This material provides a short tutorial in the logic of hypothesis testing. It includes an applet to provide a visual presentation of the problem and to do the calculations, and and an assignment which provides enough in-depth questions to inspire the student to think about the results of their calculations.
Type of Material:
This would be a good homework or in-class assignment for students to check their comprehension of hypothesis testing.
A calculator and normal table should be at hand.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The goal is for the student to understand the logic of hypothesis testing and to experience the results of drawing multiple samples of a given size from the population to see how variable their sample means and resulting z-scores are.
Target Student Population:
Students in an introductory statistics course beginning to study hypothesis testing.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Knowledge of what hypothesis testing is and the steps involved in completing a hypothesis test; knowledge of the standard normal; knowledge of standard error due to sampling.
This activity does a nice job of guiding students through the hypothesis testing process. It also gives good hints to students when they make errors in their work. This instruction is at least as valuable as the instruction provided when students get the correct answer.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This type of tutorial solves a problem that many instructors face. It is difficult to have students experience much about repeated samples in a textbook or even in a class because it takes too much time/energy. An applet like this is very useful and the tutorial is well-done.
I think that students and faculty might not persist through the examples in the tutorial to find the applet.
A minor downside of this tutorial is that it forces students to review the normal distribution prior to allowing them to move on to the material at hand. This may cause some students to stop working through the tutorial before they reach the more important simulations and exercises.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The applet is quite easy to use and navigate through.
The applet opens embedded in the browser page, which keeps students from having both the worksheet and the applet open at the same time. Potential users should make sure that they instruct students to print this worksheet prior to moving forward.
The presentation also implies that there may be more examples than there are, the actual focus of this tutorial is the applet simulation of the sampling distribution.
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