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Re: st: advice on using Stata in an undergraduate Intro Stats course

From   Marcello Pagano <>
To   <>
Subject   Re: st: advice on using Stata in an undergraduate Intro Stats course
Date   Wed, 23 Jan 2013 14:10:57 -0500

We have just finished teaching an on-line version of such a course with edX. We were very much interested in active learning, fully believing that we are autodidacts. Something like 55,000 or more registered, and 28,000 or so attempted at least one question (it was a 12 week course with home works every week, so that means that many attempted at least one of the homework questions.) StataCorp helped us make Stata available to these students. About 8,000 completed the final exam. I think Stata was a reason for that many completing the course. We were told to expect about 2 to 5% completion. This almost 30% completion is amazing.

I think you can still register for the course (, for free, of course, to see all the materials--syllabus, lectures, homeworks, readings etc.... Strip off the epidemiology (or use it to motivate your students) and you are still left with a full course in biostatistics. The life/health science students, even undergraduate, prefer this to pure statistics.

Take a look.  Might find some useful stuff there.


On 1/23/2013 1:02 PM, Doug Hess wrote:
Happy New Year to all on the list-serv.

I will be teaching a basic "Intro Stats" course to undergrads in the
next academic year. The students are at a highly selective liberal
arts college (mostly second and third-year students). It is not math
intensive (students with better math preparation or who are math
majors take a higher-level series of statistics courses) and it is
largely for students in political science, sociology, and psychology
who take it as a requirement (maybe some economics students, too). To
put it another way, the course goes up to and includes a week or two
(at most) on multivariate regression.

Some questions for those with teaching experience:

1) Have you found--or do you believe that--it is useful to have
students learn a bit of Stata for this sort of course? (The college
has a campus license.)

2) Are there textbooks (or on-line books/websites) that use Stata for
a beginners intro to statistics (and/or probability)? I.e., not just
intro to Stata, but intro to Stata for learning stats from the
starting square? (The difference between two such books/websites could
be the order in which material is introduced, the complexity of the
problems or examples, assumptions of previous knowledge, etc.)

3) Anybody care to share syllabi for this sort of course (using Stata,
or not)? [Please respond off line by emailing me directly if you want
to send a file, of course.]

Thank you for any thoughts.

Douglas R. Hess, PhD
Washington, DC
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