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All models are wrong, but some are more wrong than others – Anna Martin

Anna Martin (University of Auckland) explored informally (visually) assessing the fit of probability distribution models (AS91586)

We have a clear learning progression for how “to make a call” when making comparisons, but how do we make a call about whether a probability distribution model is a good model? As we place a greater emphasis on the use of real data in our statistical investigations, we need to build on sampling variation ideas and use these within our teaching of probability in ways that allow for key concepts to be linked but not confused. This year Anna undertook research into teachers’ knowledge of probability distribution modelling. Anna shared what she learned from this research, and also shared a new free online tool and activities she developed that allows students to use informal inferential reasoning to assess the fit of probability distribution models.

This link has the resources from Anna’s workshops.

Note: The video of Anna’s workshop is in four parts.

Part one

Part two

Part three

Part four


This resource was developed to support the use of the probability modelling tool ( developed by Anna Martin ( as part of her research into teachers’ knowledge of probability distribution modelling. Please fully attribute the use of the tool and associated material. If you develop teaching materials or activities using this tool, please let Anna know.




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