University of Nevada, Las Vegas
PSY210 Section 1002 (Online Education) Introduction to Statistical Methods |
Professor Russell T. Hurlburt
Teaching Assistant Elaine Aquino (aquine1@unlv.nevada.edu)
Fall 2019 Syllabus
Teaching Assistant Elaine Aquino (aquine1@unlv.nevada.edu)
Fall 2019 Syllabus
Send comments on this syllabus to Dr. Hurlburt
Copyright 2019 Russell T. Hurlburt (see terms of use). Last modified 4/16/2019
Copyright 2019 Russell T. Hurlburt (see terms of use). Last modified 4/16/2019
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Course Goals and Overview
This course has two major goals: (a) to acquire an understanding of basic statistical concepts; and (b) to be able to perform accurately basic statistical computations. Students will demonstrate their understanding by providing "eyeball-estimates" of all statistics before computations are performed.
The course lectures are delivered as audio/visual streams across the Internet from the Personal Trainer site (access included free with your textbook). Thus these lectures are asynchronous -- available any place and any time you have access to the Web. See How this course works.
There is a lab for each chapter, also available from Personal Trainer. Each lab has a quiz, which counts towards your final grade.
The course exams take place according to a fixed schedule -- that is the exams are not asynchronous. The dates are shown below. You must take the exams between 8:00 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. (last exam starts at 11:00) on the assigned dates either at Online Education on the UNLV campus or at a remote proctored site arranged by UNLV Online Education. See Examinations and grades.
Examination dates (2019): Tuesday September 10, Tuesday October 1, Tuesday October 22, and Tuesday November 19.
The exam and quiz calendar can be found here.
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Who Should Take This Course?
Anyone who is eligible to take a course at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas may take this course. You do not need to be physically present in Las Vegas because the entire course (except the exams, which must be taken in proctored locations) will be available at any time and any place served by the Internet.
However, you should recognize that success in this course requires that you be self-motivated. There are no scheduled class meetings to "remind" you that it is time to think about statistics.
Furthermore, your success in this class relies heavily on your ability to read and understand the textbook. There will be short lectures ("lectlets"), but some of the material in this class will be presented only in the textbook. (Students generally find the textbook to be very clear and self-explanatory.)
Examinations will by proctored, and will take place on the campus at UNLV (at a location to be announced). It is also possible to make arrangements for proctors at other locations both within Nevada and around the world; click here for more information. All examinations will be proctored by employees of UNLV or their designees.
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Computer Equipment You Will Need
Computer requirements are:
- Any computer with access to the Internet. Windows or Macintosh computers are OK.
- A sound card with speakers for your computer.
- If you are using a public computer (as in a computer lab on campus), you will need to bring your own headphones to hear the audio.
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Textbook etc.
- TEXT: Hurlburt, R.T. (2017). Comprehending behavioral statistics (6th ed.). Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt. ISBN 9781524904654. This text may be purchased from the bookstore or online. You must use the sixth edition; previous editions will not provide access to Personal Trainer. You may use either the printed copy or the ebook, which is available at https://he.kendallhunt.com/product/comprehending-behavioral-statistics (you may install an ebook on two computers and two hand-held devices; access disappears after six months). Both the printed copy (for the original purchaser) and the ebook include access to the Personal Trainer website.
- COMPUTER SOFTWARE: Hurlburt, R. T. (2017). Personal Trainer 6.0.
Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt. Access to this site is included free with the sixth edition of the
textbook (original purchaser) or ebook and operates on both Windows and Macintosh
computers. The site includes a complete set of lectlets and the eyeball-estimation and computational
program ESTAT.
- CALCULATOR: A calculator is required for this course. A $5.00 version that has a square root key and a single memory function is adequate. Calculators with special statistical functions are permitted, but you will be required to show your work anyway.
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Arithmetic Prerequisite
Introductory psychology (PSY101) and college algebra (Mat 096, 124, or 126 or satisfactory placement on the mathematics pretest) are prerequisites for this course. Take the "Self-test for arithmetic" found in Appendix B of the textbook immediately. If you don't score 90% or higher on that test, you should seriously consider dropping this course and adding an algebra course.
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
How to Register for PSY210.1002
Use the same registration procedure you would use for any other UNLV course.
