Math 0950, 1010, and 1040
Math/Quantitative Literacy General Education Requirement.
The first part of this reflection is on Math 0950, taken online with Dana Campbell. Ms. Campbell did not mention anything required for the e-portfolio so I will simply offer my personal reflection of the course. This particular online math course was taken through ALEKS, an website program that offered the text as well as quizzes and homework all through the one website. I was actually really fond of the platform we took the math course in because it only required one code to be purchased and it offered the text and everything else in one place. Ms. Campbell was difficult to get a hold of at times so it made it slightly hard to fix issues or to answer any questions about homework due dates or questions about the material. Otherwise, I enjoyed taking 0950 online.
The assignment I’ve uploaded is our first math project out of three available to choose from in the course. I did this project in a group of three. The goal of the project was to create a linear equation from the information provided as well as graph the data. We also had to test that our equation was done correctly by inputing a chosen number.
This project gave me quite a bit of grief when I started on my own. I attempted to do it solo and thought I was doing pretty well until I got to the part that the assignment required you to plug in a value. That’s where I realized I had done it completely wrong because the numbers just did not look right and nothing added up 100%. I chose to search out a couple group members, and in our math program (which is just MyMathLab) a couple of people had posted in the discussion board that they were looking for a group as well. I met up with Patrick and Lynsie and we put our heads together which made me realize I had done the equation correctly initially, but I over thought it and ended up completely skewering the numbers in the formula. After fixing my error, we had the same equation from there on out. This was such a huge relief to me because I find myself second guessing my work a lot. Patrick was extremely helpful in pointing out my calculation errors so that was definitely appreciated. Thankfully, after comparing graphs I realized I had also over thought that and was able to fix it. I guess what I’ve taken away from this project is that math is not like english. It’s often straight lines and rules and I can’t keep thinking into the steps too much like I would had I been writing an english paper!
The requirement for this course (Intro to Statistics) is included below. The requirement was the written report from our term project. It includes graphs and explanations of the numbers. The second requirement is the reflective writing portion, which can be found below the link:
We could choose from three questions and write two to three paragraphs in a response. The question I chose was, “What impact did this project have on your understanding of statistics?” My response is as follows:
My initial impression of statistics was that it was very black and white, very cut and dry. There was no middle ground, the numbers were all solid. Like you would expect any other math course to be. I was very disillusioned about statistics. In fact, I would almost say it was the opposite of what I thought at first. Statistics is all about the middle ground and the hard numbers. It’s about finding the facts and deciding your impression of a situation. Your job is to assume, literally, what the answer is.
Understanding how I felt in the first place about statistics is important to remember at this point after I’ve taken the course. This project helped to change my view of statistics because many of the answers in data form were not what I had expected them to be. The conclusion that I drew from those numbers helped form a completely different opinion than the one I had from the beginning. When I started this project, I was under the impression that the more video games a student played per week (measured in hours), the lower their GPA for that semester would be. I think most people would assume that. However, according to the studies I conducted, it was the opposite. Actually I wouldn’t even say it was the opposite, but it was impossible to predict.
There are so many extraneous variables that could affect a student’s GPA. The course itself could be more difficult, a challenge could occur in the student’s life like a family death, an accident, financial problems, having a baby, just life in general. A few of the students that I randomly selected even played zero hours of video games per week and still received a low GPA. There are too many extraneous variables for any of these statistics to be an accurate reflection of a student’s study skills or methods. A few of the students I polled also played upwards of 30 or more hours of video games per week and still received over a 3.0 that semester. It all comes down to every individual student and that makes it difficult to draw a conclusion about this study, other than that one variable does not affect the other. This also applies to other areas of statistics. We spoke in class about how correlation does not equal causation and this project really helped me to understand that it could apply to anything that statistics affects. Whether it be the news, other educational studies, whatever it may be..it does not always mean that one thing equals another. But you would have to take the statistics of that situation to truly find out whether it does or not. It’s all about the gray area.