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How to schedule projects in an introductory statistics course?

John Haubrick writes:

Next semester I want to center my statistics class around independent projects that they will present at the end of the semester. My question is, by centering around a project and teaching for the different parts that they need at the time, should topics such as hypothesis testing be moved toward the beginning of the course? Or should I only discuss setting up a research hypothesis and discuss the actual testing later after they have the data?

My reply:

I’m not sure. There always is a difficulty of what can be covered in a project. My quick thought is that a project will perhaps work better if it is focused on data collection or exploratory data analysis rather than on estimation and hypothesis testing, which are topics that get covered pretty well in the course as a whole.