A SAMPLER OF WWW RESOURCES FOR TEACHING STATISTICS
Robin
H. Lock
Mathematics
Department
St. Lawrence
University
Canton,
NY 13617 USA
rlock@stlawu.edu
ONLINE
OUTLINE
Online companion for an article in
TEACHING
STATISTICS:
RESOURCES
FOR UNDERGRADUATE INSTRUCTORS
MAA
Notes Series #52
OUTLINE
2.
Online Course Materials
3.
Online Texts
4.
JAVA Applets
5.
Electronic Journals
6.
Discussion Lists and Newsgroups
7.
Data, Data, and More Data
8.
Miscellaneous Sites
9.
Conclusion
Section 1  INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this paper is to direct browsers/readers
to websites that typify the various sorts of resources which are currently
available via the World Wide Web to help support statistics instruction.
Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the Web, some links may no longer
be available, some may have radically modified content, and new resources
are appearing at a steady rate. We will update these links periodically
to try to provide a current snapshot of the status of WWW resources for
teaching statistics. Your assistance in pointing out dead links and suggesting
additional resources to be included is greatly appreciated. Comments can
be sent to
rlock@stlawu.edu.
Section 2 Online Course Materials
More and more instructors are providing course materials
to their students through websites. In addition to providing convenient
access for students, these pages can be perused by instructors at other
institutions looking for hints and ideas to improving their own courses.
Note: Course below may become unavailable as semester offerings change
and sites restrict access to enrolled students only.
Lots of Courses
Section 3 Online Texts
Several individuals and groups have undertaken ambitious
projects to develop statistics textbooks that can be accessed via the Web.
Some examples...
Commercial Ventures
Section 4 JAVA Demonstrations
The emergence of JAVA as a platformindependent
web programming language has encouraged individuals to develop interactive
demonstration software that can be accessed via any JAVAcapable browser.
Some of our favorite individual JAVA applets (selected from the sites listed
below):

Guessing
Correlations  a neat "game" to show the relationship between correlations
and scatterplots  ten minutes should get the ideas across to almost any
student. Part of the CUWU Statistical Program at IllinoisChampaignUrbana.

Regression
 see the effects of adding an outlier (Webster West  S. Carolina).

Histogram
 check the effect of bin size on Old Faithful data (Webster West  S.
Carolina).

Effect
of a "Small" Effect  visualization of the impact of a difference in
group means on job candidate selection (Mark Lane  Rice).

Power
of a Hypothesis Test  nice graphical look at power for a test of a
mean (Todd Ogden  S. Carolina).

Let's
Make a Deal version done by Webster West is quick to play and includes
an explanation.
The sites below contain collections of JAVA
applets or links to applets at various locations which are relevant to
statistics instruction.
Statistics Packages available as JAVA applications
over the Web:

WebStat
 created by Webster West at the University of South Carolina

Statlets  a multifeatured
JAVAbased statistics package with feebased web access and a free downloadable
version for small datasets (8 variables x 50 cases). Produced by Statpoint.
EXAMPLE: Here's
modest course webpage with links to a few applets for students to explore.
Section 5 Electronic Journals & Newsletters
Section 6  Discussion Lists and Newsgroups
These elists allow instructors to share questions,
ideas and announcements related to teaching statistics, practicing statistics,
and statistical computing. Although email discussion lists are part of
the wider Internet resources, the websites which archive the messages also
provide good resources for searching through past discussions.

Archives
of Apstatl This list was setup to support high school
teachers doing an Advanced Placement course in Statistics. Lots of
good conversation about teaching an introductory course.

Archives
of Edstatl (and several other discussion lists) are maintained by
the JSE
Information Service. This was one of the first electronic discussion
lists devoted to teaching issues.

Mike
Fuller's List of Statistical Lists A number of other email discussion
lists are maintained for specific countries (e.g. Australia, Brazil,
Italy, New Zealand), statistical topics (e.g. Bayesian methods,
experimental design, time series analysis), subject areas (e.g.
biometry, geography, econometrics), and software packages (e.g.
Minitab, SPSS, SAS).
Section 7 Data, Data, and More Data
Need an example of a regression which is drastically
altered by an influential outlier? Want to find some data to illustrate
descriptive statistics which will appeal to students interested in environmental
issues? Looking for a multivariate dataset to serve as the basis for next
week's midterm exam? Have a student who loves horse racing and wants to
use data from past runnings of the Kentucky Derby for her project? The
Web is the place to find loads of data sources, often in downloadable formats.
Dataset Archives
Pages of Links to Datasites
Government & Official Agencies Data
There's tons of data produced by various govenment
departments, although it often takes a bit of digging to find it.
Data About the Web
Want to measure some feature of Web pages? You'll
need a way to randomly sample pages...
Or to check how a sample of colleges and universities
present themselves via the web...
Generating simulated data

Expersim
Project  online simulation of data from several scenarios with an
empahsis on experimental design. Produced by a group at the Univ.
of Colarado at Boulder, based on software developed at the Univ. of Michigan.

StatVillage
 sample from the population of this online town, with demographics generated
from real Canadian census data brought to you by Carl Schwarz at Simon
Fraser University.
Example:
What data do STUDENTS choose from the web?
Section 8 Miscellaneous Links
Sites with good general links related to teaching
statistics:
Need some questions for that next quiz or exam,
check:
To find a statistical software provider's webpage:
Information on statistics textbooks (including reviews):
Other sites to start browsing

Exploring
Data  an excellent collection of links and resources for teaching
an introductory level course. Part online text, part online course materials,
and all wellpresented by Rex Boggs at Glenmore HS in Rockhampton, Australia.

Statistical
Instruction Internet Palette (SIIP)  a project directed by John Behrens
at Arizona State.

Statistics
on the Web links to more general statistical resources with a good
section related to teaching statistics, put together by Clay Helberg at
SPSS, Inc.
Guide to the
Web for Statisticians  lots of general statistical links with good
sections on teaching and data, maintained by Gordon Smythe at University
of Queensland.
Section 9 Conclusion
The development of the World Wide Web has produced
unprecedented means for instructors to easily share their ideas on ways
to improve the teaching of statistics. The links presented here represent
some of the types of resources that are currently avaialble, but are by
no means an exhaustive list of the many excellent websites that help support
statistics instruction. Although the volume of online material may
seem daunting, and the process of searching for worthwhile information
can be frustrating, the rewards, both for instructors and our students,
can be quite substantial. If current trends continue, universal access
to the Web should become easier, faster, and more common, online applications
should become even more sophisticated, and useful resources should continue
to appear at a steady rate.