Journal of Statistics Education, V8N2: Mulekar
Internet Resources for AP Statistics Teachers
University of South Alabama
Journal of Statistics Education v.8, n.2 (2000)
Copyright (c) 2000 by Madhuri Mulekar, all rights
reserved. This text may be freely shared among individuals,
but it may not be republished in any medium without
express written consent from the author and advance
notification of the editor.
Key Words: Advanced Placement;
Introductory statistics; Web sites.
Both teaching and learning are increasingly becoming
technology-oriented processes, and teachers are struggling
to keep up with rapid technological advances. The Internet,
one of the most popular media of communication, provides
fast access to vast amounts of information. There are many
web sites that contain information useful for Advanced
Placement Statistics teachers. This paper provides
information about Internet resources available for project
ideas, datasets, conferences, technical support, class
notes, and much more.
There is a tremendous amount of information available on
the World Wide Web for teachers of Advanced Placement (AP)
Statistics. With some initial guidance, teachers can
incorporate the power of the Internet to access
information immediately throughout the world and increase
efficiency in their delivery of instruction. Many schools
now have Internet connections and some kind of computers
available for teachers and students, and more schools are
getting wired for access every day. Technology-oriented
classrooms expand the boundaries of the traditional
classroom. Through the use of the Internet, teachers are
able to reach both traditional and non-traditional
students. In many schools only one or two teachers are in
charge of teaching statistics courses. Many teachers whose
training and experience is in teaching mathematics courses
may feel isolated and inadequate when teaching courses in
statistics. The Internet has brought the world closer, and
several resources are easily available to teachers.
Teachers experience different needs in the classroom and
outside the classroom. Internet resources can be used
inside the classroom to supplement lecture, provide
motivation, and ease computations. Outside the classroom,
such resources can be used to prepare lectures, homework
assignments, and handouts, as well as to perform
computations. Kabacoff (1995) says
that the Internet provides a platform for the development
of teaching tools that are visual, interactive,
user-friendly, and inherently accessible to students. He
also describes the principles involved in creating such
tools and illustrates them through the development of a
statistical calculator that is designed to assist in the
evaluation of diagnostic screening tests.
Here I have tried to group resources into different
categories based on their purpose. Although not listed
here repeatedly, many web sites contain information that
can be classified into more than one category. I have
listed many web sites that I have used in a
non-calculus-based introductory statistics course that I
teach, as well as a few that were recommended to me by
other statistics teachers. This is an attempt to uncover
the tip of an iceberg. By no means is it a complete
listing of available resources. All omissions are
unintentional. This is an attempt to give teachers a good
start, initial direction, and some confidence in setting
out on a journey in this wonderful but (to some)
unfamiliar maze of the Internet.
2. Internet Resources
For those who are not familiar with different modes of
information transfer, search, and access, there is a
comprehensive online training program made available by
the National Cable Television Association at http://www.webteacher.org/.
This program is designed to provide educators with tools
they need to incorporate many new education technologies
into their lesson plans. It is very useful for getting
information about tools such as telnet, ftp, newsgroups,
mail lists, image files, and html. A primer and a tutorial
are also available at this site.
The resources to be discussed are grouped into the
following broad categories:
Note that many web sites are interlinked, providing more
than one avenue to access the site of interest. Also note
that web addresses, the contents of web sites, and the
organization of web sites tend to change from time to
time. Most of the links in this paper take the reader
outside the Journal of Statistics Education,
and neither the author nor the journal have any control
over the content or the permanency of those sites. If
links in this paper fail, please use the information
provided and a search engine to locate new addresses for
the sites. Now let us consider these categories one at a
- Advanced Placement Statistics course and test:
A major source of information about the AP Statistics
course is the College Board site at http://www.collegeboard.org/ (College Board Online).
