Linear Regression Activities

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Linear regression is a very useful statistical model. These activities can help your students find new and interactive ways to think about linear regression and statistics.

Linear Regression

Linear regression is a fundamental idea for students to learn. Statistical models like this are applicable to many (if not most) careers, and this type of thinking can help students better appreciate the relationship between multiple variables. These activities are designed for high school students learning about statistics at the introductory level, are intended to be in-class activities, and are generally meant for small groups. However, these activities can be adapted for more advanced students, independent work, or larger group work with minor modifications.

Linear Regression Activities: Collecting Data

When working with linear regression, students will require sets of data. You can always consider handing them raw sets of data to work with, which may be a good option if you're trying to craft a discipline-specific activity (i.e. the link between pollution and global warming). However, it can also be beneficial to students to be part of the data-collecting process. These ideas will get students actively involved in thinking about how variables are identified, and data is collected.

Exercise Data

One student at a time will be the test subject, while the others will record data. Each student will perform a simple exercise for three minutes straight (jumping jacks are a good option). The recorders will time the test subject and record the number of completed exercises (i.e. jumping jacks) completed within every ten-second interval. Students will plot this as time versus number of completed exercises.

  • Materials: Stopwatch, paper, writing supplies, space for exercises

Aim Data

Students will set up a hoop or basket and designate an object to throw at/into the target. For a simple version of this, a wastebasket and a small ball or wad of paper will work. Each student will take a turn being the test subject and attempt to hit the target with the ball/disc. They will start by standing very close to the target, then progressively move further away. When not the test subject, the other group members will record the distance and successful/missed throws of the test subject.

  • Materials: Hoop or basket, throwing object, tape measure, paper, writing supplies

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