I taught biostatistics for several years. You know what was one of bigger challenges of teaching that class? Finding articles to use in class that had straightforward application of the statistical principles that we were learning in class.
Let’s fix that! How about we crowdsource a list of articles that have great examples of common statistical concepts for us to use in teaching? I’ve created a google spreadsheet for this, please feel free to add to it! I’ve gotten it off a start with two papers that I’ve used a lot. (They date to the mid 2000s, because, well, that’s when I started teaching biostats, but they’re still great examples.) Please check out, and add to, this spreadsheet!
Here are a couple figures from one of the papers I added to the spreadsheet (Frederickson and Gordon 2007):
Hark, what is that I see? A straightforward example of an ANOVA with a Tukey post-hoc, in the wild? Can it be?
I have no idea how much time I spent trying to find a paper that had such simple figures with accordingly simple statistics. (Maybe we could just overlook the post I wrote recently about how horrible bar graphs are, amirite? I suppose this would be even better with violin plots or box plots. Anyhow.) It seems that most papers include twists in their stats, unnecessary complexities, bending backwards for a reviewer or something, and maybe something with linear algebra. Which might be just fine for the paper! But if we’re teaching introductory statistics, it’s a good idea to be able to work with examples of straightforward statistics in the literature, that don’t look so different from what we’re teaching. (Even though perhaps the curriculum needs to evolve beyond the classic set of parametric tests that folks tend to start out with.) Do you know the quote attributed to Picasso, it goes like, ‘Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.’ Which I would guess he may have said in French or in Spanish?
The whole point of this post is to share this crowdsourced spreadsheet, so we can grow it and so it can be of use to the community of folks teaching statistics in science classes. Let’s get examples from a variety of disciplines, so that no matter what a person is teaching, they can find a good example.
To get this spreadsheet going, two lucky contributors will receive a copy of my book, The Chicago Guide to College Science Teaching. That is, when it becomes available this summer. (I’ll have more details about the book in a post over the next couple months, as soon as it can be pre-ordered.) I’ll check in at noon Pacific, one week from now (that’s 26 Feb 2020), and each row will be an entry for the giveaway. (So the more rows you enter, the better your odds.)
So again, here’s the spreadsheet! Happy teaching!