MTH243 Statistics I
Introduces displaying data with graphs, numerical descriptions of data, producing data, elementary probability, probability distributions, confidence intervals and significance testing. Investigates applications from science, business, and social science perspectives. Graphing calculator with advanced statistical programs and/or computer software required; see instructor. Prerequisite: (MTH 111, MTH 111B or MTH 111C), and placement into WR 121. Audit available. (For detailed information, see the Course Content and Outcome Guide ).
Distance Education: Web Course Information
- From the Instructor:
- Q:What book will we use?
A:The book information is found below, in the Course Specific Requirements section. Q: Are chances of doing well online the same as a course that meets face to face?
A: No, typically online passing rates are much lower than face to face courses. I have taught this course for several years now and the average passing rate has settled around 59%, compared to 71% for a face to face course. This is true for other online math courses as well, not particular to my course. The reason for this low passing rate can be attributed to students not being aware of the personal characteristics required to succeed online or ignoring the message I have for you below. If you are taking an online course because the face to face course you wanted to take was full this is not a wise decision. You should take an online course because you have researched it, and it is a good fit for your learning style. Please continue reading. Q:When does the class start?
A: You will have access to Desire2Learn (D2L) Sunday evening the day before the term starts. If it is possible I will give you access Sunday morning before the term starts or even earlier. If earlier, I will send an email message to the class via MyPCC email. Q:How do I access the course?
A:Log into MyPCC. On the main webpage, in the Quick Links window you will see the link to access D2L. Q:When should I start the course?
A:Immediately!! I am expecting you to access and start the course the day I give you access or the day after. The longer you wait to access the course, the chance of succeeding in the course diminishes. How well you do in the course is determined in the first four days. Also, when you access the D2L course and participate in the activities it is the equivalent of attending a face-to-face course. Students that do not sufficiently participate in the course by Thursday will be dropped. However, it is up to you do drop the course if you are not planning on attending (i.e. Do not rely on me to drop you.) Q: How I am graded?
A: You will have weekly quizzes based on assigned homework, participation in weekly discussions, four small assignments (based on homework usually two or three questions), exams (First two are take home, the last two are given at the PCC Rock Creek Campus, or at a PCC testing center - if one cannot make the RC date and room is available at the testing center. Testing Center hours are limited and so is space. If you are living outside the Portland Metro area and cannot make it to the Rock Creek campus, you must go to a nearby community college or university testing center. Some libraries also offer this service.) and a quick writing assignment. Keep in mind that I try to keep the graded assignments small so it is not too much of a burden, however, you will also note that the assignments take time to complete. If you are taking too many courses you may find that you cannot keep up in the long run. Typically, it is completing the non-graded homework and learning the concepts that will take the majority of your time. Q: What are the dates for the two proctored exams?
The first proctored exam is scheduled for May 23 at the Rock Creek campus, 2pm to 5pm or 6pm to 9pm.
The final exam is also proctored, and you can either take the final on June 11th or June 12th from 6pm to 9pm, at the Rock Creek campus. If you cannot make those times email me as quickly as possible, while dropping the course without charge is still an option, to see if we can make other arrangements.
Q:What is a Statistic course like?
A: It is different from an algebra course in many respects. In a Statistics course algebra is a tool used to learn about the subject. There is a video series (1/2 hour lessons) you can watch on-line and this will give you a very good view of the course. Do an online search for 'Against All Odds:Inside Statistics' and view lessons 7, 8, 9, 19 , 20.
Q:Is an online course self-paced?
A:The online course is not self-paced. The pace is set by the instructor who releases modules containing lecture notes and quizzes on a bi-monthly basis. In about a two week period you get to decide when you will study but it cannot be done in a day, for example. Students who eventually drop out, attempt to participate a few times during a two week period. You must realize that you will need to study every other day at a minimum. If your strategy is to do all the work on Saturday and Sunday, for example, this will not work.
Q:Are the assignments due the same time every week?
A:No. I have come to find out that some students want the course to be the same every week, meaning quiz on every Thursday for example. This is not possible since the difficulty and the time you will need to spend for a given chapter varies dramatically. Some chapters are more difficult and foreign, thus I put in extra quizzes to force you to study and keep up with the material. I treat the pace of the course as I would play an instrument: I change the tempo as the mood requires it.
Q:I am taking an online course because I do not have much time to study and I am hoping it is easier. Is this correct?
A:An online environment is harder than a face to face course. You have to be very disciplined and make sure you have a set schedule of when you will study. If you have a hard time motivating yourself to study then an online environment is not for you.
Please note that when you take a face-to-face class you can sit passively and obtain information by the exchange of information between teacher and student. That component is missing here.
Do not take this course if you are taking a full class load and working. Leave yourself free time that you can use when emergencies arise. If you have a schedule that has no free time available, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
Suppose you get ill and fall behind a few days -this occurs in on-line environments as well. If you are only taking two classes it should be possible to catch up. But if you are taking three and working full time, then it will be more difficult to do so. Furthermore, the class starts quickly (four chapters in week 1), and the pace continues throughout. YOU SHOULD START THE COURSE the first day of availability. If you wait five days after the course starts to actually start studying, it is too late. Here is a quote from as student:
- This term has been a difficult one for me. I will admit to not having given this class the attention it deserves thus far, and sadly, it is because it is an online class, and because my physical classes serve as a constant reminder twice a week as to what needs to be accomplished. I do not think statistics is a difficult subject, but there are so many rules! I find my greatest problem to be understanding all of the complicated formulas and knowing when to use them.
