One of the things that I enjoy about courses like this, is that they provide a means of realistic looking at common ideas which we often take for granted. For example, people often hear and repeat concepts such as 7/10 people who use Crest showed fewer cavities after six months. Utilizing statistical concepts, we realize that although this statistic might be true, it does not denote causality. Just because people used Crest does not mean that Crest reduced the number of cavities. This type of thinking is a more critical way to view statistics and how they impact areas of our life. As a I move through my education, I find that a look forward to new courses such as criminal justice and psychology because I have a better understanding and grasp of the statistical components to these courses. I find that when I am taking new classes I can understand the data that is presented in a more meaningful way.
I am not sure that many current strategies for data management are really working. I have worked at two companies where data was constantly being compiled and stored due to the fear of losing any information that might be valuable. Information overload can be a hindrance to an organization because when there is too much information to present, it may not be processed in a logical way, or be able to be communicated in a logical way. With information overload, a manager, for example, may need to communicate certain aspects of the information to employees, but if there is information overload, some key aspects of the information that needs to be communicated may be forgotten or overlooked because it is amongst too much other information. As a result, communication is less effective due to information overload because it can lead to misinformation, misinterpretation, forgetting what should be communicated or completely overlooking the key information that should be communicated. Data deluge creates these issues but is difficult to manage effectively.
Yes, I found the discussion threads to be helpful because they forced me to explain concepts in a meaningful way. One thing that I enjoyed was the discussion of statistic as it applied to realistic examples. It is easy to get lost in academic ideas and lose sight of how this material applies to life. I think that this should be a greater area of concentration for these courses because it allows for the student to learn in a more realistic fashion.
I thought the assignments were fine but the quizzes had some issues. There were several instances of the quizzes having duplicate problems and some of the questions had errors such as misspellings or missing words which made it difficult to understand. I think the major issue with the tests or quizzes is the fact that they were often not on target with what we studied in the course. This gave me a lot of trouble.