Students are to guess the correlation of a number of points (specified by them, default is 15 points). Students can check their guess after they make it. The plot can also be changed from a plot of the data (default) to: 1) a graph of the guess versus actual correlations; 2) a graph of the error versus actual correlation; a graph of the error versus the trial number. This applet can be used to help students understand correlation coefficients related to data in a scatterplot.
Type of Material:
This can be a great review activity to see if students can "guess" the correct value of r. Can be used in class or as homework, as a team or individual exercise. A lecture demonstration could also be done if the lecturer gets input from students.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To learn the relationship between the correlation coefficient and the data in a scatterplot. Understand the meaning of the sign and the numerical value of r.
Target Student Population:
Students in an introductory statistics course.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
An understanding of the meaning of the correlation coefficient and scatterplots.
The ability to change the sample size is nice. The availability of different plots is also nice. This tool is visual with immediate feedback.
While the applet is nice, I feel that it is somewhat simplistic. Once a student has guessed a few correlations, I don’t know that they would have the impetus to continue trying to guess correlations or to look at other things in the applet. Specific directions for the students would be helpful. Also, there are no instructions on the activity page.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This applet is effective for student learning and immediate feedback, since the students can see how close they guess the correlation.
The instructions for the applet are not entirely clear for a student who has not been shown the applet.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
It’s a nice applet with options other than just guessing correlations. The graphics are clear and understandable once the student knows what he or she is looking at. Once you understand what to do, it is very easy.
Again, it seems that students may need instructions to be able to fully use this applet.
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