ECON 1008 - Business and Economic Statistics I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

In today's world, good decision making relies on data and data analysis. This course helps students develop the understanding that they will need to make informed decisions using data, and to communicate the results effectively. The course is an introduction to the essential concepts, tools and methods of statistics for students in business, economics and similar disciplines, although it may have wider interest. The focus is on concepts, reasoning, interpretation and thinking rather than computation, formulae and theory. Much of the work will require students to write effectively and communicate their ideas with clarity. The course covers two main branches of statistics: descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics includes collecting data and summarising and interpreting them through numerical and graphical techniques. Inferential statistics includes selecting and applying the correct statistical technique in order to make estimates or test claims about a population based on a sample. Topics covered may include descriptive statistics, correlation and simple regression, probability, point and interval estimation, hypothesis testing, multiple regression, time series analysis and index numbers. By the end of this course, students should understand and know how to use statistics. Students will also develop some understanding of the limitations of statistical inference and of the ethics of data analysis and statistics. Students will work in small groups in this course; this will develop the skills required to work effectively and inclusively in groups, as in a real work environment. Typically, one component of the assessment requires students to work in teams and collect and analyse data in order to answer a real-world problem of their own choosing.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ECON 1008
    Course Business and Economic Statistics I
    Coordinating Unit School of Economics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week. Intensive in Summer Semester.
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible WINEMKTG 1015EX, STATS 1000, STATS 1005
    Quota A quota may apply
    Course Description In today's world, good decision making relies on data and data analysis. This course helps students develop the understanding that they will need to make informed decisions using data, and to communicate the results effectively. The course is an introduction to the essential concepts, tools and methods of statistics for students in business, economics and similar disciplines, although it may have wider interest. The focus is on concepts, reasoning, interpretation and thinking rather than computation, formulae and theory. Much of the work will require students to write effectively and communicate their ideas with clarity. The course covers two main branches of statistics: descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics includes collecting data and summarising and interpreting them through numerical and graphical techniques. Inferential statistics includes selecting and applying the correct statistical technique in order to make estimates or test claims about a population based on a sample. Topics covered may include descriptive statistics, correlation and simple regression, probability, point and interval estimation, hypothesis testing, multiple regression, time series analysis and index numbers.
    By the end of this course, students should understand and know how to use statistics. Students will also develop some understanding of the limitations of statistical inference and of the ethics of data analysis and statistics. Students will work in small groups in this course; this will develop the skills required to work effectively and inclusively in groups, as in a real work environment. Typically, one component of the assessment requires students to work in teams and collect and analyse data in order to answer a real-world problem of their own choosing.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Vivian Piovesan

    These are the Course Coordinators for this course for the three semesters of 2016. They will provide further contact details, such as office locations and office hours, at the start of the semester.

    Summer Semester
    Course Coordinator:  Mr Roger Mableson
    Office location:  Nexus 10, Room 4.13
    Contact details: Phone 8313 5520; Email roger.mableson@adelaide.edu.au

    Roger Mableson will be conducting both the lectures and tutorials for this course in Summer Semester.

    Semester 1 & 2
    Course Coordinator:  Ms Vivian Piovesan
    Office Location: Nexus 10, Room 3.36
    Contact details: Phone 8313 4495;Email vivian.piovesan@adelaide.edu.au


    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Students in this course are expected to attend two 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour practical class each week.
    PRACTICALS COMMENCE IN WEEK 2.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    After completing this course, students will be able to:


    1.      Apply correctly a variety of statistical techniques, both descriptive and inferential.

    2.      Interpret, in plain language, the application and outcomes of statistical techniques.

    3.      Interpret computer output and use it to solve problems.

    4.      Recognize inappropriate use or interpretation of statistics. in other courses, in the media and in life in general and comment
             critically on the appropriateness of this use of statistics.



    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-4
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1-4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1-4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1-2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Text book

    Sharpe, N R, R D De Veaux and P E Velleman, Business Stats, 3rd edition, Global Edition, 2015, Pearson.

    There are other editions of this book, used in 2013 and 2014. They are also suitable for this course.

    All students are expected to have access to and STUDY the text!

    Calculator
    Students will need a calculator; a basic one that can take squares, square roots etc is sufficient.

    Recommended Resources
    The lecture slides, practical questions and other information will be available for students on MyUni and can be downloaded or printed from there. Alternatively, a booklet containing the lectures slides and prac question set may be available for purchase. Details will be on MyUni by the start of semester.

    The lecture notes are NOT complete – they indicate what is to be covered in the lecture; you need to attend the lecture and write your own notes.

    In Semester 1 and 2 (but not in Summer Semester) it is intended that the lectures be recorded and a recording of each lecture put on MyUni for students who miss a lecture – but be aware that sometimes recordings fail. In that case, a note will be put on MyUni but the lecture may not always be re-recorded and students may need to make other arrangements, such as obtain notes from other students, read the book or contact the lecturer.

    NOTE: Dictionaries are not allowed in School of Economics exams

    Online Learning
    Course Website

    https://www.myuni.adelaide.edu.au
    Extensive use is made of MyUni; please check the announcements regularly. Lecture notes, practical questions, and past exam paper solutions will be made available on MyUni. 

    There is a discussion board on MyUni; this is the preferred way for students to ask questions because
    this way all students have the same information and any of the staff can reply, allowing for quicker responses.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course uses lectures plus practicals.

    The lectures provide an overview of the course content but students can expect that they will need to study the textbook in order to understand the work.

