Posted on behalf of Mori Jamshidian (Professor - College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics - California State University Fullerton)
This video discusses why we should use statistical software in our introductory courses. We give an example to demonstrate how software can help in a simple statistical investigation. Finally, we explain why we chose to use the Rguroo Statistical Software at California State University Fullerton for our course.
Click here to view my video. See attached file for the transcript of the video.
Introduction/Explanation of the tool:
The technology tool that I would like to recommend is Rguroo (see https://www.rguroo.com). Rguroo is a web-based point-and-click statistical software that we use in our statistics courses at California State University, Fullerton. While Rguroo has both basics and advanced features, it is designed for teaching and is especially useful for courses where the main goal is to teach statistical concepts.
Rguroo is a web application. It does not require any downloads or installation. All students need is a web browser and the Internet. It also works on tablets. While it does not integrate into a grade book, it, for example, integrates within Canvas as an external tool.
The benefits of using the tool:
There are several reasons why I like to use Rguroo.
- It follows all of the Technology recommendations outlined by the Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE), endorsed by the American Statistical Association.
- It does not have a steep learning curve. It is easy to learn.
- All your work in Rguroo can be saved, reproduced, and shared.
- Since it is cloud-based software, all your saved work can be accessed anywhere through a browser. This feature is helpful for preparing lectures, and students can access whatever they have done by logging into their accounts anywhere.
- Rguroo allows uploading data from many formats (Excel, CSV, text, and others). It also has a rich dataset repository, including datasets from various textbooks. Students can import datasets from Rguroo repositories to their accounts with a few clicks.
- Rguroo includes a faculty Dashboard where faculty can set up student groups, create private dataset repositories, and share the repositories with students.
- The organization of the software is like most standard textbooks, and the graphical user interfaces are intuitive.
- The output reports are visually attractive and include tables and graphs useful for teaching various concepts, such as p-values or rejection regions.
- It rids students of the need to have a calculator. It has an easy-to-use probability calculator, and Desmos calculators are also integrated within the software.
- The well-known Rossman-Chance and Art of Stat applets are integrated into Rguroo. I use them when teaching statistical concepts such as the central limit theorem and sampling variability.
- At Cal State Fullerton, students use Rguroo in their lab section to go through every lab assignment, some of which require simulation. All of our labs are investigation-based.
- Finally, Rguroo has excellent technical support with quick and helpful responses.
Overall, my students enjoy using Rguroo. I have heard comments like, “oh, it is much easier to draw graphs with Rguroo as compared to Excel.” Some students commented how they enjoyed customizing their graphs, although I did not require them to do so. Also, when making inference by hand first and then doing it in Rguroo, they ask, “why didn’t you show this to us first!”
The limitations of using the tool:
One limitation is that its data editor is not easy to use. So, I sometimes write my data in Excel and upload it to Rguroo. I have been told that a new editor is being developed for Rguroo. One more limitation is that I am unable to control the number of digits in the output. However, almost always the values are displayed with sufficient amount of accuracy.