This site provides information about the course, syllabus,
recommended textbooks, past tests, future test schedules,
questions from past tests, rubrics for past tests, grading
scale, and sites and times of summer workshops. To any
teacher planning to teach AP Statistics, this site
provides valuable information and should be the first site
visited before making any plans for the course. Once at
this site, use the search engine to go to AP
- Teaching the introductory statistics course
- Sample syllabi and exams:
Many teachers of AP
Statistics courses maintain web sites to share with
others information from the courses they have
developed. Also sites are available from teachers of
introductory statistics courses at colleges and
universities that are similar to the AP course in
curriculum coverage. These sites provide good resources
for teachers until they feel confident enough to
develop their own materials. A few examples
- A web site by Albert Coon at Buckingham Brown &
Nichols School (BB&N) (http://www.bbns.org/us/math/ap_stats)
has information for AP Statistics teachers and links to
other useful sites.
- A web site by Paul Myers at Woodward Academy (http://www.woodward.edu/faculty/us/math/apstat/)
has a good collection of AP Statistics resources and
provides many links to the College Board, calculator
resources (TI-82, 85, 83 tips), computer resources,
textbooks, journals, newsletters, and discussions.
- Allan Rossman at Dickinson College maintains a web site
Although this is not an AP Statistics site, there is
plenty of information useful for AP Statistics
teachers. It gives datasets, sample exams, and
- A web site by Joshua Zucker of Gunn High School, Palo
Alto, CA (http://www.gunn.palo-alto.ca.us/teacher/jzucker/)
provides a list of topics that students can research and
present to the class. It also provides a few comments
about what is expected from students in their reports and
- Many activities can be developed using M&M's
candies. These are very popular among teachers and
students. The M&M web site at http://www.m-ms.com/
provides lots of information including proportions of
different colors in different types of candies,
useful for developing activities for descriptive
statistics, the central limit theorem, confidence
intervals, and tests of hypotheses.
- Allan Rossman's web site at http://www.dickinson.edu/~rossman/ws/
lists several in-class activities.
- The education program of the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration (NASA) at http://education.nasa.gov/
gives links and resources for educators as well as
students. Several activities for students are also
available. This is a very big web site, and beginners can
easily get lost here. This site has information for
teachers of not only statistics but also other subjects.
Due to the volume of information made available by
different NASA sites for educational purposes, it is not
possible to give more specific addresses. There is so
much information available for teachers and students at
many NASA sites that one can easily devote an entire
paper to specific addresses of NASA projects.
- Statistical discussion groups:
Teachers of AP Statistics do not have to feel isolated.
Help is available only a few keystrokes away.
Statistical discussion groups are available online and
are frequently visited by well-known statisticians
always willing to help. Just visit http://forum.swarthmore.edu/epigone/sci.stat.math
and read what others are discussing. Start a discussion
if you need help with a statistical concept, teaching
technique, analysis technique, or technology need by
posting a message, or contribute to the ongoing
discussion by giving your own opinion. Past discussions
dated back to June 1996 are listed here by topic and
can be viewed any time. A search mechanism is also
available for searching by topic or month and year.
A group called Isolated Teachers of Statistics
(ISOSTATS) meets at Joint Mathematics Meetings and Joint
Statistical Meetings and plans to do some networking. It
consists primarily of statisticians who are in
mathematics departments. For more information, contact
Dex Whittinghill from Rowan University at Whittinghill@rowan.edu.
There is another group called ISOTEASTATS, which
consists of mathematicians who teach statistics.
- Reference books:
Several reference books are available
online. They may not have been written specifically for
the AP Statistics course, but they provide useful
reference material for teachers who want to brush up
on their content knowledge or as supplementary material
for students to use outside the classroom.
- StatSoft (developer of Statistica) has an electronic
textbook online at http://www.statsoft.com/textbook/stathome.html.
It is not suitable as a textbook for an AP Statistics
course, but it is useful as a quick reference
without a trip to the library. It contains a lot
more information than is needed in an AP Statistics
- "HyperStat," an introductory level hypertext
statistics book by David Lane at Rice University is
available at http://www.davidmlane.com/hyperstat/index.html.
- "Virtual Laboratories in Probability and Statistics"
by Kyle Siegrist of the Department of Mathematical
Sciences at the University of Alabama at Huntsville is
available at http://www.math.uah.edu/stat/.
This project provides a web-based textbook with interactive
modules, mathematical theory behind statistical
procedures, examples, and exercises as in a conventional
textbook. The notation used is more mathematical than
statistical for use in an introductory statistics course.
