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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Adventures in Statistics - Free Learning Episodes

by Kognito Interactive
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 29, 2010 by Teacher Education
Overview: This online resource was developed by Kognito Interactive (www.kognito.com) together with university faculty at leading institutions to help students learn statistics. In each of the 5 episodes, students follow a story where characters try to solve a problem using statistics. In the process, students acquire knowledge, which they must apply to progress through the story. Each episode includes a study guide, review quizzes, interactive exercises, and a printable assignment with answer key. Faculty can use the episodes as in-class teaching aids or as out-of-class assignments, while students can use them to grasp concepts and reinforce material they have learned in class.
Learning Goals: Identify basic statistical concepts and applications for solving problems
Target Student Population: College statistics students and high school math or statistics students; it may be useful in middle level education advanced classes.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Introductory knowledge of statistics and basic algebra; knowledge of topics such as real numbers, polynomials, rational expression, square roots, linear equations, complex numbers, and theories of slope-intercept.
Type of Material: Tutorials
Recommended Uses: Tutorials are excellent materials to augment instruction in basic statistics. Since the site is rich in animation and sound, as well as a high level of interactivity, it could be useful with English Language Learners.
Technical Requirements: Teachers will need to have Javascript and/or Flash installed on their classroom computers. Also, the internet connection needs to be high-speed in order for the videos to play without lag.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: Each episode was created with consultation of university statistics professors. Information provided is accurate, and the language used is clear, specific and jargon-free. The concepts included can be applied to statistical applications in multiple fields, including education, other social sciences and business. Concepts are current and build on previous levels of prerequisite mathematics.
Concerns: No concerns

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: Animations can be used to introduce the subject, to provide entertaining illustrations of applications of the topic, and practice through the use of linked assignments, printable study-guides and answer keys. There is also a link to bonus materials which take the user to a higher level of application. With the interactive content, students can not only experience the knowledge, but they can also interact with the knowledge. This website/material supports basic knowledge of the content. It also supports basic comprehension with its animated examples. Students can also engage in analysis of the content as they are able to sort its components and break it down into more manageable chunks.
Concerns: No concerns

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Animations are presented in html format which allows access for any Internet user without the need for additional plug-ins. The animations load quickly and provide an informational callout that the session is loading. Each screen has a resource button which links to additional information and a help screen which shows each element of the screen and provides brief instructions of how to use it. Each animation also has a text link which provides the text of each script at the bottom of the screen.
Concerns: After a user views the first video, a fee is charged.

Other Issues and Comments: This set of animations provides clear, easy to understand explanations of statistical elements that frequently befuddle non-math oriented students. The cartoon-like characters provide a lighter, non-threatening approach. The additional assignments and the bonus materials invite students to move deeper into the subject. In these tough budget times, teachers and administrators are limited in the amount of money that they can spend on support materials such as this one.