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Review comments

The program has had excellent reviews by teachers and users. Some examples are shown below.

Life Sciences Educational Computing

I have struggled for almost a decade to present statistical techniques to undergraduate students of biology without causing them to be intimidated by their own fear of numbers and formulae and without raising in them a suspicion that all data analysis is akin to necromancy, and is just as impenetrable. In aid of my cause, this is an outstanding package. Most importantly, the basic statistical lore that it seeks to impart is simple, sensible, and clearly presented in a way that the novice can understand.

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James Cresswell
School of Biological Sciences
University of Exeter
UniServe Science News

This is an excellent learning tool, with clear explanations, well-chosen examples, memorable graphics and interactive exercises designed to help students understand the basic concepts taught in introductory statistics. Sandy MacRae, the developer, has also expertly targeted common misconceptions and difficulties that befuddle students. Some of the many high points include: the interactive section on graphing data; comprehensive treatment of correlation (including Relatedness not equality); an integrated approach to distribution-dependent and corresponding distribution-free tests; and a simple, non-mathematical treatment of standard error.

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Julie Hansen
School of Psychology & Counselling
Queensland University of Technology
CTI Psychology Software News

Usually, any package this size is a mixture of good (that's the way I would have done it) and bad (that's not the way I would have done it). I think this package transcends this normal method of classification. Sure, there are things here that I wouldn't have included and some things that I think are missing, and some things that I wouldn't have done that way. But it's pervasively clear that it has been produced by someone who really understands statistics, has spent years teaching it and years working with computers, and who knows what students need to grasp and what they find difficult.

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Mike Harris
School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
ATP Newsletter

This software has been meticulously designed and applies some very sound principles of how students learn. It was developed over several years and great attention was paid to the kind of detail that can make all the difference to whether it works as a tool for teaching, learning and monitoring of progress. In my view this was time well spent because the end-product is highly interactive and light-hearted yet sufficiently challenging to be useful for students on degree courses, as well as those studying at A-level. I am quite sure that many teachers who fear the statistics sections of the psychology course would find this to be a great confidence-booster.

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Dorothy Coombs
Prior Pursglove College
UniServe Science News

In summary, except for some minor opportunities for improvement, I found this CD-ROM to be a pleasure to review and I would expect most students to find it a most welcome addition to the texts it accompanies.

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Barry Richardson
Psychology Department
Monash University
MSOR Connections

Introduction to Statistics is a useful tool in supplementing more traditional teaching methods for learning statistics. It could help develop a broad understanding of how concepts work and alter with different sets of data. For students, it provides an attractive, interactive and supported learning environment which could be used as a reference 'text' throughout a course. For tutors, it provides some useful demonstration materials for use in front of a class or group as well as a way of managing and monitoring the individual learning needs of a large group of students. Used alongside real data and real application, this package would enhance many introductions to the use of statistics.

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Liz Gibson
Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education
Nottingham Trent University
Schoolzone Resource Reviews

Student Response

Both groups of students responded very positively to Introduction to Statistics. The program used in conjunction with a data projector provided a very powerful introduction to the Normal curve. The animations provoked much useful discussion. The students felt that the screens demonstrating the symmetrical nature of the Normal curve and the need for standardised scores were particularly helpful to them.

Introduction to Statistics provided a clear introduction to correlation for year 12. The program deals effectively with a number of common misconceptions in this section. It was felt that the program clarified the difference between association and causation and that it demonstrated clearly the appropriate correlation coefficient to use in given circumstances. Year 12 also felt that the program provided a useful recap on the properties of the Normal curve.

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Valerie Sheehan
Part-time teacher of mathematics