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Research Study
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Getting Started

After you read the syllabus thoroughly, complete the "Getting Started - Begin Here!" section of your Independent Study course. This section will guide you through a series of steps in order to access multiple websites.

Course Learning Outcomes

A student completing Stat 121 will be able to:

  1. Differentiate between observational studies and experiments.
  2. Identify three sampling designs: simple random sample, stratified, and multi-stage.
  3. Identify three designs of experiments: completely randomized, randomized block and matched-pairs.
  4. Interpret and make appropriate conclusions from plots of data.
  5. Obtain and interpret measures of center and spread.
  6. Determine potential associate between two quantitative and two categorical variables.
  7. Communicate using technical language about probability and variation.
  8. Interpret and communicate the outcomes of estimation and hypothesis tests in the context of a problem.
  9. Understand the importance of data collection and how it dictates the appropriate statistical method and acceptable inference.
  10. Determine the appropriate statistical procedure to use for a given research problem or data set.

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Course Prerequisites

MATH 110 (College Algebra) is recommended.

A person taking Statistics without having taken College Algebra will find Statistics much more difficult than those who have. Statistics 121 requires students to be able to solve story problems and interpret the results in context.

Note: Pre-calculus or a full year of Trigonometry in high school includes College Algebra.

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Course Materials

Summary: Students must purchase access to LaunchPad for course content. An electronic version of the textbook comes with it. Students will also need access to a scientific calculator (i.e. a basic scientific calculator with a square root function).

Required Materials

After you have registered for the BYU Stat 121 Independent Study course through Independent Study, you will need to:

  1. Purchase access to LaunchPad directly on the LaunchPad website. The LaunchPad website is maintained by the publisher of the textbook Basic Practice of Statistics, and contains:
    • the e-book of Basic Practice of Statistics, 6th edition, by David S. Moore that supports highlighting and note taking
    • StatTutor, which includes the lecture videos you need to watch
  2. Register on the STAT 121 Moodle course website. This site is maintained by the Department of Statistics for the Statistics 121 course and is free of charge to the students. It contains:
    • all lesson instructions
    • credit quizzes and practice quizzes
    • exam preparation materials
    • other course materials and helps

NOTE: You will need to register for both the LaunchPad and Moodle websites. Go to the "Getting Started" section of this course for registration details.

  1. You will need to have a scientific calculator with a square root function.
    • For practice and credit quizzes, you can use any computational device.  However, for exams, you may use only a non-graphing (scientific) calculator. Graphing calculators and high-end scientific calculators are not to be used in exams.

Optional Materials

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Overview of Course Requirements

Course Organization

Note: We strongly recommend that you complete all of the preceding assignments before requesting an exam. You will not be able to request Midcourse Exam 3 until you have completed both Writing Assignments. Before you will be able to request the Final Exam, all earlier work must be completed and the grade posted.


All lesson instructions are found on the Moodle course website , as well as in the document “Statistics 121 Independent Study Lesson Outline.” Lessons on the Moodle course website are listed in chronological order and will guide you through each reading, viewing, practice and graded assignment.

For each lesson, you are asked to do the following:

  1. Read sections of the e-book on LaunchPad or in the textbook Basic Practice of Statistics, 6th edition, by David S. Moore.
  2. Watch the corresponding StatTutor videos on LaunchPad.
  3. After reading the textbook and watching the video(s), take the practice quiz. Review as needed and then take the credit quiz.

StatTutor Videos

All StatTutor videos are available on the LaunchPad website. You can access them in two ways: either by clicking on the StatTutor icon in each section of the e-book (with the exception of some chapter introductions), or under the Resources tab on LaunchPad. To play these StatTutor videos, you will need QuickTime Player loaded on your computer. (It is a free download.) LaunchPad automatically gives the link for the download when you click on the StatTutor icon. A few StatTutor videos have two or three parts, which are indicated in the lesson outline.

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Summary: 39 assignments (credit quizzes), 39 practice quizzes (optional, extra credit) are completed through the STAT 121 Moodle course website (a separate web application), and 2 written assignments. No resubmissions allowed.

