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Statistics 2600:
Welcome to stats!  This course is built from the ground up, and has been fully rebuilt multiple times, around a few key ideas:
  • math is incredibly useful in the world and students should be exposed to relevant applications of math in school
  • team project learning motivates and contextualizes individual online learning -- together they help students build strong core skills and be able to apply them
  • lifelong learning follows classroom learning when it is interesting and fun
  • content mastery is expected of all students, even if it is not achieved on the first attempt

Your teachers:
This school year, Mr. Faulkner, Mr. Warneke, and Mr. Pethan will all be teaching Statistics. We are excited to be working together on this class.  You can reach us at our school emails,, and .  We are here to help and want to hear from you as soon as possible if you run into any trouble with the coursework, the course design, your peers, or with us.

Honor Code:
Instead of a long list of rules, I will use the following values our classroom.  These apply to both you and Mr. Warneke and I:
  • Integrity: I will represent myself accurately and completely in my work, my words, and my actions in academic and in non-academic affairs.
  • Respect for Others: I will be patient with and understanding of fellow community members, and considerate of their inherent dignity and personal property. I will care for community resources and facilities so others may effectively use them.
  • Openness to Change: I will be receptive to change, supportive of innovation, and willing to take risks for the benefit of the class.
  • Do Something: I will strive to better myself and my community and take responsibility for my own behavior. When I become aware of a violation of the Honor Code or an issue within the community, I will take action towards resolution of the situation. I expect others to do the same.
(adapted from the Olin College Honor Code)

Open Source Course:
In most courses, teachers use a reference textbook combined with their own material to teach.  In some courses, teachers or teacher teams develop their own materials instead of a textbook, but those materials are usually private or unable to be shared openly due to copyright restrictions connected to how they were made.  This course has been fully developed from scratch without such restrictions and is released free on the web for any teacher or student to use or remix.  As a result, it belongs to the class and to the world.  This also means that you are encouraged and expected to contribute to its development and improvement though day-to-day feedback, generating new ideas, and improving practice problems and solutions.

iPads, PLDs, and calculators:
Each of you will have an iPad, some of you will have an additional PLD with you, and Mr. Pethan's class will be held in a computer lab.  Since all of the course material is online, it is obviously important that you have an internet device and use it appropriately.  I reserve the right to take your device away during class if you are using it inappropriately or it is preventing you from learning.  PLDs may only be used in regard to course material (research, solutions, course videos, poll taking etc.).  Inappropriate use (texting, games, Facebook, surfing non-related classroom material, etc.) will be turned into the office as a violation of PLD policy.

Since much of the calculation is based on simulation (using a website accessible from the iPad), you will not need a Ti-83/4 calculator as much as previous stats classes have needed it.  However, the AP exam is fully based on normal-curve-based inference, which is a fancy way of saying that anyone with an interest in AP needs a TI-83 or TI-84 calculator.  I also use the TI-83 in some of my video examples.  If you don't already have access to one, I recommend saving some money and NOT buying a new one.  See eBay or Amazon used listings.

On tests, you will be allowed to use a calculator (TI-83/84) or StatKey calculator (on iPad or computer).

Hybrid days:
During some days, you will be able to leave school to work from home or another location during our stats block.  The purpose is to give you more freedom in how you complete your work while shrinking the class size on the days you do come in so you get as much 1-on-1 attention as possible.  Due to the interactivity of the many things we will do in class, there will not be as many online days as other courses may have, but we hope our classroom activities will be more interesting than doing homework alone at home.

Rules for online days: 1st block students do not need to come to school until 2nd block.  2nd block students with 3A lunch do not need to return to school until 3B.  3rd block students can leave during 3A and stay out until the start of 4th block.  4th block students may leave for the rest of the day.  If you have two online classes in a row, you do not need to check in with the office between classes.  When you come/go, sign in/out by the lost & found in the office.   If you choose to not go home, you may not linger in the building -- you must be in our classroom.  You also may not leave part-way through the block or return to school more than 5 minutes before the bell.

Mastery assessments:
Quizzes, free response questions, and individually-assessed components of projects will all be graded in a mastery format.  With this format, you will have in-class and online resources, along with a flexible amount of time, to prepare before an assessment.  If the assessment does not go well, you will have the opportunity to re-attempt up to 3 times.  All mastery assessments will be scored on a 4-3-2-1-0 scale:
  • 4: Demonstrates complete understanding and (when applicable) pushes beyond the initial expectation
  • 3: Demonstrates proficiency of the core concept being assessed and ready to move on to related content
  • 2: Shows partial mastery of the concepts or can show mastery with some help
  • 1: Shows poor understanding but can start most questions
  • 0: Does not show any understanding or did not fully attempt assessment

Recommended assessment dates will be listed on the course calendar.  If you are not ready, you may take more time to prepare, but be careful not to fall behind (falling too far behind pace will mean no hybrid days and extra work time in Guided Study Hall).  When you do take an assessment, it will be quickly graded and returned to you.  If you do not master the concepts, you will have the opportunity to redo the assessment after completing evidence of learning.  The purpose of this approach is to decrease the time you wait to see how you did on an assessment, to allow you to take action and learn if you did not master the material, and to enable you to maximize your grade if you take the time to learn all material.

Tests / finals:
There will be a cumulative test at the end of each quarter.  These may not be retaken.  They are open-note and open-internet tests, but you are not allowed to communicate with others and the tests have a time limit.  Students who come to class prepared have done fairly well, but those that relied on looking up questions online did very poorly historically.

AP credit:
At the start of the 2nd quarter, you can choose to take "Statistics B" as "AP Statistics B".  This will be reflected on your transcript.  The difference with AP is that you will need to take all tests without the aid of notes / internet or StatKey.  Instead, you will be allowed to use the AP reference sheet and a TI-83/84 calculator like you would get on the AP test.  In May, you will be able to take the AP Stats test free of charge (for an opportunity to earn college credit).

Honors credit:
Option 1: To qualify for honors credit, you must take Statistics B as "AP Statistics B" and you must finish the course with an 80% or better.  In addition, you must take 2 complete AP exams outside of class and grade 4 exams from peers using the AP rubrics.  The intention of this is to better prepare you for success on the AP exam.  You will also be required to read the AP Stats review book on Moodle.  Mr. Pethan can help you get access to this and setup a schedule to complete the honors work.
Option 2: An alternative option is to complete a large community service project as a statistics consultant.  You must work with a local non-profit organization and identify a need that can be addressed through better data collection and/or analysis.  Your project should total at least 25 hours of individual effort outside of class and you must present your findings to your teacher and to the organization you worked with.  Talk to Mr. Pethan for possible contacts if you are looking for ideas.  You may work with a partner, but each person is still expected to make a 25+ hour time commitment.

Grade breakdown:
  • 25%: Tasks
    • Baseline project work
    • In-class work
    • Reflections
  • 50%: Mastery
    • Content quizzes
    • Review quizzes
    • Content free-response quizzes
    • Project free-response questions
  • 25%: Cumulative test
    • Final multiple choice test integrating skills of the content units
    • Final project (Q2 only)

Grading scale:
 A 94-100 B+ 87-89C+ 77-79 D+ 67-69 F 0-59 
 A- 90-93 B 83-86C 73-76 D 63-66  
  B- 80-82C- 70-72 D- 60-62  

Andy Pethan,
Aug 22, 2013, 1:08 PM