Case studies are an effective way to teach statistics, whether you are in a classroom or online setting. In this post, I’ll discuss how case studies reflect best practices in statistics education and where to find JMP-integrated case studies. In my previous blog post, I discussed the appeal of case studies for adult learners.
Preparing our students to be statistically literate
It’s all growing – the number of undergraduates enrolling in statistics classes, new college majors and minors in statistics and data science, the demand for trained analysts in the workforce, and citizens’ constant exposure to statistics and infographics of all kinds. All of this is fueled by the vast amounts of data that are now available. How do we as instructors prepare our students to be wise consumers and producers of statistics in their personal and professional lives?
Teach statistical thinking using an investigative process of problem-solving and decision making and give students experience with multivariable thinking.
Focus on conceptual understanding.
Integrate real data with a context and purpose.
Foster active learning.
Use technology to explore concepts and analyze data.
Use assessments to improve and evaluate student learning.
Case studies are a good fit with the GAISE guidelines
Case studies offer the opportunity to implement the GAISE guidelines. Case studies are based on real-world problems and show how statistical methods are applied in practical settings. It’s been my experience that student engagement in the statistical material increases when they see it applied in a real-life setting. Case studies are flexible and can be used for classroom presentation, small group activities, online discussions, or homework assignments.
Sources of JMP case studies for your classroom
There are many sources of case studies for teaching statistics but fewer that are integrated with specific statistical software. Learning both statistical methodology and software navigation can be challenging for the introductory student. Here are some sources of case studies that have JMP integrated.
The JMP Case Study Library can be indexed by method (e.g., Predictive Modeling, Descriptive and Exploratory) or by topic (e.g., Business Statistics, Health Care and Quality Improvement).
Our new casebook, Data Management and Analysis Using JMP: Health Care Case Studies, contains 13 cases that cover traditional introductory statistics course topics and include applications such as modeling costs for newborn hospital stays, quantifying changes in wait times for appointments at Veterans Administration medical centers, assessing nursing cultural changes in a hospital from survey results, and visualizing influenza activity.
Let me know how you’re using case studies in your classroom. In my next post, I’ll take a closer look at a health care case study using JMP.