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Exploring the role of computer simulations in developing understanding of sampling distributions


Book: 
American Educational Research Association
Authors: 
delMas, R. C., Garfield, J., & Chance, B. L.
Category: 
Year: 
1999
Place: 
Montreal
Abstract: 

The Sampling Distributions program and ancillary instructional materials were developed to guide student exploration and discovery. The program provides graphical, visual feedback which allows students to construct their own understanding of sampling distribution behavior. Diagnostic, graphics-based test items were developed to capture students' conceptual understanding before and after use of the program. Several versions of the activity have been used to date with mixed results. Our findings demonstrate that while software can provide the means for a rich classroom experience, computer simulations alone do not guarantee conceptual change.