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Peer Review

Visual Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

by Thomas Malloy


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 06, 2008 by Psychology
Overview: Visual ANOVA is a simple flash program that allows instructors and students to apply and experiment with concepts related to the analysis of variance. The site includes an online, printable lecture about one-way ANOVA as well as homework items with computer grading and answer key.
Type of Material: This material is a tutorial.
Recommended Uses: This material can be used to supplement an instructor's regular coverage of the analysis of variance in any course that addresses this concept. It can also be used by students as a resource for reviewing and applying statistical concepts.
Technical Requirements: For full use of materials on this site, Java, Macromedia Web Player, and Abode Acrobat Reader are needed.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The primary learning goal of the material is to enhance the understanding of analysis of variance concepts through visual representations.
Target Student Population: The targeted audience is college students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Students who use this material should be taking a beginning statistics course or a course in which knowledge of statistics is expected.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: This material is well-written and clearly explains the relevant concepts.
Concerns: None expressed by reviewers.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: This material can be effective as a supplement to an instructor's coverage of ANOVA concepts. It provides a simple demonstration that is visually-oriented rather than numerically-oriented. As such, it gives instructors an additional means to teach the relevant concepts. As the author notes, students can play with the tool to get a feel for how variability between groups and variability within groups interact to change the value of the F ratio.
Concerns: Material is limited to one-way ANOVA. It does not cover the more interesting and important aspects of factorial designs (e.g., interactions). It is also not clear how and why between and within groups variation might be changed in an actual experiment. Supplemental notes pertaining to the latter point would enhance the usefulness of the site.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: With some background reading or instructor explanation, the material is easy to use.
Concerns: Students might get a bit confused navigating through the material. Some of the supplemental material isn't related to ANOVA.

Other Issues and Comments: None.