Stat 1380 Project page



Overall guidelines for BOTH types of projects:


1.)    In order for effective cooperative learning and oral presentation scheduling, each project must be done in a team of 2 or 3 people (unless special permission is granted by the instructor), so start thinking early in the semester about choosing teammates with compatible schedules, interests, working styles, etc. Be sure you know how to reach each other and maintain backup copies of your work. 

2.)    Each team will choose ONE type of project to do – either a “Lesson Plan Project” or a “Data Analysis Project” (but not both). The Lesson Plan project option is offered because of the large number of future teachers in our class, but future teachers are free to choose the data analysis project option instead.  Additional specific guidelines for each type of project are listed later on this page.

3.)    Each team will present its project (and turn in a single written write-up for the team as described below) on the final exam week meeting date scheduled by UTEP.  If you have a pre-approved reason not to be able to present during this time, you need to arrange with me as soon as possible to present your project earlier (e.g., during one of the last regular class meeting dates). It will take more time than you think to do a thorough, high-quality job, so do not try doing most of the work in the last 10 days of the semester.

4.)    An ORAL PRESENTATION is a required part of the project, but is assessed in such a way so that it can only help your grade if your final average falls a point short of a letter grade cutoff.  You may find it helpful to check out the “tips for oral presentations” webpage. I’ll confirm later the exact amount of time each team will have (e.g., it depends on how many teams there are), but you’ll probably have no more than 5 minutes for your presentation with 1 minute for discussion/questions as the next team starts getting set up.  For the presentation part, you’ll have access to the technology in the room (but make sure things are working and “ready to go” so that you don’t use up part of your time just “setting up” or materials or booting up software/websites) and any additional manipulatives or materials you bring.  Each team member must have a major non-silent role in the presentation. The very first thing to do is tell us your names. Obviously, 5 minutes is enough only for highlights, not every detail in the written writeup you’re turning in to me. 

5.)    PROJECT WRITEUP should be 12-point Times New Roman double-spaced, checked for spelling/grammar. Aim for 5-10 pages, not counting bibliography of references (which should be in APA style) or any appendices.  Section headings should be clearly marked, assembled in the required order, and stapled (not put into a folder or sleeve, or attached by a paper clip or rolled-up corners) with an identification coverpage on top (that includes your full name, section, date, and a title that makes clear which option you chose and what your topic/theme was – in other words, not just “Stat 1380 final project”).




Additional guidelines if you selected the “LESSON PLAN Project” option:


1.)    Your choice of lesson must stay within these 4 rules:

a)      The main focus of the lesson must include some probability or statistics concepts that are in our textbook (but not with identical examples or context, of course) – it’s not enough just to involve something in mathematics or science.  For example, a lesson on fraction arithmetic itself is not acceptable, but it could work if the fraction arithmetic is part of an activity that makes substantial use of pie charts or probabilities. If you’re not sure about whether your topic is valid, ask me well in advance.

b)      To maximize the rigor, effectiveness, and consistency on this assignment, you are required to target the higher end of the certification you are seeking, even if you think you only want to teach (and would ever be assigned to teach) the lower end.  For example, if you are seeking EC-6 certification, you need to aim your lesson for 5th or 6th graders; if you are seeking 4-8 certification, you need to aim your lesson for 7th or 8th graders.  

c)      For academic honesty and your maximum learning, the lesson needs to be mostly original.  It’s okay if you get part of the idea from another source (which you must cite as a reference in the writeup, of course), but you need to add some nontrivial additional angle or part to it that makes it unique to you or the El Paso region.

d)      The lesson must include some nontrivial simulation, collection, or display of data (some of which must be quantitative). Remember that saying how many men and women are in a sample is not summarizing two quantitative variables (“number of men”, “number of women”), but the results for 1 qualitative variable (“gender”, which has the two possible categorical values of “male” and “female”).

2.) For your oral presentation, you will take about 1 minute to have team members say their names and briefly “set the stage” (by telling us the intended grade level, prerequisite/previous knowledge or experience, and the trajectory of the larger lesson/unit you are excerpting from), and then use the rest of the time to show off a representative highlight of the lesson.  You are strongly encouraged to choose an excerpt wisely that you can allow us to experience interactively as much as possible. 


3.)    The format of the project writeup you turn in is not a narrative essay, but a sequence of labeled items.  The writeup that include an annotated lesson plan detailed enough that it could be handed to a substitute teacher and still be implemented correctly.  There are many formats for lesson plans out there, but for consistency and clarity, I am giving you here the required specific items and the order they need to be in, each with a clear heading.  Many of them can be addressed with just a sentence or two and others will require more.  Notice that many of the items on this webpage have embedded links for you to get more background on them. 


