Contributed paper list

   (Monday 14th, 13:45-15:45)   In session C3B

Excel simulation as a tool in teaching sampling distributions in introductory statistics


Leslie Chandrakantha (United States)


Many instructors are adopting computer simulation to introduce key concepts which many students in introductory statistics classes struggle to understand. Research has shown that the use of computer simulation methods as an alternative to traditional methods of books and lecture enhance conceptual understanding. Computer simulation using spreadsheets such as Excel allows students to experiment with data and to visualize the results. The concepts of sampling distributions are essential for the understanding of later inferential statistics topics such as confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. In this paper, we will describe how to use simulation using the Excel Data Tables facility and standard functions to teach sampling distributions in introductory statistics classes. This approach gives a better understanding of the Central Limit Theorem which describes the sampling distribution. Our preliminary assessment shows that this approach would enhance the understanding of the concepts.