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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 508
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract - #305840
Title: Overcoming Barriers to Using Free Resources in Teaching Introductory Statistics
Author(s): David Diez*+
Address: 2445 Northern Hills Ct. NE, Rochester, MN, 55906, United States
Keywords: open source ; textbooks ; software ; online resources ; free resources

Free and open source tools for teaching introductory statistics are readily available. Examples include free textbooks, applets, statistical packages, and course management software. However, instructors overwhelmingly use resources that commonly cost more than $10,000 per 100 students. We have identified several challenges that partially explain the limited adoption of free resources: difficulty identifying resources, concerns about quality, and uncertainty about whether a particular free resource will be successful in a particular classroom. We discuss a three-step testing procedure developed and supported by OpenIntro (openintro.org) to address each of these barriers to using free resources. The procedure is uniquely suited to resources that are free, and it provides a simple framework for instructors to experiment with new materials in their classroom.

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