Statistical Literacies
 Rationale Source Material Tips for Users WebCT Modules

WebCT Modules
 Module 1 - Producing Data Module 2 - Describing, Clarifying and Presenting Data Module 3 - Interpreting Data

# Rationale

Statistical literacy is an extremely important skill to develop because in everyday life you are constantly exposed to information from surveys and scientific experiments which are designed to tell you something about yourself. But, how do you know that these findings are accurate? How do you make sense of the information with which you are presented? Statistical literacy provides us with the skills to answer these questions.

Without these skills, you might be doomed to suffer from the serious disorder of dys-statistica. This disorder is defined as "an irrational fear of statistics and a confused perception of the world". Further complications of this disease include the loss of potential marks at University. A compulsory cure is offered, however, by working through the following three modules.

What is the purpose of these modules?

These modules have been developed with the aims of:

1. Introducing you to some statistical concepts associated with producing, presenting and interpreting data.

2. Developing your skills in critical analysis and synthesis of statistical information.

3. Providing you with the opportunity to demonstrate your statistical literacy skills.

What is the purpose of statistics?

1. To describe a group, for example, the ages of students enrolled in Level 1 subjects at the University of Wollongong.

2. To compare two groups, for example, comparing the UAIs of students enrolled to study different majors or comparing the beginning salaries of different groups of graduates.

3. To investigate and measure associations and relationships within everyday and academic contexts.

4. To make informed interpretations about an association or relationship, for example, some recent research has indicated that students from public schools do better at University than students from private schools who have the same UAI and are studying the same degree. Thus, based on these results we might predict that students from public schools have better developed independent learning skills than students from private schools.

What is statistics and what is statistical literacy?

Statistics can be described as the systematic study of data and statistical literacy is the ability to critically evaluate the data that is presented. The University of Wollongong statistical literacy programme is divided into the following 3 modules.

Module 1.       Producing data

Module 2.       Describing, Clarifying and Presenting Data

Module 3.       Interpreting data

Completing these modules will help you to develop the skills you need to:

• look behind the data with which you are presented at University and in your everyday experiences,

• ask why these data are being presented in those forms,