Bringing Visual Inference to the Classroom

Abstract

In the classroom, we traditionally visualize inferential concepts related to inference using static graphics or interactive apps. For example, there is a long history of using apps to visualize sampling distributions. Recent developments in statistical graphics have created an opportunity to bring additional visualizations into the classroom to hone student understanding. Specifically, the lineup protocol provides a framework for students see the difference between signal and noise. This protocol involves embedding a plot of observed data in a field of null plots. This approach has proved valuable in visualizing randomization/permutation tests, diagnosing models, and even conducting valid inference when distributional assumptions break down. This paper provides an overview of the lineup protocol for visual inference and how it can be used to hone understanding of key statistical topics throughout the undergraduate curriculum.

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