The Passion-Driven Statistics E-Book – Third Edition is a container for the project-based curriculum. It is broken into 15 chapters, each providing a brief overview of the previous chapter material, a summary of the upcoming topic, links to the video lessons, and a corresponding project assignment.

A pdf version can be downloaded with this link.

The e-book can also be customized by downloading and editing the .pages file using free “pages” software.

Additional resources are available through Canvas. Reach out to Lisa Dierker to request access


Other Resources

What do past students have to say?

(from anonymous course evaluations)

“I have never felt so excited and motivated to be part of an academic environment as I have in this class. I am so proud of my work.”

“Allowing students to pick from a study and data set to answer their own research question was effective because we became attached to our own projects, understood exactly why we were learning what we were learning, and wanted to know more.”

“I really appreciated the fact that the material was accessible to students regardless of their major.”

“Great class. I was expecting to hate it (and kind of did at a few points along the way) but ultimately thought it was really informative.”

“I absolutely loved this class. Even though statistics is not necessarily exciting to learn, it is incredibly useful and the uniqueness of the project that I was doing kept me interested. I am not sure I have ever taken such a useful class, nor been so proud of my work.”

“Though the structure of the class is unorthodox, the resulting education is priceless. Aside from teaching me the valuable process and application of statistical inquiry, this course taught me how to take initiative and start a scientific project that I can call my own.”


What do instructors have to say?

“I was drawn to this model of teaching statistics because it makes statistics real for students — it’s not about formulas, it’s not about functions, it’s not even about math. Passion-Driven Statistics is about learning to use statistics to understand real world problems and conduct meaningful research. So many of our students have a fear of math, but with this model of learning statistics they quickly realize that statistics is so much more than just math. I was excited to be able to bring real research into my classroom; my students conduct meaningful research every single semester. I love teaching statistics using this model because it has made my classroom a place where my students are the stars of their own shows, instead of it being about what I bring to the classroom. My students bring their ideas, passion, and experiences to the classroom to answer their own research questions. I am just there to guide them in the journey. I provide the skill sets they need to conduct and understand applied statistics, and the students do the rest. It is a magical experience.” — Dr. Kristel Gallagher, Department of Psychology, Thiel College, Greenville, PA


“I tried Passion Driven Statistics because I wanted my students to have an opportunity to apply the statistical techniques they learned in our Advanced Topics Statistics course. I also wanted them to be able to develop a research question and use a large database and software to investigate that question. My students and I derive incredible benefits from this project. When I ask students to reflect on the course, they often mention that their favorite part of the class was the Passion Driven Statistics piece.   They truly enjoy getting their hands dirty with real data and seeing that the techniques they’ve learned all year have applications.” — Laura Estersohn, Scarsdale High School, Scarsdale, New York


“Our department shifted to a new approach to teaching statistics after undergoing a year-long self-study of our methodology courses and really having some thoughtful discussions about what we really wanted our students to learn. We decided we wanted an active learning approach and for students to learn how to conduct and interpret analyses, and to learn how to use statistical software. This led us to Passion Driven Statistics. Personally, I learned statistics by doing statistics and I had a 12-year career as a research scientist – so I was really excited to use the PDS approach. It is one of my favorite classes to teach. There are so many benefits. Overall, the atmosphere in the classroom is collaborative. There is a sense of teamwork and support that really allows students to relax and focus on learning rather than chasing a grade. They learn how to manage their time, communicate, and work in teams as well as building data analysis skills. I really notice the difference in my senior level students who had the PDS course as sophomores. A number of the seniors work in my laboratory to do their research capstones. They really know what they are doing. If they don’t remember something specific, they know where to find the information. Their projects are conducted with a level of independence that I have not experienced before in my capstone students.” ––  Jennifer Willford, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA