TBLC Featured Resource Error and Statistics

Title: Error and Statistics
Authors: Kristin Pangallo
Affiliations: Salem State University
Resources available with this module: Readings, application exercise, RAT
Context: Quantitative Analysis (CHE 321)
This TBL module is the first module in the initial upper-level analytical chemistry sequence. It introduces students to the vocabulary, concepts and calculations required to analyze a data set with basic statistics. The course emphasizes learning to find, read and understand complex scientific information, including textbooks, and thus includes a detailed reading guide for each module that students use to prepare for the RAP. Application activities contain a mix of quantitative and conceptual questions that allow students to practice applying these concepts. This is one of 4 main units (modules) within this semester-long course.

Required ReadingA reading guide (included) is provided for students. The textbook for this course is: Harris, D. C.; Lucy, C. A. Quantitative Chemical Analysis, 9th Ed.; W. H. Freeman and Company: New York, 2016. (ISBN-13: 978-1464135385)
After completing this TBL, students will be able to

  • Explain why quantifying error is as important as making a measurement
  • Identify whether a source of error is random and systematic
  • Distinguish between precision and accuracy
  • Use the ‘Real Rule of Significant Figures’
  • Properly incorporate propagation of uncertainty in calculations
  • Properly express random error in an experiment with statistics
  • Explain the meaning of μ and σ in a chemical analysis and how they relate to xbar and s
  • Predict how s and xbar will change as n increases
  • Calculate mean and standard deviation (with calculator) for a data set
  • Calculate confidence intervals for a data set
  • Explain what a confidence interval means
  • Perform the proper t-test given a scenario
  • Determine whether a datum is an outlier using the Grubbs test

For more information on this, and more, modules available in the Resource Bank, please visit the Resource Portal.