Advanced statistics in Education – Week 1

This weeks learning tips:

  • Check out the Khan Academy for a wide variety of good quality math and science video tutorials.
  • Save time by speeding up playback with Enounce MySpeed.

One of the courses I'm taking this semester is titled Advanced Statistics in Education: Multivariate Data Techniques (EDU 7395).

This is the first face-to-face classroom course I've taken since my undergrad – so it is has been 18 years since I was last a student in a classroom. Not that I haven't been a student, I did do an online Master's degree, but face-to-face is different. There is an need to think on your feet, that isn't there in the online classroom.

It has also been more than 18 years since I last studied statistics. I did well in my Statistics for Engineering and Science students course, but never had any need to apply any of it. The course itself was more about the formulas – that is how to calculate this value or that value – and less about why you would ever want to calculate this value or that value.

In the first class of EDU 7395, I found myself a little lost. I had little or no recall from my previous statistics course; however, I did find a lot of the information being presented intuitive – so it made sense but the terminology was killing me. All the negatives where getting caught in my brain. I couldn't process the idea of "When we determine that there is a low probability of the null hypothesis, we can reject the null hypothesis, thereby accepting the alternative hypothesis." Huh?

I dug out my old text book and started skimming through chapters. A useful exercise, but slow and boring. I searched youtube for statistics videos, and found plenty, but the quality was variable – some were great, but others were pretty awful. The good videos helped me learn, but the process was slow.

Along came my wonderful husband, pointing out the Khan Academy. After a quick view, I discovered they had some wonderful videos that covered the topics I needed to review. To help speed up the process of reviewing the videos – which can sometime be pretty slow – I installed a trial of Enounce MySpeed – a great utility to speed up the playback of Internet videos. The software worked much better than expected, giving me a smooth playback with a wide granularity of speed control.

With any luck, I'll be finished reviewing and be a little more prepared for the second class!

 

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