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Using Grassy Narrows in a Live Classroom with Clicker Questions and Interactive Histogram: Sampling Distributions, Probability, and Hypothesis Testing

Author(s): Jonathan Andrew Akin

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

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Summary:
Students are introduced to concepts of sampling distributions, p-values, and hypothesis testing. Using both simulated and real data for methylmercury level in fish populations, students will determine whether observations fall within government…

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Students are introduced to concepts of sampling distributions, p-values, and hypothesis testing. Using both simulated and real data for methylmercury level in fish populations, students will determine whether observations fall within government safety guidelines for safe consumption.

Description

The main portions of Parts I and II of the Module will be taught over two days in a FTF classroom setting (at least 50 minutes).  Students will use a personal response system (aka Clicker) to answer questions before and during these class meetings.  Students can pair up for help or work individually depending on their choice. Participation counts as attendance and the responses will be collected to guide the content of the final assessment to make sure any initial misconceptions have been addressed.  

Before day 1, students will answer pre-class Clicker questions.  All Clicker questions have been provided.

On day 1, pre-class questions will be reviewed and students will create an instant-histogram of the sampling distribution on the front board by posting sticky notes for their sample means on a drawn chart template.  Students will then answer in-class Clicker questions.  A student handout and associated PowerPoint is provided.

https://www.post-it.com/3M/en_US/post-it/ideas/articles/How-to-make-a-histogram-to-visualize-data-and-solve-problems/

Before day 2, students will answer pre-class Clicker questions.

On day 2, pre-class questions will be reviewed and students will view a demonstration of how Excel can be used to find sample means as well as find a p-value for the t statistic.  Students will answer in-class Clicker question.  Students will be assigned Bonus Homework that will require them to use Excel.  A student handout and associated PowerPoint is provided.

On day 3, Bonus Homework results will be reviewed in the context of lecture class topic on trophic levels and biomagnification and information about mercury pollution in local area. 

Finally, students will take an online final summative assessment after the Module has ended.

Students will be provided an example of a publication/scientific paper that uses a t-test and p-value to demonstrate that is a common statistical technique.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1919613. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

 

Notes

The original resource was adapted/modified by making the following changes. Some questions were adapted for Clicker response and a Bonus Homework and final summative assessment were added.

Change the introductory video for Pre-Class Activity to shorter video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zq85u2aZvk

Change the first question of Pre-Class Activity to be more specific about the population of interest.

1. How would you know the fish that make up the staple food of the Grassy Narrows First Nations were poisoned by the mercury spill upstream?

Change the third question of Pre-Class Activity to be more relevant to location of my students.

3. Considering the specific kind of community affected and its location, is this highlighted problem important to you? In other words, should you care about this problem given that you are in Louisiana – why or why not?

For Part I,

Provide more specific calculation formula for parts per million 

part per million =  (mass of solute / mass of whole solution) * 106

Eliminate the in-class paired-activity of performing the conversion in order to save time. Show instead show mg/kg to ppm interconversion.  

Add additional context to deterministic vs stochastic problem: extending to functions and  population growth models/lines (with different SD).

Modified from:

https://www.calculushowto.com/deterministic-function-nondeterministic/

Source: https://science.umd.edu/classroom/BSCI363/inouye/Lectures/demography/sld019.htm

Changed the sequence of the main part of the activity in to have students generate sampling distribution BEFORE going through setting up the hypotheses.  

Part II

No changes except to point out that Excel has a t-test function that provides relevant information.

Part III

This entire section (including the Muskrat Falls Dam project) was eliminated due to time constraints.  

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