Business Statistics
Fall 2016

Moodle, Course Calendar, Notes & Resources
Syllabus quick links: Course Objectives, Course Format, Texts, Additional Resources, Basis of Grade

Course Information

Days & Times: Tuesdays 5:45PM-7:45PM, 7:45PM-9:45PM (electronic).
Note: The first class meeting is Tuesday, October 18, and is mandatory. You will be dropped from this course if you do not attend.
Location: McMullen Hall, Room 101
Credits: 3 hours
Prerequisites: STBE137 or MATH191, and ECON201
Instructor: Dr. Richard Jerz
Contact Information:
Phone: (563) 447-0180 (voice mail)
Office: 408 Ambrose Hall

Catalog Description

Principles and applications of descriptive and inferential statistics. Topics covered are data summarization, measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, fundamental principles of probability, discrete and continuous probability distributions, calculations of normal probabilities, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, ANOVA, correlation and regression, and non-parametric statistics.

Course Objectives

Through a combination of lectures, discussions, homework, and exams, this course will expand the tools and techniques of statistical analysis that are applicable to the business environment. The student will learn computer-assisted problem solving methods using Microsoft Excel.

Course Format

This course is an 8-week accelerated “hybrid” course utilizing the “asynchronous learning” model.  We will be in the classroom on Tuesdays. Twice each week (usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays) new topics are provided. Realize that a “normal” 3-hour course expects an average of 112 hours of time over 16 weeks. Through my use of a variety of technologies, such as lecture videos, a website, an organized and easy-to-use Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, you will see that I am very dedicated to make your learning efficient.  You can be successful in this course if you study the materials, watch the videos (often more than once), do all assignments on time, and ask questions whenever something is not understood.

The "Course Calendar" webpage shows dates and topics for this course.

About a week before the class begins, I will send you a "Welcome" email that provides details and course access information, including how to access Moodle, and a small pre-course assignment.  I send this email to your email addresses on record with the Registrar, so watch for this email and remember that you may need to check your “junk” mailbox.


"Statistical Techniques in Business & Economics," 15th Ed., Douglas A. Lind, William G. Marchal, and Samuel A. Wathen, McGraw Hill Irwin, 2012. ISBN 978-0-07-340180-5. The 13th, 14th, or 16th editions will also work. I recommend getting the version that best suits your budget. This textbook is a good reference textbook, and it also provides many solved problems. You do not need any DVD or publisher's online "code" for this course.

Additional Course Resources

This course assumes that the student has some computer skills and understands how to use products such as email, browsers, word processing, and spreadsheets. The university computer lab computers meet all course needs, that you can use if needed.

Computer Hardware: You will need a computer (PC or Macintosh) and high-speed access (such as DSL or cable) to the Internet.

Calculating Software: Our calculator is Excel. If you plan to use a PC, then you will need either Microsoft Excel 2010 or later. Earlier versions of Excel will not work. For Macs, you need Excel 2011 or later. St. Ambrose students are eligible for a free copy of MS Office by going to the Microsoft website and using your St. Ambrose email address.

Excel 2010 and Excel 2013/365 (PCs) are available on all St. Ambrose lab computers. The Cosgrove 24 lab is a 24/7 lab, which you can use.

Computer Software: You will need a browser (at least at IE9 (10 for drag & dropping files), Firefox 25.0, Safari 6, Chrome X or 30.0, or equivalent or newer) with Flash installed (for streaming video), an email account (SAU, work, or personal), Adobe PDF Reader, Microsoft Office, and iTunes (optional). Most modern computers include a video player.

This course makes intensive use of my lecture videos. These videos are provided in "Flash" format on Moodle, in a downloadable format, and as podcasts generally from the iTunes store, for free. See my "Videos, videos, videos" link on Moodle for more information.

It might be helpful to understand how to do "screen captures" on your computer. Sometimes, when you you are having problems, "capturing" your screen and emailing it to me works best to communicate the problem. (See my "Screen Captures" on my FAQ webpage for more information.)

Mobile Device: Mobile devices are optional. A modern mobile device (tablets and smartphones) can be handy for playing videos and doing assignments “on the go”. Moodle, and almost all my course materials, are designed for easy viewing and interaction on most mobile devices, such as iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.

