Recommendations for good videos and interactive online resources for teaching introductory statistical concepts?

One of the challenges with teaching introductory biostatistics is that there are so many online resources available to students. This creates a filtering problem: many of the resources that come up on the first page of a Google or YouTube search won’t necessarily be the best resources. Admittedly-anecdotal example: years ago, back when I still taught the Mann-Whitney U test (I don’t any more), I was alarmed to discover that the Wikipedia page for the Mann-Whitney U test contained serious mistakes.*

I want to assist my students with this filtering problem. Steer them towards resources I’ve looked at and am happy to vouch for. Which of course puts the filtering problem on my shoulders instead. And I don’t want to spend many hours reading stats websites and watching YouTube stats videos.

So that’s where you come in. In the comments, please suggest videos and other online resources (especially interactive resources) that you’ve found useful for teaching introductory statistics, or for learning introductory statistics yourself. I hope and expect that your collective experience and opinions will be a much better guide to the best stuff out there than Google’s PageRank algorithm is. If we get enough responses, I’ll organize them into a future post, like Meghan’s compilation of videos for teaching ecology.**

To kick things off, Michael Whitlock and Dolph Schluter have very nice interactive online tutorials for teaching sampling from a normal distribution, the Central Limit Theorem, and the interpretation of a frequentist 95% confidence interval for the sample mean. I use all these in my class and recommend them highly. They have a few other interactive apps I haven’t used but that I assume are also good.

Related old post: my compilation of “statistical vignettes“: easy-to-explain, dramatic illustrations of statistical concepts and their application to everyday life.

*Which I corrected; that’s only time I’ve tried to fix a Wikipedia page. I have no idea what the Wikipedia page for the Mann-Whitney U test is like today.

**Note that I’m looking here for resources for teaching statistical concepts, not R. “Online resources to teach R” would be a whole ‘nother post!

14 thoughts on “Recommendations for good videos and interactive online resources for teaching introductory statistical concepts?

  1. I like to show the following TED talks at the beginning of some statistics classes for biology:

    https://www.ted.com/talks/patricia_kuhl_the_linguistic_genius_of_babies?language=en#t-598787 – nice example of probability distribution functions and a very interesting topic anyway

    https://www.ted.com/talks/peter_donnelly_how_juries_are_fooled_by_statistics – how probability and statistics are often counter-intuitive

    https://www.ted.com/talks/david_mccandless_the_beauty_of_data_visualization – interesting examples of figures

    https://www.ted.com/talks/tommy_mccall_the_simple_genius_of_a_good_graphic – another examples of nice figures

    https://www.ted.com/talks/alan_smith_why_you_should_love_statistics – I sometimes use in the first statistics class

    One of the reasons I like TED talks is that they are subtitled in various languages and that the can be downloaded and shown offline (which is really important where I work!)

  2. Although all a bit more biomedical than ecological based, and not interactive:

    The British Medical Journal commissioned a volume of short articles for Doctors to understand stats, which were mostly co-authored by Doug Altman and Martin Bland :
    https://www-users.york.ac.uk/~mb55/pubs/pbstnote.htm

    The NHS in the UK has a “behind the health headlines” section:
    https://www.nhs.uk/news/

    Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science Webpage:
    https://www.badscience.net/

    • And you should’ve recommended some of your own videos, which a colleague of mine just pointed me to! The ANOVA one is perfect for what I need as I quickly move my intro biostats course online due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Teaches the topic exactly as I had planned to. So now I’m happy because I don’t have to make my own video lecture. 🙂 Thanks very much for putting your lectures online.

  3. Thank you, Jeremy for this post. The comments here, and some links provided by you are quite interesting and helpful.
    Looking forward to your post on “Online resources to teach R”. That would be really helpful to me, as I have started learning R recently.

    Cheers.

  4. Here’s a good source of video lectures for anyone who teaches intro biostats from Whitlock & Schluter (as I do) and doesn’t want to reinvent the wheel. I watched the first 25 min. of the ANOVA one, it teaches the topic exactly as I do, so it’s a perfect fit for me. So I’m guesses the others will be useful to me as well, but I haven’t watched them yet.

    (ht my awesome colleague Kyla Flanagan for this find. I can’t believe that Yaniv Brandvain himself commented up above and was too modest to recommend his own videos!).

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