Analyzing data is a useful and essential part of learning
statistical techniques and their applications. But as
Ruxton (1996) describes, typing
in large amounts of data can be a bit of a drag. Using
the vast amount of data available on the Internet can
minimize the time spent on typing in datasets.
Projects, surveys, and project reports at the web
sites of NASA (http://education.nasa.gov/),
the U.S. Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/),
the U.S. Department of Education (http://www.ed.gov/) and
other government agencies provide lots of information
that can be downloaded easily into spreadsheets or
statistical packages for analysis.
- Gary McClelland's web site at http://psych.colorado.edu/~mcclella/statistics.html
at the University of Colorado provides several
datasets from automobile fatality rates to SAT
scores. Homework problems and tests for his courses
are also available.
- At the web site of Dennis Roberts of the College of
Education, Pennsylvania State University (http://espse.ed.psu.edu/droberts/mtbfiles.htm),
there are several education-related datasets
including SAT scores, reading test scores, AAUP
faculty salaries, and test times in Minitab files.
Descriptions of datasets are also available.
Additionally, datasets about baseball, county taxes,
city ratings, calories in hot dogs, and
smoking/cancer are available.
- The site of the "Chance Database" at Dartmouth College
gives references to several good sources of
- Education statistics can be accessed at http://www.ed.gov/pubs/stats.html.
This site gives publications and an extensive set of
statistical tables, charts, and studies produced by
the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
that report the condition and progress of education in
- At the site of the "Awesome Library" (http://www.awesomelibrary.org/),
a search mechanism is available for search by word or
subject. My search for the word "statistics"
resulted in 32 sites containing lots of data,
information, and publications on topics ranging from
Education, Taxes, HIV and AIDS Prevention,
Earthquakes of the World, and Social and Economic
Statistics to NFL Football.
- The U.S. Census Bureau site (http://www.census.gov/)
is full of data about people, geography, businesses,
and more. This information is available by state
- The American Statistical Association's Journal of
Statistics Education web site at https://www.amstat.org/archive.htm
gives a list of datasets and articles related to them. Also,
the Section on Statistical Education maintains a web site
that gives a list of datasets and pointers to other
- Case studies
- The "Virtual Lab in Statistics" (http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~lane/case_studies/index.html)
by David Lane at Rice University contains examples of
real data with analysis and interpretations.
- The site of the "Teaching Statistics with Technology
Institute" gives team projects that resulted from a
week-long workshop (http://www.keypress.com/tswt_projects).
- The Data and Story Library (DASL) at the Department of
Statistics at Carnegie Mellon University (http://lib.stat.cmu.edu/DASL/DataArchive.html)
contains an online library of data files and stories
that illustrate the use of basic statistical
methods. The topic, the method of analysis used, or
the data subject can be used to search this library.
- The "Chance Database" at Dartmouth College is also a
useful site for case studies (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/index.html). There is a
Chance newsletter that contains newspaper and magazine
articles that use concepts in mathematics and probability.
It is a good resource for those teachers of statistics and
probability interested in incorporating current news into
their courses. The topics include DNA finger printing,
weather predictions, lotteries, and opinion surveys.
- Ideas for student projects
- Calculators and data analysis procedures
- At the Dat@xiom Software, Inc. site (http://dataxiom.com/), a
program called "DST express" is available for free
download. Click on "Free Software." This software
enables one to easily find p or x for a
given value of the other for most standard distributions,
where p = Pr(X < x).
- Gerard Dallal's web site at Tufts University (http://www.tufts.edu/~gdallal/)
gives a randomization plan, where a random assignment of
experimental units to treatments can be obtained. The
idea is good, but it needs to be accompanied by some
information about the terminology used. Although
statistics is used by almost all disciplines, the
terminology used tends to differ among different
disciplines. This site also provides the teacher with
notes called "The Little Handbook of Statistical
- A web site maintained by the Statistics Department at
UCLA provides many statistical calculators (http://www.stat.ucla.edu/calculators).
This site provides a SASculator that can run SAS code and
links to online SAS guides. It also provides calculators
to compute the correlation coefficient, regression
lines, required sample sizes, box plots, histograms, and
probabilities under different densities.