WARNING: All credit quizzes and writing assignments are open book and open notes. However, taking a quiz for someone else, using answers provided by another student, having a tutor-type person help you take any quiz, etc. is cheating. Writing assignments with plagiarized answers will receive no credit.

Practice Quizzes on the Moodle Course Website

Each lesson has a practice quiz to make you aware of the important concepts in that lesson and to check whether you have mastered the material. Your scores on the practice quizzes count as 2 percent of your course grade. These are extra credit.

Taking the practice quiz without notes or the textbook is recommended, but you are welcome to use them. Getting help from others is also acceptable on practice quizzes.

Each practice quiz consists of multiple-choice and true/false questions. Some of these questions require the use of a basic calculator and/or statistical tables. Understanding the correct answers for all practice quiz questions will help you prepare for the credit quizzes and exams.

Note: You cannot retake practice quizzes for this course. Complete feedback is given for every question after submitting each practice quiz.

Credit Quizzes and Writing Assignments

For each lesson, you are required to take a credit quiz. Your scores on the credit quizzes and writing assignments count as 15 percent of your course grade.

The credit quizzes are in your Moodle course and are open book and open notes with no time limit, but getting help from any other person is not acceptable. Receiving assistance from another person on any credit quiz is considered cheating and could result in failure in the course.

Like practice quizzes, credit quizzes consist of multiple-choice and true/false questions, and some of the credit-quiz questions require using a basic calculator, statistical tables and the STAT 121 formula sheet.

IMPORTANT: Your credit quiz grades must be transferred to your Independent Study course gradebook once you’ve completed all quizzes on the Moodle course website and the writing assignments in your Independent Study course. You will do this right before requesting the final exam in the "Credit Quiz Grade Transfer Request" section of your Independent Study course. Your overall grade for the quizzes must be posted AFTER the last lesson, but BEFORE you can request your final exam. Please plan your study schedule accordingly!

Note: You cannot retake credit quizzes for this course because complete feedback is given for each question after you submit each credit quiz. Use the practice quiz questions, StatTutor lessons, and textbook/e-book exercises to prepare for the credit quizzes before you take them. In addition, use your notes and textbook to correctly answer the questions.

Writing Assignments

There are 2 writing assignments; each is worth 1% of your total grade. The details of each assignment are contained within the assignments. The writing assignments are in your Independent Study course in the sections following the second exam.

Be sure you have taken ALL credit quizzes and completed the writing assignments associated with an exam before requesting that exam.

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Submitting Your Writing Assignments

You will submit your completed writing assignments to Independent Study through the appropriate Writing Assignment section of your Independent Study course.

There are several ways to access the writing assignments. One suggestion is to login to, select your course (STAT 121), click on "Writing Assignment" and then "open," and upload your assignment there. You can also find the assignments in the lefthand menu of your Independent Study course.

There are a number of file formats in which you may submit your assignments: .rtf, .doc/.docx, and .pdf. For all of the formats, use the course number and section, your first and last name, and the assignment name for the filename. For example, if you are in section M001 and you have chosen to use the .rtf file format you would name it something like "STAT121-M001_KimJones_WritingAssignment1.rtf"—with your own name, of course!

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Study Resources

Pre- and Post-Tests on the LaunchPad Website

Every chapter on the LaunchPad website has a personalized study guide. The study guides contains chapter pre-tests and post-tests. Use these tests as needed to gain better understanding of the material.

Textbook Exercises

In the Basic Practices of Statistics textbook/e-book, the exercises are given at the end of each section and at the end of each chapter. Answers are given for all odd-numbered exercises. Do exercises as needed.

We recommend that you use a statistical software package to perform computations such as CrunchIt!, which is available under the Resources tab on LaunchPad. Instructions are also found under the Resources tab.

You may opt to use a graphing calculator such as the TI-83 or other statistical software such as Microsoft Excel instead of CrunchIt! Using other statistical software is okay, but you will have to figure out the necessary commands on your own. Using CrunchIt!, a graphing calculator, or other statistical software will save you a lot of time. But remember, buying a graphing calculator is not necessary—it’s just an option--and you won't be able to use it on your exams. All that is needed is a scientific calculator with a square-root function for practice quizzes, credit quizzes, and midcourse exams. (You will not be asked about software commands on exams or credit quizzes.)


