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Statistical Applets: Mean and Median

This statistical applet is designed to help students master concepts of mean and median.
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Date Of Record Creation 2005-04-08 14:27:00
Date Last Modified 2005-05-13 15:07:00
Date Of Record Release 2005-05-13 15:07:00
Alternate Title Math Thesaurus
Source http://thesaurus.maths.org/mmkb/view.html
Relation http://www.cvgs.k12.va.us/DIGSTATS/main/graphic/a_2dmed.html
Email Address journals@amstat.org
Date Issued 1997
Resource Type
Audience
Format
Typical Learning Time Various
Author Name David Moore, George McCabe, William Duckworth, and Stanley Sclove
Author Organization W. H. Freeman and Co.
General Comments Dead Link.
Technical Requirements Microsoft Internet Explorer (v. 4.0+) or Netscape Navigator (v. 4.0+), Macromedia Shockwave Player, Macromedia Flash Player, Apple Quicktime, or Adobe Acrobat Reader, or Chime
Comments Users note: the maximum value of n appears to be unlimited but the graphing feature fails after n=1020. The links do not take the user to any other websites. It appears that this applet needs to be updated. The version of Internet explorer recommended for Window users is version 4 (no mention to Firefox). The lines for the graph will often go above the actual curve, which takes away from graphical presentation.
Content Quality (Concerns) The material uses capital "N" for the sample size which may not align with the more typical "n" that is used in most statistics textbooks. The supporting materials also use "M" for the mean of a population which may confuse some students. It would be helpful to see more exercises illustrating when the approximation is appropriate.
Content Quality (Strengths) Nice graphical representation of the probability being estimated. Good definition of the central limit theorem and discussion about the continuity correction with an example. Provides a reasonable presentation of the binomial approximation.
Ease of Use (Concerns) This applet presents in a rather small form that is to be expected given the age of the applet. It is readable by a person sitting at a computer monitor but it would be difficult to use for classroom presentation on a large overhead projector. The applet also has a problem in that the upper line of text is obscured by the window border. This occurred for the reviewer in both Mozilla and Internet Explorer on a PC.
Ease of Use (Strengths) This applet has very clear instructions and it is very easy to use. The item is visually engaging and interactive.
Potential Effectiveness (Concerns) The main weakness of this material is age. It was created many years ago and has some features that are clearly dated. The supporting materials provide exercises that are simply text. They lack interactivity or even answers. The questions themselves do not necessarily encourage the students to use the applet component of the calculator. For instance the exercises include this question: "1. Two equally matched baseball teams play six games. What is the probability that each will win three games?". There is nothing inherent in this question that would drive a student to use the applet or even the normal approximation to the binomial. Another question asks: "4. What is the relationship between N and how well the normal distribution approximates the binomial distribution." (sic) This question does not lead the student to experiment with the applet to discover the relationship. This question could be greatly improved by giving students several values of N to experiment with, then asking them to summarize the result. It should also be noted when it is appropriate to use the normal approximation to do binomial probabilities.
Potential Effectiveness (Strengths) This material does a reasonable job of graphically presenting the binomial approximation.
Source Code Available 1
Material Type
Statistical Topic
Application Area
Copyrights
Cost involved with use
Intended User Role
Math Level

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