# 02 - Teaching Tips 1 Teaching Tips for Statistics for...

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Teaching Tips Teaching Tips for Statistics for Managers using Microsoft Excel 4 th Ed. Educational Philosophy In our many years of teaching introductory statistics courses, we have continually searched for ways to improve the teaching of these courses. Our vision for teaching these introductory business statistics courses has been shaped by active participation in a series of Making Statistics More Effective in Schools of Business, Decision Sciences Institute, and American Statistical Association conferences as well as the reality of serving a diverse group of students at a large university. Over the years, our vision has come to include these principles: 1. Students need a frame of reference when learning a subject, especially one that is not their major. That frame of reference for business students should be the functional areas of business – accounting, economics and finance, management and marketing. Each statistical topic needs to be related to at least one of these functional areas. 2. Virtually all the students taking introductory business statistics courses are majoring in areas other than statistics. Introductory courses should focus on underlying principles that are important for non-statistics majors. 3. The use of spreadsheet and/or statistical software should be integrated into all aspects of the introductory statistics course. The reality that exists in the workplace is that spreadsheet software (and sometimes statistical software) is most typically available on a decision-maker’s desktop. Our teaching approach needs to recognize this reality and make our courses more consistent with the workplace environment. 4. Textbooks that use software must provide instructions at a depth that maximizes the student’s ability to use the software with a minimum risk of failure. 5. The focus in teaching each topic should be on (1) the application of the topic to a functional area of business, (2) the interpretation of results, (3) the presentation of assumptions, (4) the evaluation of the assumptions, and (5) the discussion of what should be done if the assumptions are violated. These points are particularly important in regression and forecasting and in hypothesis testing. Although the illustration of some computations is inevitable, the focus on computations should be minimized. 6. Both classroom examples and homework exercises should relate to actual or realistic data as much as possible. Students should be encouraged to look beyond the statistical analysis of data to the interpretation of results in a managerial context, preferably through the use of case studies. 1

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2 Teaching Tips Teaching Tips Chapter 1 One way to begin the course is by discussing why a manager needs to know about statistics. This will provide a reason for why the student has been required to take this course. Here, the road
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02 - Teaching Tips 1 Teaching Tips for Statistics for...

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