This activity encourages you to consider how responsible you are for your own learning and the impact that class attendance and the amount of study may have on college success. In this exercise, you will gain experience in interpreting data about conditional and proportional reasoning and you will explain conditional percentages using a contingency table. Based on collected data, you will be able to calculate ratios, percentages, or odds of chance occurrence.
To prepare for this activity, you need to feel confident in your understanding of the concepts of fractions and proportions in mathematics. Here's a short video from Jimmy Chang, a math teacher at St. Petersburg College, for you to review: http://youtu.be/qP6UZY623pk. Or you can review and test your knowledge in this short free tutorial, "Help with Proportions," from Discovery Education: http://www.webmath.com/k8prop1.html.
As a part of this activity focused on statistical inferential reasoning, you should also reflect on what college success skills work best for you.
A statistics inferential reasoning problem that relates to issues commonly found in the difficult transition from high school to college.
This exercise was developed by Dr. Bill Griffith, Department of Statistics at the University of Kentucky. A similar kind of activity has been used in his course, STA210 “Introduction to Statistical Reasoning,” which is a component of the University’s general education program (see more on this UK Core competency at http://www.uky.edu/UGE/documents/Templates/Statistical.pdf). Successful students who complete this course at UK should be able to articulate how statistical science can be used to address uncertainty in many of our decisions and decide whether a statistical argument (that is used, for example, in the mainstream media) is valid.
The transition from high school to college is a difficult one for many students. Many academic and non-academic issues arise. There is an extensive literature on this (listed at the end of this module) and much of that research is summarized in this interview on “College Transition” by Derek Melleby with Eric Bierker of The College Transition Group, Center for Parent/Youth Understanding.
Students in two freshman level courses at Wichita State University were asked to describe the transitional issues they faced in their first semester and to give advice to incoming students. What they had to say are pretty much the types of issues that most incoming college students face:
Top Ten Issues Identified by Freshmen in College
(in order of importance)
Source: "Top Ten Issues Identified by Freshmen in College" list adapted from “From High School to College – what to expect,” Duke University, http://web.duke.edu/arc/documents/High%20School%20to%20College.pdf
Your success in college is a shared responsibility, but your share of this responsibility is now bigger than it was in high school. We will focus on two of the issues described above - - class attendance and amount of study.
First, study how a contingency table works: see the StatTrek Statistics and Probability Dictionary entry on conditional frequency.
Now, imagine a college class of 1,379 students in which there are about 30% new first-year students. See the student type counts below:
STUDENT TYPE |
Count |
Percentage |
New Freshman |
427 |
30.96% |
Other |
952 |
69.04% |
TOTAL |
1,379 |
100.00% |
In that class, each student was asked to answer a simple 2-question survey - see the survey questions below:
TRANSITIONS SURVEY
All 1,379 students answered the survey with the following frequencies:
Use your understanding of proportions to compute the answers to the following questions:
NEED SOME HELP?
To get free help from an online study group, sign up at Open Study’s HippoCampus Statistics & Probability.for free.
What about your own transition from high school to college? Reflect on which issues above most readily pertain to your own situation.
Here are some words of wisdom from Jerry O’Connor of New Mexico State University to first year college students: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/clearinghouse/links/suggestions.htm.
Here are some movies on the transition to college: http://www.thebestcolleges.org/9-timeless-movies-about-the-college-transition.
On proportions and inferential reasoning
"Proportions," Brightstorm. http://www.brightstorm.com/math/algebra/solving-equations/proportions.
"Proportions and Proportional Reasoning," Wikibook. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Basic_Algebra/Proportions_and_Proportional_Reasoning/Proportions
On transition from high school to college
A good textbook (free online) explains what it means to be successful in college: College Success by Bruce Beiderwell et al., can be found at http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/catalog/editions/54