If you have the proper equipment installed, and you can be present for the exams on the dates specified, register as usual.
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
How This Course Works
As you proceed through the course, you will read a section of Dr. Hurlburt's textbook, widely regarded as one of the clearest and most innovative textbooks available.
You will also listen to Dr. Hurlburt provide a brief "lectlet" introducing the material you will read. These short introductions will take the place of classroom lectures, and provide some demonstrations that are impossible in printed form. Lectlets are available in the Personal Trainer web site (access is included free with your textbook).
There is a laboratory for each chapter, available in the Personal Trainer web site.
There is a quiz for each chapter, available in the Personal Trainer web site.
After each few chapters, you will go to a testing center (either at UNLV or at a remote location) where a proctor will administer the examination on those chapters.
Thus PSY210 is an optimized multimedia presentation of statistical material. It seeks to capitalize on the advantages of each medium by
- Using a printed textbook to present major content areas (see why a textbook is useful)
- Using audio lectlets to introduce chapter sections (see why lectlets are useful)
- Using live proctored examinations for evaluation (see why live proctored examinations are used)
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Why a Textbook is a Good Way to Present Content
A textbook is:
- Easy to use (to carry around, to underline, to refer back and forth, etc.)
- Easy to read because the type face is clear. This allows longer and more complex texts to be read with comprehension
- Permanent, which generally leads to more careful construction: better editing, better peer review, more thorough revision
- Printed at high quality: the graphics are clear, special typographic characters are available, the layouts of the pages are precisely controlled
- Backed by a publisher whose reputation and considerable financial assets are on the line, which provides something of a guarantee of accuracy.
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Why Lectlets are Useful
A lectlet is:
- Short: Specifically targeted at one topic
- Always ready: You can hear the lecture at your convenience
- Repeatable: You can listen again if you desire
- Controllable: If an interruption occurs or you lose concentration, you can pause and/or rewind (try that in a classroom lecture!)
- Helpful for people with special needs: Volume can be individually adjusted by the hearing impaired; rate of presentation can be controlled by the those for whom language is difficult; repetition is easy for those with attention difficulties; and so on
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Why live proctored examination settings are Used for Exams
A live proctored examination is:
- Near you
- Secure: The proctor controls the test materials
- Less subject to abuse: The proctor can ensure identification of the test taker
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Advice from Former Students
Near the end of semesters, I ask students who were just completing PSY210 (both live classroom and Online Education) whether they had any advice they would like to share with incoming students. Was there anything that they wished they had known at the beginning of the semester? Here's what they said, basically unedited... |
Here's my piece of advice to future statistic students: Do the homework! --Amy |
This is the first method that I have ever used to truly learn statistics. If you follow the plan as he has outlined you will do well. The lectlets are great, the book is well written, informative but not dry, and the quizzes keep you on your toes.
Do not get behind, do the work assigned and enjoy an understanding of Statistical Methods. --Alan |
If you stay on top of everything there is no way you won't understand
what is going on. Read the book, listen to the lectlets and take advantage of
everything offered on the Personal Trainer. If you keep up with the
syllabus there is no way you will fail.
--Vivien |
Here's my suggestion for taking the class: You need to
do all the homework assignments for every chapter so
it will help you understand the subject as well as
getting extra credit for it... make sure you go to
class every day or listen to the lectlets... and make
sure you do all the extra credit... if you do all of
these, you'll be more likely to get an A for this
class...:)
--Maria |
My advice would be to definitely do the
homework problems, which help tremendously with the test. I would also
recommend reading the book along with taking lecture notes because your tests
have information in them that is more thoroughly discussed in your book,
although your lectures are great too.
It's also good to take notes from the book as you read, and draw the distributions that are given as examples in the book. The last thing that I would recommend is trying to understand statistics, not just memorize the equations. When you do that, the class is so much easier to understand. --Ruff |
My advice would be for distance ed students to try to get together
during the semester and chat about the class, homework, problems, or
solutions. This method seems to help in other D.E. classes and could be
a real advantage here too.
--Mary |
I wish there was advice when I first started
the class!
For both live and distance-education classes I would tell them to pay strict attention to the side notes (in the textbook margins) and definitely listen to the lectlets whether they are distance ed or not. For me, it really made a difference in my comprehension of difficult principles. --Monica |
I think it is a very good idea to have input from prior students because
an online course- especially this course!- can be very intimidating.
I found that the strong points of the course were in the organization of the material. There was not any concept that I could not learn if I just went back and listened again to the lectlets or went over the ESTAT lessons again. I found they were more helpful than the book, which was easier to get lost in. My best advice is to make sure to set aside Monday night or a night early on in the week to do the lectlets and quizzes because they are due on Fridays. Make it like an actual classroom hour. Too many times I had to rush a quiz out in the end because I procrastinated. I really felt that this was an easy class to comprehend if you put the normal amount of time in to it you would any class -- nothing extraordinary. It is that explicative and interactive. --Tiffany |
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Russell T. Hurlburt
Russell T. Hurlburt is Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. For more information visit his web site
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Homework
Homework is due on the day of the exams for the relevant chapters. Turn the homework in to your exam proctor. There is no specified format: pencil on paper is fine.
Required homework is Section A and Section C at the end of each chapter (except that Chapter 1 has no Section C).
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Examinations and Grades
Examinations will by proctored, and will take place on the campus at UNLV (at a location to be announced). It is also possible to make arrangements for proctors at other locations both within Nevada and around the world; click here for more information. All examinations will be proctored by employees of UNLV or their designees.
Examinations 1, 2, 3, and 4 will each last 75 minutes and must begin between 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on the day scheduled.
These examinations will be closed book and closed notes, but you may use a calculator during the exam. You may bring to all exams one 'exam notes sheet' of your own creation, using one or both sides of an 8.5 X 11 inch piece of paper. Do not bother to write out equations; we will provide a Xerox copy of the equations that are shown in the inside front and back covers of your textbook.
The last exam will be take home and will actually be two exams in one. One of these last exams, Examination 5, will cover Chapters 16, 17, and 18 and will have the same format as the first four exams. As with the previous exams, this score may be dropped if it is your lowest score. The other last exam will be the Cumulative Review Final Exam and will have the same format as Section C of the homework exercises for Chapters 10 through 18. The Cumulative Review Exam is not droppable.
Examination 5 and the Cumulative Review Final Exam are take home, open notes, open book, and are not timed. They are both due at the time shown on this schedule (which is the time shown for the final exam in the UNLV course schedule).
Grades
We will create a 'Quiz Composite' score: There are 19 quizzes, each worth 10 points, for a total of 190 quiz points. We will drop the lowest two quizzes, giving a total of 170 points. The 'quiz composite' is the sum of all your quizzes (minus the dropped one) multiplied by 100/170, making the quiz composite have a maximum of 100 points.
To compute your final grade, we will drop the your lowest score on the five chapter Examinations and the quiz composite score.
Your final grade will be therefore based on six equally weighted scores: the best five of the Examinations and quiz composite, and the Cumulative Review Final Exam. Note that the Cumulative Review Final Exam is not droppable. (We will drop your quiz composite score if it is your lowest score.)
Each of those scores is worth 100 points. Therefore your final grade will be based on 600 points. Grade categories will be 10% wide; thus an A will be 540 points and above; a B will be 480 points and above, a C will be 420, a D 360, and and F 359 and below.
Homework will 'soften' the edges of these categories. For example, if your total points is 539 and you have done no homework, you will receive a B. However, if you have done some of the homework, you will receive an A. The more homework you have done, the more lenient we will be.
There will be no make-up exams. If you miss an exam, that will be the score that will be dropped.
NOTE: I take an extremely dim view of cheating, and will recommend penalties as extreme as the UNLV Code allows.
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
Examinations for students not in Las Vegas
If you wish to take examinations at a site distant from UNLV, you must arrange a proctor that is satisfactory to Dr. Hurlburt. This proctor may be a university or community college professor in your local location, a librarian, a police officer, etc. We will fax exams to the proctor, who will fax your answers back to us. The same exam dates and times apply as for local students.
Once you have arranged a proctor, email the proctor's name, affiliation, e-mail address, and fax number to Dr. Hurlburt at russ@unlv.nevada.edu.
PSY210: Introduction to Statistical Methods
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