To Die For
May 14, 2007
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So L Magee assisted with one of my planning theory tutorial sessions earlier today, and I returned the favour this evening by dropping in on one of LM’s quantitative methods sessions. I’m certain LM found my presence supportive and ever-helpful. LM never tells me such things, of course, but I’m sure that’s due to some personal reticence about expressing deep emotion.
At any rate, during the session, LM decided to answer a student’s question about expected values and the chi-square test with an example that started, “Suppose you roll a 5-sided die…” LM tried valiantly to progress beyond this starting point, but the example was just… distracting.
“I’m sorry,” one student objected, “but I have to visualise these things. What does a 5-sided die look like?”
LM tried to deflect the question – it’s a hypothetical; Dungeons and Dragons must have all kinds of strange dice; etc. But the student really wanted to know. You could see everyone in the room trying – and failing – to visualise such a thing. The hapless visual learner finally gave up and proposed that we substitute some sort of random spinning dial in our hypothetical example. The tute moved on, but I just couldn’t. I kept flashing back to this discussion, bursting into erratic, poorly-muffled giggling fits at unpredictable intervals while LM was trying to explain other statistical concepts. As I said, I’m sure LM finds me supportive and ever-helpful.
And since I’m supportive and ever-helpful, a gift! LM, the next time this happens in your tutorial, you can show your students this: