## Starting With StatCrunch

There are a few approaches to using StatCrunch in your intro stats course that my colleagues and I use. They are all pretty effective, it probably depends more on your teaching style and the physical set up of your classroom.

My Approach

I teach in a smart classroom, so I have a computer with Internet access and a projector. Each day, I try to stop lecturing 5-10 minutes before the end of class and then demonstrate how we can use StatCrunch with that day’s material. StatCrunch is so intuitive to use that students can understand the procedures with minimal notes. This improves as the semester progresses as well.

I encourage my students to use StatCrunch to help solve textbook exercises as well as while working on their MyStatLab homework. I do not collect required StatCrunch work on a section by section basis, but instead assign one assignment per exam that I call a “Test Supplement”. The idea of these assignments is to use StatCrunch tools to demonstrate that students understand the underlying statistical concepts. For example, for the first Test Supplement I give students two sets of test scores and ask them to use numerical and graphical measures to describe each set. Then students have to take their results and use them to support an essay that states that one version of the test was harder than the other or that the two tests were of equal difficulty.

Another Approach

One of my colleagues also demonstrates StatCrunch on a daily basis, but collects a short task-driven lab each week. A benefit to this approach is that he is sure his students are using StatCrunch on a regular basis.

A Third Approach

Another colleague does not discuss StatCrunch in class. As the midterm approaches he gives out a packet with step by step directions for statistical procedures, and then has a comprehensive assignment for his students. One benefit to this approach is that it really helps students to review topics as the midterm approaches. (He has a similar packet/assignment for the inferential portion of the course.)

Collecting Work

By the way, it is quite easy to collect StatCrunch work from students. Students can copy their results and paste them into a Word document or an email and send them to you or drop them in a digital dropbox. Now that the full version of StatCrunch is tied to MyStatLab students can post their work for you to view.

Summary

If you have any questions or comments about StatCrunch, I invite you to share your thoughts – please leave your comment or you can reach me through the contact page on my website .

-George

I am a mathematics instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. Each Friday I will blog about technology, inside and outside of the classroom. Let me know if there are other topics you’d like me to cover by leaving a comment or by reaching me through the contact page on my website.