Numbers don’t lie (but people do): Introduction to (ethical) statistics. Project Discussion and Updates

Hi all! We wanted to create a dedicated discussion space for our project! We will post project updates and welcome discussions and feedback! Thank you for your support!

If you would like to provide feedback in our project Google Forms feedback, please click this link. Thank you!

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Hi @umdtomjones-team! We wanted to provide some project updates this week and thank you for being a part of our project to create an OER for ethical, inclusive, comprehensible statistics!

  1. Book Title: We have update the project title to our new working book title: Numbers don’t lie (but people do): Introduction to (ethical) statistics. We are still exploring book title options and welcome any feedback or alternate suggestions!
  2. Feedback Invite and Link: Speaking of feedback, we have created a Google Forms link and updated our Project Homepage to have an “Interested in helping” section with this link (see below). Please feel free to check it out and use it!
  3. Elevator Pitch: We have also created a draft of our ‘elevator pitch’ and have included it below for review and feedback
  4. Crowdsourcing student cover art: We began crowdsourcing with our students to help with the book cover art and images! We are excited to see what our student come up with and will share some of their work here in 1 to 2 weeks!

Interested in helping?
We are always interested in receiving help from the broader community. Currently, we are focused on improving our licensing to make sure it meets the highest standards, and reviewing our textbook for errors and edits. We would also love help beta-testing the textbook, creating images for the textbook, and creating supplemental resources for the textbook. If you would like to help us in any of these areas (or if you have other ways to improve our text!) , please fill out this form, and we will be in contact with you. All contributors, editors, and reviewers will be recognized and credited. Thank you for your interest!

Elevator Pitch
To help students transition from victims of statistics to being informed consumers and ethical producers of statistics, we have created and edited a textbook of statistical learning resources. The goal of our book is to provide comprehensive and inclusive content needed for an undergraduate introductory statistics course. We compiled content from multiple other open educational resources (OER) and non-OERs as well as original content. Our current focus is on writing a more inclusive and easily comprehended text to teach statistics as well as discussing open science and the ethics of statistics in how they are used and misused.

Thank you all and we look forward to continuing this work!

I absolutely love the elevator pitch.


Thanks for your call for feedback! I took an introduction to statistics course from the Management/Business department back when I was in university — this ethical approach that your team is pushing would have been fantastic to have learned as part of it.

I think the book title could be a bit shorter or include fewer parentheses — “Numbers Don’t Lie: Introduction to Ethical Statistics” or “Numbers Don’t Lie (But People Do): Introduction to Ethical Statistics.” From what you’ve said, the ethical approach your book will take is central to what you do, so there’s no need for it to be tucked away behind a parenthesis. I’m torn about the “but people do” phrase, but if you decide to stick with it, I think there may be some ingenious ways to incorporate this into cover art.

With regards the elevator pitch, I think some edits and slight reordering of sentences could make it snappier:

This textbook will help students transition from victims of statistics to being informed consumers and ethical producers of statistics. It contains a comprehensive overview of statistical learning resources and inclusive content ideal for an undergraduate introductory statistics course. Authors will surface discussions on open science, the ethics of statistics, and how statistics is used and misused — all in an inclusive and easily comprehensible text to teach statistics. This book is a compilation of multiple open educational resources (OER), non-OER, and original content.

Feel free to take or leave these suggestions as you see fit! :smiley:

@ttomlin1 To follow up on @apurva’s comment about the book title, here are a few other versions:

  • Numbers don’t lie but people do: An ethical introduction to statistics
  • An Ethical Introduction to Statistics
  • Introduction to Ethical Statistics

Also, I really like the draft of your elevator pitch. @apurva has already tightened it up a bit, but I wonder (as in, I really don’t know!) if some key words that point to the content of the textbook might be helpful, such as regression, probability, etc. I’m just thinking of potential stakeholders and unexpected audiences here. If the elevator pitch is something you plan to put out there, I wonder if including key words associated with the lesson material will attract even more interest?

Just some thoughts. What you have is a great foundation.

Thank you Apurva! We have taken your comments about the book title into consideration and have created a working list of possible book titles that we are growing and contemplating - we appreciate the feedback! We have also taken your edits on board and have taken many of your suggestions into our current draft - thank you for helping us to make a better product!

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Thank you Joel! We have added your titles to our list of possible titles and appreciate your feedback! Ben and I are also discussing adding in a sentence in our pitch along the following lines: Taking students from the philosophy of measurement and appropriateness of subsequent descriptive analyses such as central tendency and correlation and inferential statistics such as regression and two-way ANOVA. It is a work in progress and we appreciate your feedback!

A working list of book titles sounds like a great thing to have! :smiley: Always happy to share feedback, and like I said, your team can choose what pieces you want to take seriously and what to set aside. I’m confident that your final OER will be very strong!

Hi @umdtomjones-team! We have had a week of discussion and reflection based on our meetings and feedback so far. Ben and I have created a shared document for our notes and ongoing discussions and have been working through the following:

  1. Updating elevator pitch
  2. Updating and revising title options
  3. We have also been discussing our roles and our vision for what our team may look like as we proceed. We are also interested in developing the resources we already may have, such as our UTA’s, GTA’s and students.
  4. We have also been primarily focused this past week on the edits and additions that we think are needed to the book. We have agreed on some sections that need major edits to start with and have also agreed that we want to focus on adding much more about misleading statistics. We have the following list so far and welcome more areas we could add and any resources you think would be good to include in these sections:
  • Misleading with data sampling

  • Misleading with cleaning/selection

  • Misleading with central tendency

  • Misleading charts

  • Misleading correlation interpretations

  • Misleading with statistical conclusions and interpretations

  • Framing

    • Overgeneralizing
    • False causality
  • Misleading with p-hacking

  • Misleading with Harking

Thank you all for your support and we look forward to talking with you all!