·         Title (should be a meaningful title of the lesson that makes the main point clear)

·         Class Time:  Number and length of Class Periods for this Lesson/Unit

·         Grade:  the grade level or course that is targeted

·         Objectives:  the specific things students should be able to do or demonstrate by the time the lesson is done (it’s too generic to just say “students will understand probability”); make sure your assessment for this lesson is aligned with the objectives

·         Higher-order/conceptual thinking:  State which part of your lesson (there needs to be at least one part) involves conceptual reasoning that goes beyond just memorizing and recognizing or performing procedures.  (You may find it helpful to look at Bloom’s taxonomy or the 5E model.)

·         Misconceptions: state at least one specific probability or statistics content misconception (e.g., not just a careless error, but a false belief like “the mean must be one of the data values” or “for all random events, all outcomes are equally likely”; other examples are implied in some of the “difficulties and disasters” in Utts chapters 4,5,9,&11 or the intuition pitfalls in Utts chapters 17 & 18) that might affect how your students experience your lesson, and also state what you will do in your lesson to make sure students with the misconception have the opportunity to recognize and eliminate it 

·         TEKS: Explain what aspects or parts of your lesson connect to which Mathematics TEKS; give the full TEKS section # and a concise description of relevant part(s)-- don’t just paste in entire chunks of the standards (one example: “The part of the lesson that makes a line graph from the data meets 5th grade TEKS knowledge-and-skills item 13A)”; if it also connects to TEKS in other subject areas, feel free to note that as well

·         NCTM Standards: Explain what aspect of your lesson connects to what part(s) of the NCTM Standards (be brief, but be specific; as with the TEKS, don’t just paste in entire chunks of the standards; cite the specific bullet(s) under all relevant headings for the student expectations for the grade band you are targeting); you can get free trial access to this entire document

·         GAISE: what parts of your lesson connect (and how) to the PreK-12 (not College) part of the GAISE Guidelines? In particular, describe which of the 4 Process Components from Table 1 of the Introduction and Framework section are involved in your lesson and describe any parts of your lesson that may be aimed to go beyond “Level A.”

·         ELPS: How your lesson will include accommodations for learners at each level (beginning, intermediate, advanced, advanced high) with respect to listening, speaking, reading and writing, as described in Texas’ English Language Proficiency Standards. Don’t just paste in entire chunks of these standards. You don’t need a detailed 4x4 table, but don’t be too generic either.  Basically, give concrete examples of how you will introduce new vocabulary/concepts in your lesson, what true cognates (e.g., variable is “variable” in Spanish) or false cognates (e.g., trillion is not “trillion”, but “billón” in Spanish) your lesson may have, how you will scaffold classroom communication and interaction so that students with weaker English proficiency can still learn and demonstrate understanding of nontrivial statistics content, etc.  As much as possible, try to make your suggestions specific to the probability and statistics content, because ELPS are required to be applied within each content area, not just in a generic way independent of content area. You may find helpful examples of ELPS-tailored lessons at websites, such as the one described at Other resources you may find helpful include or

·         Other accommodations: adaptations for students with diverse learning styles or learning disabilities.  Make this specific to the content of the lesson.

·         Prerequisites:  experiences/knowledge/reading/vocabulary that students need to have already done or had

·         Materials: any needed manipulatives/technology/A-V, etc.

·         The actual instructional lesson! This part should be in user-friendly outline form (not in long paragraph essay form), but still detailed enough that it could be handed to a substitute teacher and have that teacher be able to readily and accurately deliver the lesson.  From this lesson, the reader (or substitute teacher) should be able to tell what the opening activity will be, what key examples or vocabulary will be used, what demonstrations will be done with the students, what questions will be asked of the students, what activities or classwork will occur during the class period and what will be assigned as homework, how the class period will be wrapped up, what extra activity will be ready in case there is time left over, etc.   If your project is really not just a single class period, but a multi-day unit, you will need to show this breakdown of events for each meeting period.  (You may find it useful to organize this section using the format of the 5E model: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, evaluation.)

·         Assessment.  You need to include an actual assessment (i.e., a page with an actual worksheet or quiz that you design) in order to be able to tell if the objectives of your lesson were actually accomplished.   Also indicate how you will score or grade the assessment. 

·         References:  if part of the lesson includes your adaptation of a particular published article or webpage or idea from a colleague, you must cite the source(s) fully in APA style

·         Appendix:  Include a copy of any handouts or slides you used in your oral presentation (to save trees, put 6 slides per page). 


