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“To understand God's thoughts we must study Statistics, for these are the measure of His purpose.”
—Florence Nightingale1

General Education Learning Outcomes

As students progress through the General Education program at Brigham Young University, they will participate in the following:

Course Learning Outcomes

These are the overall outcomes for this course:

Specifically, when you successfully complete this course, you will be able to:

  1. Generate graphical displays of a given data set.
  2. Make appropriate conclusions from plots of data.
  3. Describe the distribution of random variables.
  4. Choose appropriate numerical summaries based on shape of distributions.
  5. Distinguish among different methods of data collection.
  6. Examine the relationship between two variables.
  7. Describe the sampling distributions of statistics.
  8. Calculate probabilities associated with statistics using properties of their sampling distributions.
  9. Estimate population parameters using confidence intervals.
  10. Assess claims about population parameters using tests of significance.
  11. Become critical and thoughtful consumers of quantitative information.

Course Materials

You will need these materials to complete the course.

You may also purchase the textbook in hard copy, but this is optional:

Accessing LaunchPad

To access your LaunchPad material, you can either purchase an access code with the textbook or the code online through the publisher when you register. Whichever you choose, it is easy to register and log in. Simply follow the directions in the LaunchPad Registration and Access page of your course.

Statistical Software

If you want to use a statistical software package to perform computations on quizzes, we recommend that you use either Excel or CrunchIt!, the latter is available for free under the Resources tab on Launchpad.

Here are basic instructions for using Excel to calculate means and standard deviations: [ LINK REMOVED ] Excel Instructions.

Instructions for CrunchIt! are under the Resources tab in LaunchPad. 

Browsers and Help with LaunchPad

In addition to the e-book, LaunchPad offers several other help resources, including videos, applets, flash cards, glossary, technology manuals, and web exercise guides.

LaunchPad does not function as well in Internet Explorer as it does in other browsers. LaunchPad recommends using Mozilla Firefox for it to work best. When accessing the LaunchPad website, open the link in a new tab or window.

For help with LaunchPad, you can call their help line at 1-800-936-6899, or visit the Macmillan Support Center website.


You may also opt to use a graphing calculator such as the TI-83 or other statistical software, but you will have to figure out the necessary commands on your own. Using CrunchIt!, a graphing calculator, or other statistical software may save you some time. But remember, buying a graphing calculator is not necessary—it’s just an option—and you won’t be able to use it on your exams. All that is needed is a scientific calculator with a square-root function for practice exercises, credit quizzes, and exams.

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Course Overview

Course information, homework quizzes, writing assignments, formula sheet and tables, exam study guides, and other course documents are available in your course. The e-text, StatTutor videos, statistical applets and videos, LearningCurve quizzes, practice exercises, and other helpful resources are available through LaunchPad.


The course material is partitioned into twenty-four lessons, which include assigned reading and videos from LaunchPad, and an accompanying homework quiz in your course. Lessons follow a chronological ordering. Information you learned in a previous lesson is built upon in subsequent lessons.

For each lesson, you will complete a variety of activities:

  1. Read chapters of the e-book on LaunchPad or in the textbook Statistics: Concepts and Controversies.
  2. Watch the corresponding StatTutor videos on LaunchPad, and view any other accompanying videos and applets.
  3. After reading the textbook and watching the video(s), take the LearningCurve quiz.
  4. Complete the practice exercises for the assigned reading.
  5. Take the homework quiz in your course.

StatTutor Videos

All StatTutor videos are available on the LaunchPad website. You can access them in two ways:

To play these StatTutor videos, you will need QuickTime Player loaded on your computer. (It is a free download.) LaunchPad automatically gives the link for the download when you click the StatTutor icon. A few StatTutor videos have two or three parts, which are indicated in the lesson outline.

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During this course, you will complete twenty-four homework quizzes and five writing assignments that count toward your grade, as well as practice exercises and quizzes.

LearningCurve Quizzes

The LearningCurve quizzes are available on the LaunchPad website. There is one for each lesson. They cover the material presented in that lesson and any necessary concepts from previous lessons.

They are not required, but can add up to 2% in extra credit to your overall course grade. 

To receive extra credit for the LearningCurve quizzes, you must post your quiz scores from LaunchPad in the corresponding extra credit assignment in your course prior to requesting the Exam for the unit.

Note: LearningCurve quizzes will still be available for you to take after the exam; however, you will not earn extra credit for taking quizzes after you take the exam.

Practice Exercises

The LaunchPad website also includes a set of practice exercises for each lesson. They are not required and do not count as part of your grade, but are provided to make you aware of the important concepts in that lesson and to check whether you have mastered the material. Getting help from others is acceptable on practice exercises.

