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Understanding the relationship of the population and samples you work with when using a statistical approach is key to being able to frame how to address a problem with these tools. Being able to clearly describe this relationship when you are talking to others about any statistical analysis you do is key to persuading them that what you are doing is reliable. Remember this idea, it will be the starting point for assignment 3.1. In this assignment, you will apply statistical concepts to identify and critically examine the use of statistics in a pandemic news article, report, or research presentation. This will enable you to solidify your understanding of the foundational concepts presented in this chapter, that are crucial to the work in the rest of the semester. You will do this by initiating an ability to critically assess the use of statistics by others.
- Review the key concepts in Chapter 1 (in blue font in the text, the things other than article citations) – I have resources that you can link to from the Communication Instructors Resources for Understanding Probability and Statistics page, that can be helpful in understanding the key concepts before getting into the numbers and calculations.
- Review Coronavirus statistics: What can we trust and what should we ignore? (Links to an external site.)by Sylvia Richardson, Director MRC Biostatistics Unit, president-elect of the Ryan Statistical Society; and David Speigelhalter, Chairman Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, published in The Guardian. This article will provide you some ideas on how statistics are presented, sometimes ineffectively, around the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Assignment Requirements – Part A
While the primary purpose of this assignment is for you to think about and work with statistical concepts, it is important after you complete your writing that you take the time to review and edit it for coherence, completeness, and grammar. You will be looking at each other’s work as a resource for your final two writing assignments. Using a grammar and spelling program such as Grammarly is highly recommended, as excessive grammar errors and incoherent writing will lower your grade.
For this assignment document complete the assignment in the order presented below and organize the document to look like the
Find an article about the pandemic that uses statistical analysis as part of the story. The article must be from a reputable source and in English. You must also be able to identify the data and method used for the statistical analysis either within the article or through links or citations you can follow to the original analysis. You will then complete the following four steps of review and critique of the statistics in the article.
- Provide general information on the article and the source of the data and statistics being used, including
- Title of the article,
- Where it was published (name of publication and
- Publication URL
- Source of the statistical analysis
- Source for the data collection
- URL for detail on the data
- URL for any additional data sources used.
- Claim(s) the article is making with the data and statistics
- Identify the following key elements of statistics presented:
- Is the article presenting/discussing descriptive or inferential statistics or both? How do you know the answer to this?
- Is the article using univariate, and/or multivariate data? Provide examples to support your answer with any explanation needed.
- Is the data used categorical or numerical data? Explain how you know the answer.
- The sample size
- The sampling method/approach
- The population size, and how it was determined and framed
- After looking at the data and statistics in more detail name at least 5 concerns or strengths you think the data and statistics have
Submitting the Assignment
Submit the assignment as a Word doc or pdf. Upload it to the assignment on or before the due date. Your assignment to a discussion board is submitted by uploading it into the reply bar at the bottom of the assignment text.
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