Do you need an introduction to statistics or maybe just a refresher? Do you want to improve your understanding of data and use it to make decisions? This is the course for you!

With easy-to-understand examples combined with real-world applications, this course provides you with the skills and knowledge you need to start analyzing data. You'll explore how to use data and apply statistics to real-life problems and situations.

We'll discuss data and data collection practices. You'll learn to summarize and describe data with charts, numbers, and graphs. You'll even calculate and interpret probabilities and then see how they apply to decision making when you're faced with uncertainty.

You'll learn ways to visualize and measure relationships in data, and we'll also use data to make forecasts and predictions. You'll grasp the basics of statistical inference and discover what it means for a result to be statistically significant. Throughout the course, we'll use real data and a variety of examples drawn from business and industry, health care and medicine, sports, education, politics, news events, and the social sciences.

Don't worry if detailed calculations are not your thing! We'll use a variety of free online resources to aid with calculations. By the end, you'll be able to successfully apply and interpret basic statistical procedures.

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!

How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

Week 1

Lesson 01 - What Is Statistics, Anyway?

Wednesday

What's statistics really about? How do you collect reliable data and use it to make informed decisions? In Lesson 1, you'll learn some of the concepts and terms we'll use throughout the course. You'll also find out how statistics affects events in the news and in your everyday life.

Lesson 02 - Quantitative Data: From Averages to z-Scores

Friday

Once you have a set of data, how can you summarize and interpret it to figure out what it really means? In Lesson 2, you'll learn to summarize data and describe its center along with its variability. As you learn to calculate mean, median, range, and standard deviation, I'll provide examples from different workplaces. You'll see how statistics plays a part in medicine, human resources, education, politics, finance, and marketing.

Week 2

Lesson 03 - Displaying Quantitative Data: Dots, Plots, and Histograms

Wednesday

Is there an easier way of understanding data than peering at column after column of numbers? Yes! In Lesson 3, you'll see quantitative data displayed in dot plots, histograms, and many other forms. Knowing how to read and construct these graphs will help you see patterns and spot unusual values in data. Our examples in this lesson come from medicine, mortgage lending, classrooms, biologists' field notes, and the aisles of your local grocery store.

Lesson 04 - Displaying Qualitative Data: Percentages, Charts, and Graphs

Friday

"How much satisfaction do you get from your friendships?" "Would you vote for a qualified woman for president?" "Which mountain in the Himalayas is most dangerous to climb?" In Lesson 4, you'll learn to summarize and display qualitative data from questions like these. We'll focus on charts and tables, and along the way you'll see examples from business, government, and medicine.

Week 3

Lesson 05 - Is There a Link? Scatterplots and Correlation

Wednesday

Is there a link between the poverty rate and the crime rate? Is your score on a math exam related to your anxiety level? In Lesson 5, we'll look at relationships between two quantitative variables. You'll learn to make scatterplots and describe what you see. You'll also use correlation to measure the strength of a particular link.

Lesson 06 - Linear Regression: How Can We Predict the Future?

Friday

Can we predict the next world-record time in the mile run? How can we forecast CO_{2} levels in the atmosphere? In Lesson 6, we'll go beyond describing and measuring association between variables. You'll use *linear regression* to find an equation that models the data. Then you'll use the equation to make predictions.

Week 4

Lesson 07 - What's the Chance of That? Probability Concepts

Wednesday

What's the chance you'll have a coin come up "heads" five times in a row? What about drawing four aces from a deck of cards or picking the winning lottery numbers? In Lesson 7, we'll study the basics of probability. You'll learn the rules that govern probability and see how to apply them in a variety of situations.

Lesson 08 - Probability Models: What's Normal?

Friday

What should you expect to happen in a game involving chance? How can you estimate the probability that a healthy baby will be born underweight? In Lesson 8, we'll talk about probability models and expected value. Our focus will be the most common probability model in statistics: the normal model. You'll see this bell-shaped distribution in a variety of settings, and you'll learn to use it to estimate probabilities.

Week 5

Lesson 09 - The Key to Inference: Sampling Distributions

Wednesday

How can we move beyond the sample at hand to make predictions and draw conclusions about the population? In Lesson 9, you'll discover the key that lets you make inferences about the population. You'll see the most important result in all of statistics—the central limit theorem—and you'll learn why the normal model plays such an important role in statistics. You'll also find out how to use data and probability to evaluate a claim.

Lesson 10 - How Certain Are We? Confidence Intervals for Proportions

Friday

"The margin of error for this poll is plus or minus 3%." What does that mean, anyway? In Lesson 10, we'll begin our journey into statistical inference by focusing on confidence intervals for proportions. You'll learn to calculate the margin of error and use it to build an interval for estimating a population proportion. You'll also see how to estimate the sample size you'd need for a survey.

Week 6

Lesson 11 - Trial by Data: Testing Hypotheses About Proportions

Wednesday

Is there really a home team advantage in sports? Did that television ad your company bought result in increased awareness of your product? In Lesson 11, you'll learn to answer questions such as these by testing an appropriate hypothesis using proportions. You'll find out what steps make up a hypothesis test and how you can interpret the results, make inferences, and arrive at informed decisions.

Lesson 12 - Inference About Means

Friday

How do you test hypotheses about means? For example, how can you use a confidence interval to estimate the average number of hours Americans use the Internet each week? In our last lesson together, you'll get an introduction to inference for means. You'll learn to calculate and interpret confidence intervals and hypothesis tests for a mean, and you'll see how to analyze data from a paired experiment. And while we're at it, you'll find out what the history of statistics has to do with the quality of beer in Ireland.

Ben Sellers has more than 17 years of experience in teaching at all levels from elementary
classes to college mathematics and statistics courses. He has taught
college students, working professionals, adult learners, high school students,
and homeschoolers, both online and in the traditional classroom. He has
undergraduate and graduate degrees in the mathematical sciences and has been a
mathematical and statistical consultant in industry and in education.

Thank you for teaching this course on statistics. Your lessons were easy to follow and understand. I have learned what I expected to learn from this course and would definitely recommend you to others who would like to either learn or improve their comprehension of statistics.

The teaching style of the instructor is very practical and elegant...All the examples are real, not just a bunch of tables or numbers. It was a delight to quickly read the lessons and not have questions afterwards.

I was taking this class to prep for a Healthcare Stats class. I thought it would be a good introduction and it provided me with much of the terminology and game plan. Thank you for your hard work.

The instructor was great - very responsive and helpful. The course was designed well. I learned a lot and the quizzes prepared me well for the final exam.

I think the course is really good and it is the first time in my life that I was able to understand a standard deviation.

I enjoyed this class very much and the interaction with other classmates. I wish there was an online advanced statistics course to continue.

Thanks for a very good learning experience. I would never have imagined I could understand statistics, and yet you made it very easy. I appreciate all the resources available in case I need to revisit and refresh my memory in the future.

Thank you, Ben! Your course was enjoyable. The information will be very helpful for my job..Thanks also for your questions and comments in the discussion areas, which were very helpful.

Thank you for this interesting, useful and beneficial course. Your explanations of mathematical and statistical concepts are clear, concise, and well-illustrated with examples throughout the Lessons...The examples and assignment problems you present are interesting, practical and represent a diverse variety of matters and issues from all aspects of everyday life. Truly, your course exemplifies how an understanding of and the correct use of statistics are relevant to and can enhance our daily lives. Thank you for using your time, talents, expertise and experience to develop, implement, and offer this course in the online format. It has been an exemplary learning experience.