Electronic Proceedings of the Seventh Annual International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics

Orlando, Florida, November 17-20, 1994

Paper C012

Teaching Statistics to Students with Limited Language Skill Using MINITAB

Eunmee Koh

Teikyo Loretto Heights University
3001 S. Fedral Boulevard
Denver, CO 80236
Phone: (303) 937-4286
Fax: (303) 937-4243

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Many statistical software made student easy in obtaining a statistic they want. Whenever we, instructors, introduce a new statistic we give a definition of the statistic and explanation of the meaning of the statistics but many times we find that students do not grasp the meaning of that statistic and they just get what the computer gives without full understanding of what they are getting. This is even more popular case when they have limited language skill such as for foreign students. From my experience of teaching classes of mostly Japanese students teaching them how to get the statistic we want using MINITAB but not by using simple command, but ny using 'let' command step by step was found to be very useful. They are to compare their answer to the one by a simple command. After they practiced few times then they they can get the statistic by a simple command. Exercising both ways helped students understand what they are getting step by step so it was easier to get the meaning of it. Here is an example of a statistic - 'standard deviation'.

Keyword(s): pedagogy, statistics, Minitab