learn in this unit will help them make conjectures about the
differences and similarities between groups, they will eventually learn
more concrete and formal methods to determine whether a difference
between two groups is real.