Tennis Anyone? Teaching Experimental Design by Designing and Executing a Tennis Ball Experiment
Understanding the abstract principles of statistical experimental design can challenge undergraduate students, especially when learned in a lecture setting. This article presents a concrete and easily replicated example of experimental design principles in action through a hands-on learning activity for students enrolled in an experimental design course. The activity, conducted during five 50-min classes, requires the students to work as a team to design and execute a simple and safe factorial experiment and collect and analyze the data. During three in-class design meetings, the students design and plan all aspects of the experiment, including choosing the response variable and factors, making a list of needed supplies, creating a randomized run schedule with the MINITAB DOE utility, and writing a statistical analysis plan. A feasibility study is conducted in the fourth class. During the fifth and last class, the students conduct the experiment. Each student writes a lab report including all background research, methods, analyses, and conclusions, as well as a reflection on the learning experience. Students’ reflections indicate the active-learning experience was enjoyable and boosted course engagement and perceived conceptual understanding.
Journal of Statistics and Data Science Education
Taylor & Francis
Pyott, L. (2021). Tennis Anyone? Teaching Experimental Design by Designing and Executing a Tennis Ball Experiment. Journal of Statistics and Data Science Education, 29(1), 22-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10691898.2020.1854638