Keywords: Statistical education, Statistical software, R, SPSS
We conducted a study to investigate the effectiveness of two statistical software packages, the commercial software (SPSS) and the free software (R), in teaching statistics by comparing grades earned by students in an introductory statistics course at Youngstown State University. Students taught using R earned slightly higher grades overall than those in the SPSS class, although the difference between the two groups of students was found to be not significantly different. The responses given by students on the end of semester survey for the use of technology indicated that students felt comfortable with both software packages, and the software R is recommended more strongly for future use in a statistics course than the software SPSS. These findings provide some insights on the use of the different software in statistics education, which might support the use of free software in teaching statistics at college level.