Additional guidelines if you selected the “DATA ANALYSIS Project” option:


1.) Your project must stay within these 6 rules:

a)       Data must be collected openly and recorded in such a way that respondents cannot be identified or linked to their answers if someone were to read your report or stumble upon your files.

b)       All individuals must be informed.   For example, if you do a written questionnaire or telephone survey, you should start with something like, “Good afternoon -- my name is _______ and I’m a student in Dr. Lesser’s Stat 1380 class at UTEP.   Are you willing to take a 1-minute survey as part of my class project?  The survey will not be published, your participation and responses will be confidential, and your name or other identifying information will not be recorded.  Your participation is completely voluntary and you are free to withdraw at any time.  Do you have any questions?  Are you willing to participate?” (If you are thinking about doing a project that is not a simple survey, but more of an observational study or experiment, a more explicit written consent form may be necessary and I will assess that in your proposal form.)

c)       In selecting people for your survey, you must avoid choosing people where there could be bias and/or vulnerability:  co-workers, relatives, significant others, close friends, minors (people under the age of 18), prisoners, and individuals who cannot read/understand informed consent.

d)       Your topic can be almost anything as long as it avoids issues which could reasonably be expected to be highly personal, controversial or sensitive, such as sexual behavior, drug usage, or underage drinking.  But while you CANNOT ask about someone’s sensitive personal status or behavior (e.g., “How much do you weigh?”, “How much beer do you drink?”), you might be able to ask about the topic from a society or current events perspective (e.g., “Do you think obesity is a serious problem in El Paso?”, “Do you think the drinking age in Juárez should be raised, lowered, or kept the same?”).

e)       The “data collection proposal” sheet ( must be fully approved by me BEFORE you collect any data or you may get no credit. This rule is to make sure that no one attempts to do something with an inappropriate topic/design or unrealistic scope, as well as models the process that researchers have to go through before they can begin a study.  The sooner you submit your proposal form, the sooner I’ll give you ungraded feedback (usually at or by the very next class), and the more time you’ll have to do your project (or make adjustments to your proposal and resubmit it, if required).  I recommend you start thinking about it now and turn in your proposal form to me in hardcopy on or before the deadline stated in the class syllabus (so that you can get my feedback and still have plenty of time to collect and analyse your data).  Feel free to bounce more sophisticated ideas off of me, but the most common project here will be a survey of adults (be sure to ask a large enough sample, so that even if some refuse to participate, you’ll still have at least 50 people in the survey).  Your proposal sheet will need to be attached to your final writeup.

f)        There should be at least 2 categorical and at least 2 measurement variables on a topic of interest. Remember that saying how many men and women are in the sample is not 2 quantitative variables (“number of men”, “number of women”), but the results for 1 qualitative variable (“gender”, which has the two possible categorical values of “male” and “female”).

g)       Your analysis should not only analyse each variable one at a time, but also explore whether there are interactions or patterns between any two of your variables.   

2) For your oral presentation, you will take about 1 minute to have team members say their names and briefly tell us the topic you chose to investigate (and why), and then use the rest of the time to tell us the most important, interesting or surprising results you found, and what you might do differently the next time.


3) The writeup is a paper with the following sections in this order, each with a clear heading:

·         The first part after the coverpage is titled “Background” and describes the general question of interest and why it is significant or important to you.  Explain what population you chose (and why).

·         The next part of the report should have the heading “Method” and describe what random sampling procedure was used (or why one was not or could not be used and what specific things you did to help make the sample as representative as possible of the population of interest).

·         The next part of the report should be titled “Results” and should include the results of your survey, with appropriate numerical and graphical summaries included. (Graphs must be appropriately drawn, sized, with axes labeled.  Also, some graphics like “3-D” pie or bar charts are easily generated by software but can be very misleading, so avoid those!)  There should be appropriate use of technology here. If some of the graphs or computer output really interferes with the flow of the paper, it is fine to place those in the Appendix and tell the reader in the Results section that this is where they can find them.

·         The next part is titled “Discussion”, in which you make any interpretations or conclusions you can from your data, discuss any limitations of your data or method, discuss any difficulties or judgment calls you encountered and how you handled them, discuss what you might do differently next time. 

·         The next part is titled “References” where you acknowledge (in APA form) help you obtained from any web or print sources or people to do this project. (If you really had none, then omit this part.)

·         The final part is the “Appendix” which can include additional numerical or graphical summaries of your data, but should not include information that could identify anyone who was surveyed. Include a copy of the actual survey instrument. Include a copy of any slides you used in your oral presentation (to save trees, put 6 slides per page).  The final page of the Appendix must be the proposal form that I signed and returned before you collected data.