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Collaborative Statistics was written by Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean, faculty members at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. The textbook was developed over several years and has been used in regular and honors-level classroom settings and in distance learning classes. Courses using this textbook have been articulated by the University of California for transfer of credit. The textbook contains full materials for course offerings, including expository text, examples, labs, homework, and projects. A Teacher’s Guide is currently available in print form and on the Connexions site at (External Link) , and supplemental course materials including additional problem sets and video lectures are available at (External Link) . The on-line text for each of these collections collections will meet the Section 508 standards for accessibility.
An on-line course based on the textbook was also developed by Illowsky and Dean. It has won an award as the best on-line California community college course. The on-line course will be available at a later date as a collection in Connexions, and each lesson in the on-line course will be linked to the on-line textbook chapter. The on-line course will include, in addition to expository text and examples, videos of course lectures in captioned and non-captioned format.
The original preface to the book as written by professors Illowsky and Dean, now follows:
This book is intended for introductory statistics courses being taken by students at two– and four–year colleges who are majoring in fields other than math or engineering. Intermediate algebra is the only prerequisite. The book focuses on applications of statistical knowledge rather than the theory behind it. The text is named Collaborative Statistics because students learn best by doing . In fact, they learn best by working in small groups. The old saying “two heads are better than one” truly applies here.
Our emphasis in this text is on four main concepts:
These concepts are integral to our course. Students learn the best by actively participating, not by just watching and listening. Teaching should be highly interactive. Students need to be thoroughly engaged in the learning process in order to make sense of statistical concepts. Collaborative Statistics provides techniques for students to write across the curriculum, to collaborate with their peers, to think statistically, and to incorporate technology.
This book takes students step by step. The text is interactive. Therefore, students can immediately apply what they read. Once students have completed the process of problem solving, they can tackle interesting and challenging problems relevant to today’s world. The problems require the students to apply their newly found skills. In addition, technology (TI-83 graphing calculators are highlighted) is incorporated throughout the text and the problems, as well as in the special group activities and projects. The book also contains labs that use real data and practices that lead students step by step through the problem solving process.
At De Anza, along with hundreds of other colleges across the country, the college audience involves a large number of ESL students as well as students from many disciplines. The ESL students, as well as the non-ESL students, have been especially appreciative of this text. They find it extremely readable and understandable. Collaborative Statistics has been used in classes that range from 20 to 120 students, and in regular, honor, and distance learning classes.
Susan Dean
Barbara Illowsky
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