This is a multipage text document with instructions for getting students started on using the Minitab software package to enter data, compute numeric summaries and make graphs.
Type of Material:
This is a text based tutorial on the use of Minitab statistical software.
This item would be most effective if used in a laboratory session giving students their first look at using Minitab, although the instructions could also be used as a "take home" activity when computer access to Minitab is only available outside of class.
Access to Minitab.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The primary learning goal is to introduce students to using Minitab software. They learn to enter data in a spreadsheeet format, to create a new variable with a calculation, to obtain basic descriptive statistics, to produce graphical displays and to save the data.
Target Student Population:
Introductory statistics students who will be using Minitab.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Students should have seen basic descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) and graphical displays (histogram, boxplot, scatterplot).
Evaluation and Observation
This tutorial provides a good overview of the basic statistical operations in Minitab, presented in a careful manner that most students should be able to follow easily. Good use of graphics/partial screen shots to help students see what they should be doing along the way.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The clarity of the presentation will be helpful for instructors who wish to have students learn Minitab on their own. The instructions encourage active participation by asking the student to type as directed, and then showing the output the student should see. Exercises at the end of the chapter reinforce the techniques presented.
This tutorial is designed only to introduce students to the basic skills of using Minitab, thus it does not require extensive critical thought or student discovery, although clearly they give the students basic skills that could aid in discovery in later coursework.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Instructions are thorough and should be easy for students to follow on their own with little instructor intervention needed. All activities are self-contained, including a small dataset with context and some practice questions to help assess whether students are able to do the basic tasks. Instructors should find that students will be able to follow the directions with little, if any, assistance.
Requires the correct version of Minitab (student version 12, Professional version 13, Student and professional versions 14) and a PC (no Mac instructions).
Other Issues and Comments:
The materials provide a very clear, simple introduction to basic Minitab skills and should be useful to any instructor whose students have access to Minitab and a PC.