An introduction to causal and statistical reasoning, this course is meant for students interested in critical thinking skills for daily life, students who will take a few statistics courses in service of a related field of study, and/or students interested in the foundations of quantitative causal models: called Bayes Networks.
Causal and Statistical Reasoning
- What students will learn
- Learning objectives by module
- Course assessments, activities, and outline
- Other course details
- System requirements
- Included instructor tools
What students will learn
Students who take this course will:
- Be better prepared to make rational decisions about their own lives and about matters of social policy.
- Be able to critically assess claims that they encounter during discussions or when considering a news article or report.
Topics covered consist of:
- Association and independence.
- Causation to association.
- Association to causation: problems and strategies.
Learning objectives by module
Course assessments, activities, and outline
UNIT 1: Causation
Module 1: Causation: Preliminaries
Causation: Preliminaries Quiz
Module 2: Causation Among Variables
Variable Causation Quiz
Module 3: Indeterministic Causation
Module 4: Causal Graphs
Causal Graphs Quiz
Module 5: Interventions
UNIT 2: Association and Independence
Module 6: Relative Frequency
Relative Frequency Quiz
Module 7: Conditional Relative Frequency
Conditional Relative Frequency Quiz
Module 8: Independence and Association
Module 9: Conditional Independence
Conditional Independence Quiz
UNIT 3: Causation to Association
Module 10: Causation vs. Association
Causation vs. Association Quiz
Module 11: Causation to Unconditional Association
Causation to Association Quiz
Module 12: Causation to Conditional Association
Causation to Conditional Association Quiz
Module 13: D-separation
UNIT 4: Association to Causation: Problems
Module 14: Problems with Causal Discovery
Problems with Causal Discovery: Quiz
Module 15: Confounding (Qualitatively)
UNIT 5: Association to Causation: Strategies
Module 16: Experiments
UNIT 6: Appendix
Module 17: Case Study Repository
Module 18: Causality Lab Tutorials
Module 19: Set Builder Manual
Module 20: Glossary
Other course details
This is a semester long course, if you complete one or two modules per week.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
- internet access
- an operating system that supports the latest browser update
- the latest browser update (Chrome recommended; Firefox, Safari supported; Edge and Internet Explorer are supported but not recommended)
- pop-ups enabled
- cookies enabled
Some courses include exercises with exceptions to these requirements, such as technology that cannot be used on mobile devices.
This course’s system requirements:
- none listed (subject to change)
Included instructor tools
Instructors who teach with OLI courses benefit from a suite of free tools, technologies, and pedagogical approaches. Together they equip teachers with insights into real-time student learning states; they provide more effective instruction in less time; and they’ve been proven to boost student success.
If you’d like to update an OLI course for your students, or even develop a new course or program of study, contact OLI Support for information about the OLI Author platform.
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