K300: Statistical Techniques
Instructor: Dr. Michael Jones
Office: PY 370
Office Hours: Wednesdays, 9:15am - 10:15am
Office Phone: 856-1490
Office: Geology 606
Hours: Fridays 10-11am
Class webpage: http://www.compcog.com/courses.html
This course is intended to be an basic introduction to statistics—the tools scientists use to quantify and evaluate evidence, making informed decisions and advancing knowledge. We will cover fundamental concepts of statistical description and inference with application to the behavioral sciences. We will visit a range of topics and techniques, while addressing two broad needs: 1) to gain a basic understanding of statistical inference, and 2) to gain skills and hands-on experience actually analyzing behavioral data.
- A firm grasp of basic descriptive and inferential statistics
- An understanding of chance models and the logic of statistical inference
- Ability to conduct statistics the old fashion way (by hand) and by computer
- Ability to design and conduct simple behavioral experiments
- Development of an annoying knack to critically question everything
Gravetter, F. J., & Wallnau, L. B. (2017). Statistics for The Behavioral Sciences, 10th Edition. Cengage Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-305-50491-2.
We will be using Microsoft Excel for this course. Lectures will demonstrate core concepts using Excel, but these skills will not be required for quizzes, tests, or exams. Excel is available in all UITS computer labs, and is also available free to IU students from IUware (http://iuware.iu.edu/) or IU AnyWare (https://iuanyware.iu.edu) under “Office Tools” as part of MS-Office.
If, for some reason, you are boycotting Microsoft, many free and open-access alternatives exist. For our purposes, you can get by just fine with Google Sheets (https://www.google.com/sheets/) either by downloading the free app, or just running it online. IU Ware also has OpenOffice as an open-source alternative to MS-Office, and it will also work fine for the simply analyses we will be conducting in class
For the tests, exams, and homework assignments you will also need a calculator. Any calculator with a square root function should be sufficient. But you will need a stand-alone calculator for the tests and exam, so find one; smart phones will not be allowed during testing.
Format of Course – Quizzes, Assignments, Tests, and Exam
There will be one homework quiz assigned via Canvas roughly each week (11 total). The homework is your primary means for “hands on” experience with the concepts presented in the lectures; such experience is crucial for success in the course. In addition, the homework problems will exercise specific abilities that will be evaluated on the tests and final exam.
The homework will be posted on Canvas typically on Thursdays. Completing the quizzes on time is your own responsibility. Quizzes are typically due the following week, by the beginning of class (the exact posting and due dates for each quiz are in the far right column of our schedule). Late homework quizzes will not be accepted. The correct answers for the quiz questions will be activated after the due date, and will remain online for the duration of the course. Each homework quiz will be graded using a percentile scale (which can be translated to the standard A-B-C-D-F letter scale, see below). To get the overall homework score, your lowest homework grade will be dropped, and the remaining 10 of your grades will be averaged. Your overall homework score contributes 20% to the final grade.
There will be two take-home data analysis assignments, which will require you to follow the steps of hypothesis testing to evaluate the results of an experiment. These two assignments will be posted on Canvas, but you will hand in a hardcopy with all your work shown. The two analysis assignments are each worth 2.5% of the final grade.
Tests and Exam:
There are three in-class tests and one cumulative final exam. Of the three test scores the lowest one will be dropped. The remaining two tests each contribute 25% to the final grade. The final exam is mandatory. You must take the final exam. If you have a scheduling conflict or cannot take the exam at the appointed time/date, let me know immediately. The final exam contributes 25% to the final grade. We will use a percentile scale to determine the final grade.
Practice tests will be posted on Canvas a week before the test, and the solutions will be reviewed one class before the test. A practice exam will be posted two weeks before the final, and the solutions will be reviewed in the final week of classes.
- Test 1, Test 2, Test 3: Best two out of three count towards final grade (25% each)
- Final Exam (mandatory): 25%
- Homework Quizzes (best 10 out of 11): 20%
- Analysis Assignments (2.5% each): 5%
- Class: Participation strongly encouraged
A+: 100% - 97%
A: < 97% - 93%
A-: < 93% - 90%
B+: < 90% - 87%
B: < 87% - 83%
B-: < 83% - 80%
C+: < 80% - 77%
C: < 77% - 73%
C-: < 73% - 70%
D+: < 70% - 67%
D: < 67% - 63%
D-: < 63% - 60%
F: below 60%
As a student at IU, you are expected to adhere to the standards and policies detailed in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (Code). When you submit an assignment with your name on it, you are signifying that the work contained therein is yours, unless otherwise cited or referenced. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged. All suspected violations of the Code will be reported to the Dean of Students and handled according to University policies. Sanctions for academic misconduct may include a failing grade on the assignment, reduction in your final course grade, and a failing grade in the course, among other possibilities. If you are unsure about the expectations for completing an assignment or taking a test or exam, be sure to seek clarification beforehand.
Statement for Students with Disabilities
Every attempt will be made to accommodate qualified students with disabilities (e.g. mental health, learning, chronic health, physical, hearing, vision neurological, etc.) You must have established your eligibility for support services through the appropriate office that services students with disabilities. Note that services are confidential, may take time to put into place and are not retroactive; Captions and alternate media for print materials may take three or more weeks to get produced. Please contact Disability Services for Students at http://disabilityservices.indiana.edu or 812-855-7578 as soon as
possible if accommodations are needed. The office is located on the third floor, west tower, of the Wells Library, Rm W302. Walk-ins are welcome 8 to 5, Monday to Friday.
How to Succeed in the Course
A few useful tips:
(1) Attending class will make it easier for you to keep track of your own progress and participate in problem solving. You should also have an easier time preparing for the exams and getting through the homework assignments. Remember, you are encouraged to ask questions! Also, many of the concepts will be illustrated in class with examples that are not in the textbook.
(2) Policy on missing tests/exam: There are no make-up tests for tests 1, 2 and 3. Missing tests are entered as a ‘0%’. Exceptions are religious observances and university sponsored events (please give notices of such observances within the first two weeks of the semester). Note: If one test is missed, this test will simply be dropped and has no impact on the student’s final grade. Missing more than one test, however, will have an impact, as each additional missed test counts as a ‘0%’. The final exam is mandatory.
(3) Before each test I will post a practice test on the web. This gives you an idea of the kinds of problems covered in the test as well as the length of the test.
(4) You should read the appropriate chapters in the textbook before the material is discussed in class (see Schedule). This way, you'll be able to ask questions if something is not clear.
(5) About once every week, I will ask you to write down which part of the material was particularly unclear ('minute form') - we will then try to go over this material again in class.
(6) I encourage you to work and study in small groups. You can learn a lot from others, not just in statistics. If you like you can also do your homework in groups – just remember that you need to have a clear understanding of what the problems are and how to solve them. You will be on your own during the tests and exam! The problems you solve in your homework assignments will be similar to the ones you'll encounter in the tests and exam. In my experience, taking homework seriously tends to improve your performance on the tests and exam.
(7) Feel free to contact me if you have any problems. I will be in my office (PSY 370) and exclusively available for K300 problems on Wednesdays 9:15am - 10:15am (third floor, Psychology Building). You do not need an appointment if you'd like to talk to me during office hours. If you can't make it during those times, but need help, send me an email (email@example.com).
(8) Please silence cell phones during class time.
(9) All IU University policies will be respected and followed.
This syllabus is an outline of the course and its policies, which may be changed for reasonable purposes during the semester at the instructor’s discretion. You will be notified in class and / or via email if any changes are made to this syllabus, and an updated syllabus will be provided on Canvas.