A complete glossary of all the terms in this course is available on the LaunchPad website. In addition, you can click on any statistical term in the Basic Practices of Statistics e-book to get a definition. Glossaries of new terms you need to know for each exam are also available on the Moodle course website in each “Exam Preparation” folder.

Midcourse and Final Exam Preparation Guides

Exam preparation guides are available to help you study for each exam. These guides include a list of terms for which you need to know their definitions, computations you need to be able to do, identifications you should be able to make, and so forth. The guides are available on the Moodle course website in the preparation lesson for each exam.

On the last page of each exam preparation guide is a copy of the formula sheet that will be at the end of each exam. Here is a description of the formulas you should be able to use for each midcourse exam:

Practice Exams

Before taking a midcourse exam or the final exam, be sure to take the corresponding practice exam, as you will not be able to retake any exams. The practice exams are available on the Statistics 121 Independent Study Moodle website in the corresponding “Exam Preparation” folders. The answers to the practice exam questions are found on the last page of each practice exam.

The practice exams will give you a good idea of the types of questions that will be on the midcourse exams and the final. Do not expect the practice exam questions to be duplicated on the midcourse exams. The exams focus on statistical terms, facts, concepts, and interpretation of results more than computations.

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Summary: 3 proctored, instructor-graded midcourse exams and 1 proctored, computer-graded final exam. A scientific calculator is allowed during exams; no graphing calculators. (No retakes allowed.)

NOTE: You will use the Midcourse Exam Request and Final Exam Request links in your Independent Study course to request the exams. (You will not be able to request them from your Moodle course.)

Midcourse Exams

There are 3 midcourse exams worth 55% of your grade. The first part of the midcourse exams consists of multiple-choice questions and matching questions. The second parts are short essays.

All midcourse exams and the final exam must be proctored. All are closed book and closed notes, but have no time limit.

After taking any exam, discussing anything on the exam with anyone other than the course instructor or the Independent Study Statistics tutor will result in you failing the course.

A page of formulas and a page of tables will be supplied with each exam. Copies of both the “Stat 121 Tables” page and the “Stat 121 Formulas Sheet” are found in “Important Course Materials” at the top of the list of lessons on the Moodle course website. The formula page is also found at the end of every exam preparation guide as discussed above. You will also need a basic calculator to use while you take each midcourse exam and the final exam. Please bring one with you. (Remember, you cannot use a graphing calculator on exams.)

To prepare for each midcourse exam or final exam, make sure that you learn everything listed on its exam preparation guide. Then, take the corresponding practice exam. After you take the practice exam, check your answers and restudy the material corresponding to those questions that you missed. Reviewing the practice quizzes and credit quizzes will also help.

Be sure that you are ready for an exam before scheduling it because there are NO midcourse exam retakes. Further, a midcourse exam cannot be taken until all of the credit quizzes associated with the units covered on that exam have been completed.

It is recommended that you schedule at least 3 hours to take Midcourse Exams 1-3 at your testing center.

Final Exam

The final exam is comprehensive and consists of multiple-choice questions with about 25 percent of the questions coming from each unit, including unit 4. The final exam has no essay portion and counts as 30 percent of your final grade.

Note about the final exam: You must earn a minimum of 55 percent on the final in order to be able to pass this course. This does not mean that if you get 55% or better on your final exam you will pass the course. Rather, it means that you need to have an overall course grade of 55% or better—including your final exam score—and you must pass the final exam with at least 55%. If you fail the final exam (that is, score below 55 percent), you can petition to retake it if there are extenuating circumstances.

As with the midcourse exams, if you discuss anything on the final exam with anyone other than the course manager or the Independent Study Statistics tutor, you will fail the course.

IMPORTANT: You cannot request to take the final exam until:

  1. You have completed all 39 credit quizzes
  2. Your score has been posted to your Independent Study course gradebook.
    • You will do this through the "Credit Quiz Grade Transfer Request" assignment, which is where you will see your score.
    • This credit quiz score is permanent and cannot be changed later. So, be sure you have completed all the credit quizzes before you request the final exam!
  3. You have completed all writing assignments.
  4. You have completed and received a posted grade for all previous midcourse examinations.
    • If you are on a deadline to finish the course, this means you must allow for mailing time between when you complete an exam and when it arrives at the Independent Study offices to be processed.

