If undergrads were asked to create a list of the most terrifying things at college, statistics would surely be near the top. Many students, even in sociology, dread taking any class that mentions the word “statistics” in the title.
But, statistical methodology is an invaluable tool that can be used to explore the social world, and finding ways to illuminate complex concepts and connect the math to students’ daily lives is key.
Sue Hodge recently shared some great resources with us that might make this task a little easier:
ICPSR and SSDAN are partners on two projects to improve the quantitative literacy of students. One of the projects is TeachingWithData.org, a website of resources for faculty and instructors to teach social science concepts through the use of data. It is not exclusive to sociology, but there are many resources for sociologists. In addition to classroom resources, the site has current news articles that use data to explain a happening or some other news, such as the recent growth enjoyed by Netflix. Very often these articles are accompanied by a chart or table which can be helpful for faculty looking for easy ways to have students practice these skills, and sometimes, they illustrate the incorrect use of data.