    The practicals will incorporate team based learning and may include discussion, problem solving activities, individual and group work, student questions and student participation. These practicals provide the opportunity for students to practice; they are vital for success in this course. Often students think they can follow what we do in the lectures but when they come to do the work themselves, they realise it’s not that easy!


    o Before the practicals, students will be expected to have attended and understood the lectures and to have read the relevant chapter(s) from the text book.
    o During the practical,
    o First, students will be given a short individual multiple choice question test and (not every week) a short individual written test.
    o Next the multiple choice question test will be done in teams.
    o There will be time for discussion and questions about the week’s work.
    o Finally, students will be required to work on worked answer questions, again in their teams.
    o After the practicals, each team is required to hand in their answers to the worked answer questions, to their tutor. The tutor will specify the due time for this hand-in. Some of these questions will be marked and returned in the following practical.
    Teams will be formed in the first practical class so it is important that students attend the first practical, in Week 2.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The workload for this course should consist of:

    Attend Lectures 2 Hours per week
    Attend Tutorials 2 Hours per week
    Study Textbook 4 Hours per week
    Prepare Tutorial Answer 4 Hours per week
    Learning Activities Summary
    The topics to be covered may include

    o Introduction and data
    o Descriptive statistics
    o Correlation and regression
    o Randomness, random variables and probability
    o Sampling and sampling distributions
    o Inference—estimation and hypothesis tests for one proportion and one mean
    o Inference in regression
    o Topics in multiple regression
    o Time series analysis
    o Index numbers

    Specific Course Requirements
    None
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    In this course, students work in small teams and undertake a project investigating a real-world problem that involves statistics in the world around them.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    •  Final exam - 65%
    •  Group (Team) mini-project - 10%
    •  Practicals
      • Group (Team) Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) tests - 7.5%
      • Individual Written Tests - 10%
      • Group (Team) Worked Answer Question (WAQ) assignments - 7.5%

    Assessment Detail                              Graduate Attribute
    Group (Team) mini- project                 Deep discipline knowledge
                                                               Critical thinking and problem solving
                                                               Teamwork and communication skills
                                                               Career and leadership readiness
    Group (Team) MCQ Tests                    Deep discipline knowledge                                                
                                                               Critical thinking and problem solving                                                
                                                               Teamwork and communication skills
    Individual Written Tests                     Deep discipline knowledge                                                
                                                              Critical thinking and problem solving                                                
    Group (Team) WAQ assignments       Deep discipline knowledge
                                                              Critical thinking and problem solving                                                          
                                                              Teamwork and communication skills                                                          
    Assessment Related Requirements

    There are no hurdle requirements for this course.

    Assessment Detail
    Final exam (65%)
    • This is of 3 hours duration, plus 10 minutes reading time.
    • Statistical tables are provided.
    • This exam covers the whole semester.
    • Please note that, following University policy, dictionaries are not allowed in School of Economics exams.
    • Graphics calculators are allowed but are not required.
    • Legible hand-writing and the quality of English expression are considered to be integral parts of the assessment process. If we can’t read what you have written, we can’t give marks for it.
    • Students are advised to use a black pen in the exam; write clearly, BEGIN each question ON A NEW PAGE and do not use white out or pencil.
    Individual Written Tests (10%)
    • More details will be provided during the semester.
    • It is anticipated there will be 4 of these tests during the semester and the best 3 marks will count for assessment.
    • Medical and compassionate extensions: Unfortunately, late attempts at the online test or the written tests are not possible, even for valid medical or compassionate reasons. Instead, the weight on the final exam will be increased to take the place of this assessment.
    Group (Team) mini-project (10%)
    • This mini project will require the group to show that they recognise and understand the practical application of statistics in the world around us.
    • Each group is to hand in one project.
    • Details will be provided during the semester.
    • This project is to be handed to the tutor in the practical in Week 10. A proposal should be provided to the tutor in week 7.
    • Each project MUST have a FRONT COVER where there MUST be a list of names of ONLY CONTRIBUTING team members: NO NAME, NO MARKS. Also on this front cover must be the team's tutorial day, time and tutor.
    • Late projects will not be accepted unless 48 hour PRIOR arrangement with the Course Coordinator.

    Group (Team) Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) tests (7.5%)
    • As of week 3 to week 12, there will weekly MCQ tests, so a total of 10 MCQ tests over the semester.
    • The best 7 of these 10 MCQ tests will be counted for assessment.
    • Because not all of these marks count for assessment, no special consideration will be given to students who miss a practical class for medical, compassionate or any other reason.

    Group (Team) Worked Answer Question (WAQ) Assignments (7.5%)
    • As of week 3 to week 11, there will be weekly Team WAQs, so a total of 9 Team WAQs over the semester.
    • The best 7 of these 9 tests will be counted for assessment.
    • Because not all of these marks count for assessment, no special consideration will be given to students who miss a practical class for medical, compassionate or any other reason.
    Further details will be provided on MyUni.

    Redemption
    There is no extra work that can be done to redeem individual components of assessment during the semester, no matter the reason; however if the final exam mark (%) exceeds the mark (%) on any other assessment, then the exam mark automatically takes its place.
    Submission
    Individual wriitten tests and group (team) MCQ tests can only be done during the student's prac classes.

    Students will be advised on MyUni regarding the submission method for the group (team) WAQ assignments and the group (team) mini project.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    The policy of the School of Economics is not to return final exam scripts to students. However, they are made available for students to read under the supervision of the Course Coordinator, at a time and place to be announced.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    Many students have commented on the team-based approach to learning used in this course. Whilst many students said they enjoyed it and thought it helped them study (some even said they thought they'd only pass because their team was so helpful and contributed so much to their learning), many thought the allocation of marks was unfair in that free-riders could earn marks too easily. Also, anecdotally, we felt that students who received marks because their team did the work for them were at a disadvantage because they did not realise they couldn't do the work until the exam, which meant they failed. To rectify this, we have a system in place so that only team members that contribute to team work will be allocated marks. Furthermore, we have the individual written test component so that students can see how they understand the topics.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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