10th International
Conference on
Teaching Statistics
8 – 13 July 2018
Kyoto, Japan
Contributed paper list

Contributed Paper C289


Data in Search of a Context: An Icebreaker Activity


Alexander White (Texas State University, United States)
Layla Guyot (Texas State University, United States)
Amanda Walker (Texas State University, United States)


Alexander White (United States)


Context is a key component to statistical reasoning (Cobb & Moore, 1997) and influences data collection, analysis and interpretation. However, students may be challenged by the interplay between data analysis and the context. In our introductory statistics courses, we use an icebreaker activity to give students a chance to introduce themselves and explore data with an unknown context. As the context is slowly revealed, we find that students learn about what information is provided by the data separate from the context. We present how students engaged in the activity, by creating graphs of their own and identifying features of data representations that help them reveal the context. We discuss how concepts introduced in the icebreaker activity can be developed in later classes.