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Comparing Normal and T-distributions


Comparing Normal and T-distributions

Logo for Comparing Normal and T-distributions
Module overlays the t-distribution on top of the normal distribution showing convergence as the degrees of freedom increases.  Z scores and T-scores for alpha/2 tail probabilities are calculated and plotted for both the normal distribution and the t-distribution allowing students to visually understand the difference in confidence interval size when using the normal or the t-distribution as well as convergence between the two for larger sample sizes.  User specifies degrees of freedom, alpha/2... More
Technical Format: Flash
Date Added to MERLOT: May 04, 2009
Date Modified in MERLOT: March 11, 2010
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Submitter: Stuart Kellogg
Keywords: Normal, t distribution, confidence interval


  • Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
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    Very good quality; in queue to be peer reviewed
    avg: 5 rating
  • User review 3 average rating
  • User Rating: 3 user rating
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Primary Audience: College Lower Division, College Upper Division
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Language: English
Cost Involved: no
Source Code Available: no
Accessiblity Information Available: unsure
Creative Commons: unsure


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Discussion for Comparing Normal and T-distributions

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Avatar for Tiantian Qin
5 years ago

Tiantian Qin (Faculty)

This model shows normal and t distribution in the same plot. As clear as the difference between the two distritbuion is on the plot, one might wonder what other application this module has. In fact, an instructor can just draw the density curve on board to demonstrate the difference, which is much easier than setting up the module in class.

Technical Remarks:

In order to see the plot, one has to specify the max and mix boundary in the x scale, or no plot is shown. There should be some default values such as -4 or 4 to avoid the problem.