R. Webster West Integrated Analytics LLC Texas A&M University Applets abound  Applets are small Web-based interactive programs written typically in Java or Flash.  To steal.

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R. Webster West
Integrated Analytics LLC
Texas A&M University
Applets abound

Applets are small Web-based interactive programs
written typically in Java or Flash.

To steal a phrase from Apple, “Pick a statistical topic
and there is an applet for that.”

There is a great deal of variation in terms of quality and
in terms of how applets are used within courses, but a
fair question to ask is:
“What does the average student really get out of using applets?”
A confidence interval applet
http://www.stat.tamu.edu/~west/ph/meanci.html
Questions about this applet

Do students really understand how to manipulate the
underlying data structure using the applet’s widgets?

How much instructor guidance is required? Can
students use the applet on their own?

Should the applet presentation be followed with an
exercise?

Can students comprehend the large number of
educational objectives targeted by the applet?
Other approaches

Would a programmatic simulation written in a
language like R be a better way of teaching these
concepts?

Probably not. The typical student has no ability to
digest computer code, and they certainly can not
write their own code.

A few simple additions to the StatCrunch package
allows for a middle ground approach between the
mindless clicking and complex programming
alternatives.
The StatCrunch approach

Almost all StatCrunch procedures offer a Group By
option which makes it simple to compute/compare
results for different groups.

Two newer ingredients:
 The ability to split and stack simulated data.
 The ability to save results from numerous procedures to the
data table so that further computations are possible.

Add these items together and you have a powerful
recipe for doing pedagogical simulations in StatCrunch.
Today’s StatCrunch demo

A confidence interval simulation in StatCrunch

A short glimpse at future capabilities
Other possible StatCrunch simulations:
 Sampling distributions and the CLT
 Hypothesis testing
 Sampling distributions of regression estimates
 Resampling

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