Each set of practice exercises consists of multiple-choice, true/false, fill-in-the blank, and short-answer questions. Some of these questions require the use of a basic calculator or statistical tables and, when desired, a statistical software package to perform computations. Instructions for using Excel are in your course, or you may use CrunchIt!, which is provided free on the LaunchPad website. Understanding the correct answers for all practice exercises will help you prepare for the homework quizzes and exams.     

Homework Quizzes

For each lesson, you are required to take a homework quiz that will count as part of your overall grade. The homework quizzes are in your course and are open book and open notes with no time limit, but getting help from any other person is not acceptable. Receiving assistance from another person on any homework quiz is considered cheating and could result in you failing the course.

Homework quizzes consist of multiple-choice, true/false, fill-in-the blank, and short-answer questions. Some of these questions require the use of a basic calculator or statistical tables and, when desired, a statistical software package to perform computations. Instructions for using Excel are in your course, or you may use CrunchIt!, which is provided free on the LaunchPad website.

Note: You cannot resubmit homework quizzes because complete feedback is given for each question after you submit the quiz. However, your two lowest homework scores will be dropped from grade calculations. Use the practice exercise questions, StatTutor lessons, and LearningCurve to prepare for the homework quizzes before you take them. In addition, use your notes and textbook to correctly answer the questions.

Writing Assignments

You will complete a total of five writing assignments. They will be graded on quality of writing as well as content.

The directions for each writing assignment include the topics and grading rubrics.

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The course includes three midcourse exams and a final exam. All exams are proctored, closed book, and closed notes, but have no time limit. We recommend that you schedule at least three hours to take each exam.

Important formulas and tables will be supplied with each exam. Copies of the formulas and tables accompanying the exams are in your course.

You will also need a basic calculator to use while you take each midcourse exam and the final exam. Remember, graphing calculators are not allowed.

Important: After you take any exam, including the final, discussing anything on the exam with anyone other than the instructor may result in you failing the course.

Midcourse Exams

There are three midcourse exams.

They are all comprehensive, covering any past material and all materials in the pertinent chapters and writing assignments. The exams consist of a multiple-choice, true/false, and matching questions section and a short essay section. The final exam will consist only of multiple-choice, true/false, and matching questions.

The midcourse exams will test your understanding and ability to apply concepts and formulas presented in the lessons assigned to that exam and any material assigned in preceding exams.

Note: You must complete all homework quizzes and writing assignments for the lessons assigned to the unit before taking the midcourse exam.

Final Exam

The final exam is comprehensive.

You cannot take the final exam until the following requirements have been met:

This means that if you are on a deadline to finish the course, you must allow time for grading before you request the final exam.

Exam Reviews

Exam review guides are available to help you study for each exam. These guides include a list of terms you should be able to define, computations you should be able to do, identifications you should be able to make, and so forth.

Practice Exams

Be sure that you are ready for an exam before scheduling it; there are no exam retakes. To prepare for each midcourse exam or final exam, a corresponding practice exam is provided. It is recommended that you take the practice exam as if it were being proctored before you check your answers. Then restudy the course material and homework quizzes corresponding to the questions that you missed.

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These assignments and exams count toward your overall course grade.

Homework Quizzes 15%
Writing Assignments 10%
Midcourse Exam 1 15%
Midcourse Exam 2 15%
Midcourse Exam 3 15%
Final Exam 30%
LearningCurve Quizzes 2% (Extra Credit)

Grade Scale

Your letter grade will be based on these percentages.

A 93.6–100%
A− 89.6–93.5%
B+ 86.6–89.5%
B 82.6–86.5%
B− 79.6–82.5%
C+ 76.6–79.5%
C 72.6–76.5%
C− 69.6–72.5%
D+ 66.6–69.5%
D 62.6–66.5%
D− 59.6–62.5%
E (fail) 0–59.5%

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1. As quoted in Brian Everitt, Chance Rules: An Informal Guide to Probability, Risk, and Statistics (New York: Copernicus, 1999), 137.

Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to BYU Semester Independent Study Course Policies page.


There 24 computer-graded quizzes, and 5 instructor-graded writing assignments.

None may be resubmitted.


There are 3 instructor-graded, proctored midcourse exams and a computer-graded, proctored final exam.

No exam retakes are allowed.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.

Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.

Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

Copyright © 2016 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.

Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514

BYU Copyright Notice for TEACH ACT

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.
“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment…
Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy).

Copyright notice for specific, individual copies
All copies are intended for non-commercial, educational purposes in connection with this registered course and only for students enrolled in this course. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws.