I describe a group exercise that I give to my undergraduate biostatistics class. The exercise involves analyzing a series of 200 consecutive basketball free-throw attempts to determine whether there is any evidence for sequential dependence in the probability of making a free-throw. The students are given the exercise before they have learned the appropriate statistical tests, so that they can come up with ideas on their own. Students spend a full class period working on the problem, with my guidance and hints. In the next class period, we discuss how each student group approached the problem. I then present several alternative ways to analyze the data, including a runs test and a contingency table analysis of transition frequencies.
© 2007 Stephen C. Adolph
Adolph, Stephen C. "Is a basketball free-throw sequence nonrandom? A group exercise for undergraduate statistics students." Journal of Statistics Education 15.3 (2007).