An evaluation of the Fathom software as a tool for the teaching of statistics with specific comparisons to the use of a graphing calculator
Darla Kay Emerson, Texas Woman's University, United States
Texas Woman's University . Awarded
Technology is making an incredible impact in education. As an educator it is difficult to determine which technological tools would most enhance the teaching of a statistics course. The educator must consider economic issues, time restraints, statistical procedures and most importantly the promotion of student exploration and inference of statistical concepts.
The purpose of this study was to explore the process of learning statistics using the graphing calculator and/or Fathom software. The tools were being considered for utilization in both high school and college introductory statistic courses, as well as Advanced Placement statistic courses. A comparison of the two tools, using the twenty-six topics included in the book Workshop Statistics: Discovery with Data and The Graphing Calculator (Rossman and Von Oehsen, 1997), and the topics relevant to the advanced placement exam was executed. Also, a comparison of economic issues, as well as availability of texts and resources for each tool was completed.
It was concluded that the optimal learning environment for an introductory statistics course is one in which Fathom software and the graphing calculator are utilized. It was also recommended, that a major single-user statistical package such as SPSS or SAS be purchased for the teacher so that students can be exposed to interpreting statistical results from such packages.
Emerson, D.K. An evaluation of the Fathom software as a tool for the teaching of statistics with specific comparisons to the use of a graphing calculator. Master's thesis, Texas Woman's University.
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