# Parameter

## Overview

In general, we find that students tend to confuse parameter in an everyday sense (boundary, defining a system) with bias in a strict statistical sense (summary of the population with respect to a random variable). Research shows that this confusion is very frequently not resolved even after a student has completed an introductory course.

## Student Notions

When presented with a prompt such as: "Write a sentence using the word *parameter*, then give the definition of *parameter* as you used it in the sentence", student responses have been summarized into the following categories (in this case, categories are exclusive):

- Statistical Notions
- Numerical characteristic of a population or distribution
- Defined using examples of a specific parameter (i.e., mean of the population)
- An incorrect definition based on statistical terminology
- Defining "the population" rather than the random variable summary

- Colloquial Notions
- Limit, boundary, rule
- Characteristic element or condition
- Defining "perimeter"

## Activities

The following HILT activities have been designed to address student misconceptions regarding "Parameter" and have research that suggests they improve student learning:

All vs. Small | Candy Jar |