Designing and Evaluating an E-Learning Environment for Supporting Students' Problem-Oriented Use of Statistical Tool Software
Rolf Biehler, Tobias Hofmann
University of Paderborn, Germany

A statistical tool software can be a statistical analysis package, a spreadsheet or an educational tool such as the software FATHOM, which comprises statistical analysis capabilities and capabilities for exploring methods and concepts and thereby supporting students' learning processes. Different from learning to use applets with a limited scope, tool software requires from the student a process of “instrumental genesis“, by which they learn to use the software tool for specific purposes, defined in the context of a course.

We developed such an e-learning multimedia-based environment for the software FATHOM, which is called eFATHOM. Our design principles and evaluation studies, however, are relevant for supporting learning processes with such type of statistical tool in general. We will present the learning environment, inform about how we implemented this environment in courses and discuss results of our evaluation studies.