This Java applet tutorial prompts the user to input the components of a hypothesis test for the mean. Hints are provided whenever the user enters an incorrect value. Once the steps are completed and the user has chosen the correct conclusion for accepting or rejecting the null hypothesis, a statement summarizing the conclusion is displayed. The applet is supported by an explanation of the steps in hypothesis testing and a description of one-tailed and two-tailed tests.
Content Quality Concerns:
The basic graphics do little to enhance understanding of the concepts. Although the applet gives the students a senerio in which to work it does little to connect the calculations to the real world senerio. It might be helpful to have students give more detailed explanations of the hypotheses in real world context not just in symbols. Also the applet asks the student to assume a population standard deviation, which is unrealistic in most of the senerios. This allows the student to use the z-table to find critical values but blurs the conceptual understanding of why a z-table can be used.
Content Quality Strengths:
This item produces a large number practice problems which build confidence. The item presents material in a simple, correct manner. Hypotheses are stated and critical values identified before calculations are required. The vocabulary and notation are basic and should work with most textbooks.
Ease of Use Concerns:
Minor changes in the formatting of the instructions may make them more appealing.
Ease of Use Strengths:
The layout of the context statement is the same from one example to the next as is the layout for responses. The item can be used without technical support or unreasonable technical resources.
Potential Effectiveness Concerns:
Discrepancies in numeric answers due to rounding off may cause some students to have trouble computing an answer that is close enough to the answer key to be acceptable even though they have learned the material. A more media-rich presentation would help engage students in the material more. Another issue is the fact that all the problems read exactly the same. The hypothesized mean is the first number, the direction of the alternate is the first part of the next sentence, etc. This may make it more difficult for students to work with problems that are not in this format. Finally the material does all tests from a critical value point of view rather than a p-value point of view. This will make it difficult to integrate with texts that push the p-value as the deciding summary.
Potential Effectiveness Strengths:
The content is applicable to most introductory statistics courses and the drill aspects of the item will be of use to students requiring this repetition to quickly gain confidence. The summary that explains the material in words helps to develop higher level thinking.
Potential Effectiveness Rating:
Source Code Available:
Source Code Not Available
Intended User Role:
Free for All