To have your overall quiz score transferred from the Moodle course website to the Independent Study gradebook, complete the "Credit Quiz Grade Transfer Request" assignment in your Independent Study course. You can expect your overall quiz grade to be posted within 3 business days.

Remember, you must have your overall quiz score posted to your Independent Study course before you can request the final exam!

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Your final course grade is determined using the following percentages:

39 Credit Quizzes

39 Practice Quizzes (plus up to 2% extra credit)


2 Writing Assignments (1% each)

Midcourse Exam 1
Midcourse Exam 2
Midcourse Exam 3
Comprehensive Final Exam

This grading scale is what your final grade will be based on when you pass the final exam:

Grading Scale
A 93.51%–100% C 72.51%–76.50%
A− 89.51%–93.50% C− 69.51%–72.50%
B+ 86.51%–89.50% D+ 66.51%–69.50%
B 82.51%–86.50% D 62.51%–66.50%
B− 79.51%–82.50% D− 55.00%–62.50%
C+ 76.51%–79.50% E (fail) 54.99% or below

Remember, you must pass the final exam with a 55% to pass the course.

Warning: We reserve the right to lower your grade for cheating on credit quizzes and exams or discussing the content of any exam with any unauthorized person.

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Checking Your Statistics 121 Scores

Your credit quiz and practice quiz scores (before the final score is transferred) are available on the Moodle course website.

Your exam scores, and your cumulative credit quiz score (any extra credit you earned included, and after you completed the Credit Quiz Grade Transfer Request assignment and your score has been posted) will be in your Independent Study course gradebook.

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Getting Help

To help you succeed in this course, Independent Study has provided a tutor for the course, free of charge! If at any point you would like further explanation or help with content-related issues, practice quizzes, or credit quizzes, please feel free to contact your tutor:


For more information, please check Independent Study's website for information.

Please note: Send all e-mails from your own e-mail account (that is, your BYU e-mail account, Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and so forth). Do not send an e-mail from within the Moodle course website because it does not give your e-mail address and our Statistics tutor cannot directly respond to you. Do not send e-mails from within the LaunchPad website either because it sends your e-mail to the publisher’s help desk and not to our Statistics tutor.

YOU MUST STATE THE FOLLOWING IN ANY CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE TUTOR as there are multiple sections of Statistics 121 Independent Study courses.

  1. Your full name
  2. BYU net ID
  3. Your section

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Course Duration

You have 12 months from the date and time of registration to complete this course. Please be aware, it is very unlikely you will be able to successfully complete this course in less than 3 months. One 3-month extension is available for a fee.

Note: If you chose to extend your Independent Study course you may need to purchase access again to LaunchPad.

Research Study

Students who are registered in STAT 121 have the opportunity to participate in a research study conducted by P. Lynne Nielsen and Del T. Scott at Brigham Young University to investigate the impact of different types and levels of instructional dialogue on Stat 121 completion rates, passing rates and student satisfaction.  

All students are invited to participate. Complete details of this research study are in the "Getting Started - Begin Here!" section of this course. Participation is completely voluntary, and will not in any way adversely affect the student's class status, grade, or standing with the university.

If you initially declined to participate in the research study, but later decide you would like to participate after all, simply e-mail with your name, Net ID, and section number and let us know.

Similarly, if you agreed to participate in the research study, but later changed your mind, contact us at with your name, Net ID, and section number and let us know.

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Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work. This may also include when a student copies and pastes directly from another source and passes it off as his or her own, copies computer-generated text from a translation tool and uses it as his or her own, or fails to cite a source after loosely summarizing its content in his or her own words.

As determined by your instructor or the BYU Independent Study administration, if evidence of academic misconduct on assignments or exams is established, one of the two following consequences will apply to each incidence:

First Offense of Plagiarism

Second Offense of Plagiarism

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Inappropriate Use of Course Content

All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.

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