Q:What type of student should take an online course?
A:An online student should possess the following traits.
- Should be a strong math student.
- Can study independently.
- Can learn mathematics by reading.
- Understands that learning a concept takes time and can persevere when concepts don't make sense.
- Has the available time to go over the material, do homework and study.
- Does not have prior commitments that will make logging in and participating not possible (e.g. getting married, going on vacation, having surgery, other medical conditions, taking too many courses, working too many hours).
- Can communicate effectively in writing, and is willing to communicate in writing.
- Is willing to communicate with the instructor and other students in writing via discussion boards.
- Will not depend solely on tutors, that is, some students are under the notion that having a tutor is all it will take to attain understanding and pass a course.
- Can work through computer issues such as a video is not working, need to update Java, is willing to call the helpdesk to work through computer issues.
- Not a procastinator.
A: Consider the required traits/scenarios mentioned above,the warnings issued so far and to follow. Having taken this class before and passed or failed should not be taken into consideration at all. Look at the reasons for your success or failure and ask yourself how you will translate either into the online format. Q:How hard is statistics?
A:This is difficult to answer because of different skill levels students come with. What I can say is that you need the same skill set required to solve word problems in algebra. You must know how to learn, and you must be playful with mathematics asking lots of 'what if' questions; going beyond the homework. Basically 'plug-and-play' does not work in this subject. Here are quotes from students.
- Something new and interesting I've learned is how little I actually know about statistics. Besides the basics this is all new material for me. Just after reading the first 5 chapters I can already tell this is going to be a challenging class. I definitely got my work cut out for me.
- I just feel like there are too many concepts flying around and I wish the book would be more specific on how to solve certain scenarios and such. I also took calculus and I was successful but this stats stuff, I think is way harder than calculus. In calculus, it's all just numbers, but in stats, it's adding words to numbers, which equals chemistry, which is also another weak point for me. Seriously, bino-what?
- I think as we go along it's becoming more and more clear why Statistics is so challenging, and this module really illustrates that; you can be great at algebra, but although algebra is relied upon heavily in statistics, if you can't grasp how to organize the information given in order to apply equations in ways that are going to lead you to the information you are seeking, it won't matter if you are an algebra master.
The students quoted above passed the course, yet you can see that their expectations of the course turned out to be much different from what they actually experienced. Furthermore, to do well they had to put a lot more time into the course that they had anticipated. A person taking a course online needs to know how to learn in order to be successful.Q:Will I have to interact with other students?
A:Yes, part of your grade is to participate in online discussions with your classmates. Q:How is the material presented?
A:I will provide the student with written material, videos (create by me or a second party), and PowerPoint presentations. You also have as a resource the textbook used for this course. Note: I skip around the textbook to present the material in a manner that makes sense and will allow you to learn the material as quickly as possible. If you don't like this type of instruction then don't take this course from me. Q: Is there homework?
A: Yes lots of it, however, I do not collect it. Not doing the homework will of course cause you to not do well in the course. Q: What is the most difficult aspect of the course?
A: Understanding the concepts; my interest is for you to understand a part of Statistics that is often misunderstood by the uninitiated. You will of course be asked to perform some mathematical operations, but for most problems you must be able to read a situation and then apply the correct mathematical operation. You can only accomplish this if you know what the mathematical operations indicate and why you use them. Thus, just merely knowing how to calculate a step will not be enough. Thus, the reason not to take too many courses if you work; you need time to absorb the material which is not possible if you are very busy. Q: How do I know if I am ready?
A: If you go to the following website http://www.learner.org/resources/series65.html you can view statistic lessons by clicking on the VoD icon on the right. Look at lessons 1 through 6, especially lessons 4, 5 and 6 as these are where the first abstract ideas are discussed.
- Course Specific Requirements:
You will need a high speed connection from home, access to Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint Reader.
You need to be comfortable with technology and able to learn quickly if not familiar with a piece of software.
The textbook we are using is Stats: Data and Models by DeVeux, Velleman, and Bock 3rd edition. If you order the book online give yourself a minimum of one week. Don't get the book online if there is less than one week before the term starts. The publisher is Addison Wesley/Pearson Addison Wesley/Pearson
The PCC bookstore has a custom version of this textbook as well. The cover is different; it contains a photograph of Portland with Mount Hood prominently in the background. The purpose of the custom text is to remove chapters that we will not be using thus, lowering the cost of the text.
The bookstore book bundle, if bought new, comes with MyMathLab. I don't require MyMathLab, however, I do have a ID number for those interested in using it. I have found that it is not neccessary for this course, but it is there for those interested in trying it.
- Web Technical Requirements:
- Please be sure to read the Technical Requirements for this delivery mode.
- Students with Disabilities:
- Students with disabilities should notify their instructor if accommodations are needed to take this class. For information about technologies that help people with disabilities in taking Web based distance learning classes please visit the Office for Students with Disabilities website.
- To register, you need the CRNs (ex. 22398) of your selected classes.
- Please note that for many courses, additional fees may apply.
- To find textbooks, you need the CRN, Campus, Term & Course Number (ex. BA101).
|CRN||Campus / Bldg / Rm||Time||Days||Dates|
|WEB »||24834||-||31-Mar-2014 thru 14-Jun-2014|
Instructor: Henry A Mesa
Tuition: credit Fees: $20.00
For information, contact Rock Creek
This page includes one section only, more sections may exist for this class.