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  • The World Wide Web and the JAVA programming environment provide a framework for developing and delivering didactic tools for use in statistics teaching. This paper describes VESTAC, a collection of such tools aimed at the visualization of a number of statistical concepts and allowing the user to experiment with them interactively. The collection is freely accessible over the web and covers selected topics from the following areas: distributions and plots, tests and confidence intervals, regression and analysis of variance.

  • Computer-based teaching material must contain animation or interaction to offer substantial benefits over delivery on paper. Technology developed for use in web browsers - especially Java and JavaScript - makes it relatively easy to add interactive diagrams to web pages. The object-oriented nature of Java is well suited to developing a large collection of interactive diagrams (applets) for teaching statistical concepts. Many useful statistical objects, behaviours and displays are shared by the applets so their implementation is relatively easy in Java. By designing all applets together as a single collection of linked classes, a resource with hundreds of applets can be created in which interaction plays a major role in teaching all concepts. CAST is used to demonstrate that a complete introductory statistics course with over 330 interactive diagrams can be developed using this technology in a fairly short time.

  • The present paper describes a prototypical multimedia catalogue for Statistics. The catalogue represents a user-friendly organized database containing a collection of self-contained Java applets and multimedia components. It is a powerful tool which offers the option to jointly use and re-use catalogue elements across national borders and to interconnect formerly unrelated multimedia developments through sharing. In view of the costs of producing high-quality multimedia components, the systematic exchange of such modules is economically a necessity. The scope and flexibility of the approach and its suitability as a starting point for intensified international cooperation is illustrated by means of Java applets and multimedia elements originating from different environments and different content providers.

  • The importance of the statistical sciences in modern engineering is apparent but not necessarily its many roles. Although the second of the US Engineering Criteria 2000, "an ability to design and conduct experiments as well as to analyse and interpret data" has been quoted as stating that statistics has a dotpoint "on its own", (Phillips, 1998) the wording tends to underestimate the diversity and extent of statistics in engineering. The roles of technology in statistics education are also diverse, and must be considered within the student and course context. This paper considers engineering statistics education and where and how statistical technology can facilitate students' conceptual structure, statistical thinking and confidence. There is no magic wand, but technology facilitates and integrates with good teaching and learning strategies based on teachers' statistical understanding and their understanding of the needs of their students.

  • In an ideal world, science students would act as scientists do: investigating their own questions, designing experiments, and so forth. This paper reports on curriculum development and field testing that takes a step in this open-ended direction. To do this, we have focused on integrating more data analysis into science activities; this also gives students a chance to use more mathematics, in an understandable context. This mathematics includes work with functions and variation. A closer look at plausible activities shows us that principles of measurement connect these elements; furthermore, a broad view of measurement reconnects us to our original goal: to expose students more directly to the nature of science.

  • Research on learning and commercial software development competes strongly for a project's scarce resources, and yet they have widely overlapping goals. If they could be made to coexist, their synergy could improve both processes. On the research side, to use software to help understand how students perceive and learn statistical concepts requires a software platform that is stable, easy for students to use, and flexible enough to allow different models to be tried; that is, the research benefits from a smoothly functioning development process. On the development side, there is great need for insight into the learning process to inform the software design, and need for research methods to test whether any given design works with students and improves their statistical understanding.

  • XLStatistics is a set of Excel workbooks for analysis of data that has the various analysis tools and methods organized according to the number and type of variables involved. Most introductory courses in statistics start out with a discussion of the different types of variables, but very few data analysis packages are organized along these lines. This can make it difficult for students, and may be a contributing reason for the common "What test do I use?" question. We describe the XLStatistics package and show how it may help to overcome some of the common problems encountered by students.

  • Line diagrams may assist statistical understanding, but a colourful animated interactive version may be even better. Modern software, in particular Microsoft Excel, now makes it easy to build such live figures. The author describes live figures and presents examples in the context of promoting understanding and use of confidence intervals. Interface design principles and expertise in statistical education should be combined to develop effective live figures. Animation, multiple representations, engagement through interactivity, and vivid 'take-home' images can all be valuable. Investigation of how best to design live figures and use them with journal papers and books should prove educationally valuable.

  • This paper explores the reasons why technology has not been used extensively in New Zealand secondary schools and why changes are now starting to take place. It discusses why Microsoft Excel is a useful tool in the solution of statistical problems and why it is the ideal tool to use in secondary school statistics. A software package, written in Visual Basic, has been developed to augment the teaching of Year 13 Mathematics with Statistics. This software package, called OG Statistics, interacts with Microsoft Office and is designed to encourage the use of Excel in solving statistics problems. A number of worked examples are given that show students how to solve a problem and encourages them to experiment. Practice problems are then provided with worked solutions. When students feel ready to work independently they can attempt the self-assessment modules. This also indicates whether they have reached a reasonable level of competency. The package can be incorporated into a lesson or used as a revision aid for the self-paced learner. The software package also incorporates a number of educational principles including constructivism and scaffolded learning.

  • Although the use of a statistical computer package has become an integral part of modern statistics courses, the primary goal of traditional software has been to do statistics rather than to learn statistics. Fathom: Dynamic Statistics Software is one of several newly developed packages that focus a greater emphasis on providing an atmosphere in which students can investigate statistical concepts. To facilitate learning, a key premise is that all aspects of an analysis are linked so that students can see how changes in one area are reflected in another. Fathom's developers have made a special effort to produce an intuitive interface that allows students to "drag & drop" to construct analyses from basic building blocks. It also provides a convenient environment for instructors to develop effective demonstrations. We give examples of these sorts of dynamic illustrations and discuss how Fathom can be used to encourage student explorations.

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