Competitive Correlation in AP Statistics

As we start working with bivariate data, I teach my students to check their scatterplots and to describe the form, direction and strength of the relationship shown.  The “strength” part always seems a little abstract to them.  They want me to give them concrete rules for how to describe the strength.  But if all we have is the scatterplot, not the actual data, then we cannot calculate the correlation coefficient, r.  So I have the need to help students get a better handle on how to describe the strength of the relationship.

“Guess the Correlation” is a java applet from  If you email them, they will set up a class code for you so that your students can compete.  Students match one of four correlation numbers to one of four scatterplots.  The applet keeps track of their “winning streak” and allows them to post their name or gamer handle to the leader board.  This allows me to add a little more competition to my Gamification Game Plan. Students earn AP coins for each point on the leader board (their highest score only).

I have been using this applet for years.  Every year students tell me that it really helped them to better understand and describe the strength of the relationship shown in a scatterplot.

If you like this or if you have any suggestions or variations, please comment below. 🙂
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guess the correlation.png




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