Moodle: All course materials will be available from my website. We will be using a product called Moodle as our course management system. Since Moodle will be new to most of you, I have provided a separate video that that you should watch before the course begins. If you happen to go to this course on Blackboard you will see that I have provided a quick link to get to Moodle. You will not need to pay for Moodle. I provide this to you for free and I think you will like Moodle's features that help you progress through this course.

Basis of Grade

Attendance and Participation: 10%
Homework (Concept & Problems): 40%
Four Exams: 50%

A+: 97-100, A: 93-97, A-: 90-93, B+: 87-90, B: 83-87, B- :80-83, C+: 77-80, C: 73-77, C-: 70-73, D+: 67-70, D: 63-67, D-: 60-63, F: 0-60

Attendance and Participation: Attendance is required, except for the online version in which attendance is not applicable. Let the instructor know (by phone or email) if you are unable to attend. You get 3 points for each class you attend, 1 point if you notify me ahead of time with a reasonable reason, and 0 points if you are absent and do not let me know.

Special Note: Attendance on the first class meeting is mandatory. If you cannot attend the first night, you will need to drop this course. No exceptions!

Homework: Homework for each chapter, which includes both statistics concepts and problem solving questions, is made available in Moodle.  All assignments have due dates, typically Tuesdays & Thursdays at 11:55PM, that show in Moodle’s “Calendar” and in Moodle’s “Upcoming Events.” I send you an email weekly as I turn each topic on for you on Moodle. The homework is designed to help you learn statistics and practice solving problems, and I therefore allow students to repeat homework until you are satisfied with your learning (i.e., your grade).  Moodle maintains your best of your attempts; so don’t worry about re-attempting an assignment and having a lower grade replace your better grade.  I encourage you to redo homework for practice, even if you already have a perfect score.  It is extremely important that you understand how to solve the homework problems and not simply guess at answers until you get a good grade, otherwise, you will not do well on the exams.  I encourage you to use Excel to do all of the problems.

You typically are given 10 to 14 days to do the assignments before the due date, and this is done to allow you to start homework early so that I can answer your questions.  However, the probability of getting help from me goes down dramatically as the due date/time approaches (e.g., I usually cannot answer questions at 11PM on the due date), and waiting is no excuse for missing an assignment or doing poorly. 

Given that you have 10 to 14 days to do homework, you can repeat homework, you can ask questions for help, you can study at your optimal times, all due dates are shown in Moodle’s Calendar and Upcoming Events, that it would be unfair to give an individual student a due date extension, that due dates exist in the business world, and that modifying individual due dates leads to chaos, it is important to understand that in this course I cannot accept late homework.  The strategy of waiting until the last day to do homework is not going to be a good strategy for this course!

Exams: There will be four exams, each equally weighted. Exams are open-book and open-notes. It is encouraged that you learn to use our Excel models for the exams.

It is planned that the exams will be delivered electronically. The exams are timed, and you only have one attempt. I typically turn these exams on for a 24-hour period, one day, as noted on the Course Calendar webpage. Once you begin, you must complete it within two hours. Therefore make sure to begin each exam when you will not be disturbed. Also, these exams must be taken independently (i.e., by yourself). If you decide to use a common lab, for example, and another student is present, you should wait to do your exam until after the other student leaves to avoid any inference that you did not take your exam independently. If there appears to be any form of collaboration on exams, an academic integrity violation will be filed with the Registrar and your exam score and course grade will suffer. Also, at my discretion, I can ask you to find an instructor or administrator from a university to proctor your exam.

Bonus Points: Occasionally, bonus exercises are provided. In the spirit of quality and continuous improvement, whenever you are the first student to identify an administrative error about any component of this course, you will receive one (1) bonus point.

Administrative Items

Make Up Exams: Make up exams are not provided.

Rectifying Scores: During the semester, your homework scores are always posted on Moodle for you to view. After you get your homework or exam grade, you have a week to complain about your score. Beyond this period, I will not entertain any complaints.

Accommodations: Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Student Disability Services office as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. (SDS Student Handbook)

Classroom etiquette: Please pay a professional courtesy to the instructor and your classmates by turning off all cell phones and pagers during class. The use of computers is allowed only for lecture-related activities. Please avoid behavior that distracts from the learning experience of you and your classmates. In discussions on Moodle, a courteous tone and politeness is expected. (SAU Student Handbook)

Academic Integrity Policy: For St. Ambrose's policy, please click here.