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Using Hypertext To Develop an Algorithmic Approach to Teaching Statistics

Halavin, J., & Sommer, C.

Hypertext and its more advanced form Hypermedia represent a powerful authoring tool with great potential for allowing statistics teachers to develop documents to assist students in an algorithmic fashion. An introduction to the use of Hypertext is presented, with an example of its use. Hypertext is an approach to information management in which data are stored in a network of nodes, or frames, connected by links. Nodes can contain text, graphics, audio, video, source code, or other forms of data. The designer of the document creates the nodes on a word processor, statistical package, or graphics program; he or she may go forward or backward through the links created. Hypertext documents are easy to use, although the number of levels of linkage should be kept to a minimum for students. Such documents are not as easy to create, requiring the creation of text files, linkage files created with Hypertext software, and graphics files. A sample Hypertext document is described for student learning about hypothesis tests for a single sample containing a parameter measuring the central tendency of the population. It is predicted that, in time, the text for an elementary statistics course will be a Hypertext document. Two sample flowcharts for use in the Hypertext document are provided. (SLD)