Gary L. Bertrand
University of Missouri-Rolla


   This "experiment" requires interaction by the user to "generate" data.  If a user "blows off" this interaction, it will be readily apparent in the results.  The exercise is not designed to provide any test of speed, accuracy, or attention to detail, and should not be graded or scored in those terms.  The pedagogical value of the experiment is independent of the care or sloppiness with which "data" is collected.  In fact, a student will likely benefit from comparing the results of different parts of the exercise performed with varying levels of care.

   In "assignment" mode, the user is required to perform the tedious calculations necessary for statistical analysis.  I believe that a student gains a better understanding of the method by performing these calculations.  The benefit, however, drops off rapidly with repetition and the exercise quickly becomes "busy work".  Modern calculators perform these statistical calculations with ease.  Students will benefit greatly from learning to use these functions of their calculators.  I strongly recommend the use of a calculator in conjunction with this exercise.