Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Australia Uses Statistic Pkge. to Bridge the Gap

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Australia Uses Statistic Pkge. to Bridge the Gap

Article excerpt

Minitab is used as the entry level statistics package for first year studies in statistics and social sciences in most colleges and universities in Australia. This implementation is beginning to occur simultaneously at several levels: early secondary (grades 7 to 9), senior (grades 11 to 12), and freshman year of college.

Virtually all 200 post-secondary campuses use Minitab. It is instrumental in enacting a major national curriculum reform in the teaching of Chance and Data entitled "A National Statement on Mathematics for Australian Schools." Minitab is also one of the few packages to be recommended by curriculum authorities in most states.

* Specific Uses

Jeffrey Baxter, senior lecturer at the Flinders University of South Australia, Sturt Campus, specifically implements Minitab to introduce the fundamental ideas of Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) to those statistics students encountering such concepts for the first time. He uses Minitab at the freshman level to bridge the gap between exploratory and confirmatory data analysis. The program's Basic Statistics and Arithmetic section examines data distribution and leads students into the central limit theorem result, by simulation.

Baxter first learned of Minitab in 1982 at the First International Congress on the Teaching of Statistics in Sheffield, England. Upon returning to Australia, he ordered the package for the university's current mainframe system and began using it in instruction in 1983.

At that time Baxter learned of a colleague, professor Noel Cressie, who was also using Minitab. Cressie's work generated resistant lines (R-lines) to collect research data from breast cancer assays. The R-line was being used, rather than the less conservative least squares regression line, so that the most conservative treatment assessment would be made. …

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