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Peer Review

Introduction to Minitab

by Ginger Rowell


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.97 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.8 stars
Ease of Use: 4.9 stars
Reviewed: Mar 22, 2005 by Statistics Editorial Board
Overview: 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.
Recommended Uses: 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.
Technical Requirements: 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

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: 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

Rating: 4.8 stars
Strengths: 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.
Concerns: 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

Rating: 4.9 stars
Strengths: 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,

Concerns: Requires the correct version of Minitab (student version 12, Professional
version 13, Student and professional versions 14) and a PC (no Mac

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.