technology changing the face of education group discussion
TEACHING OF STATISTICS AT THE COLLEGE LEVEL
Carol Joyce Blumberg
Winona State University
This summary will be organized into four parts: (1) a synopsis of the comments made by participants during the entire group discussions after the paper presentations; (2) a synopsis of a small group discussion on technology and post-secondary education issues; (3) a list of recommendations regarding technology and teaching/learning at the post-secondary education issues that is based on the five papers and discussions; and (4) a list of research recommendations based on the five papers and discussions.
SYNOPSIS OF PARTICIPANT COMMENTS
Several comments following the presentations concerned how difficult it was for students to understand the subtleties involved in correlation coefficients and confidence intervals. Related to this were comments about the importance of assumptions and the concepts of efficiency and power and how much should be discussed in introductory level courses with respect to these topics. There was also a discussion of the role of formulas and the practice of providing formulas only after students have had experience with the concepts via technology or other activities.
The dilemma of whether to use one large dataset for an entire course or several small datasets was discussed. One participant felt that the analysis of real data was not an end in itself, but a way to illustrate and motivate statistical concepts. A disadvantage of using the same dataset throughout a course is that there will be students who may not be interested in the context of that dataset.
There was a discussion regarding the rapid improvements being made in technology, resulting in the fact that the number of people having access to the Internet is growing exponentially. It was mentioned that, worldwide, better interfaces between computers and telephones need to be developed and that language translators need to be