- The Department of Statistics at the University of South
Carolina has made statistical routines available on the
through the G.A.S.P. (Globally Accessible Statistical
Procedures) initiative. Here data analysis procedures
are available in the form of Java applets. Results are
returned to the user's browser window or a Java applet
window. The procedures include the exact power of
Fisher's exact test, visualization of three-dimensional
data, and exact tests for 2 × 2
- "Teach modules" at http://www.public.iastate.edu/~stat/computing/lesson/head/head.html
are developed and made available by the Department of
Statistics at Iowa State University. A number of
instructional modules designed to illustrate concepts,
provide important insights, and lead to meaningful
experiences and assignments with real or realistic
problems of data analysis and inference are available.
They are available to download via anonymous ftp. The
site also contains "Lessons of Teach modules" useful for
teachers who wish to incorporate modules into their
- "Virtual Laboratories in Probability and Statistics"
by Kyle Siegrist of the Department of Mathematical
Sciences at the University of Alabama at Huntsville is
accessible at http://www.math.uah.edu/stat/.
This project provides web-based interactive modules for
students and teachers of probability and statistics. The
project is divided into chapters similar to a book. Each
chapter is divided into web pages similar to sections of
a book. The text guides students through the
development of mathematical theory. Most pages have
links to Java applets that let students run random
experiments or generate data. Many pages are linked to
datasets from real statistical studies. It looks like a
textbook on the web with exercises. It is more
mathematical than most introductory statistics courses,
but it is a good resource for teachers.
- Visit "StatVillage" at https://www.amstat.org/v5n2/schwarz.html.
This is a very novel idea developed by Carl Schwarz at
Simon Fraser University. StatVillage is a hypothetical
village in Canada. Homes in this village are laid out in
a system of blocks. Households can be selected for a
survey using a clickable map. Three versions of the
village are available. The results of a survey are
returned to the user's web browser. Many different
variables are measured on each household. The data
returned are real, taken from the 1991 Census of Canada.
The web address leads to a publication in the
Journal of Statistics Education, which
gives more information about the StatVillage; one can
follow a link from the paper to the StatVillage itself.
- Simulation and data analysis applets
- Several data analysis applets are available at Rice
University's Virtual Lab in Statistics at http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~lane/stat_analysis/index.html.
Simulation applets are available at http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~lane/stat_sim/index.html
that can be used to demonstrate various statistical
concepts such as sampling distributions,
confidence intervals, the normal approximation to the
binomial, regression, and others.
- The "G.A.S.P." initiative of the Department of
Statistics at the University of South Carolina (http://www.stat.sc.edu/rsrch/gasp/)
has made available several statistical routines.
Educational procedures for simulation are available only
in Java and involve interactive graphics. The applets
available include a regression applet, a confidence
interval applet, a histogram applet, and a central limit
theorem applet, among others.
- "STATLETS" by NWP Associates, Inc. (http://www.statlets.com/overview.htm)
is a collection of over 50 Java applets designed to
assist in analyzing data over the Internet. Both
academic and commercial versions are available. There is
no charge to access the academic version, and it provides
an economical solution for academic coursework. It may be
run in several different modes.
- Charles Stanton at the University of Wisconsin has made
available several simulation applets, as well as some
theoretical information about the statistical concept
being demonstrated at http://www.math.csusb.edu/faculty/stanton/m262/index.html.
Applets are available to demonstrate the binomial,
hypergeometric, Poisson, and normal distributions; the
central limit theorem; confidence intervals; and linear
regression through repeated experimentation such as
- Related activities
- Summer workshops:
The College Board web site at http://www.collegeboard.org/ap/teachers/index.html
gives information about workshops. A search mechanism
allows searches by geographical area or date.
Additionally, several workshops supported through NSF
funding are offered and advertised on different web
sites. The workshops not associated with the College
Board may not be geared toward AP Statistics teachers,
but can be useful to them.
More and more journals are moving toward web-based publication. Here are
three journals that I think
are useful for teachers of statistics. They are not
necessarily free, but their web sites provide
instructions necessary for access.
- Other probability and statistics resources:
A few categories not covered so far are
- The Math Forum at http://forum.swarthmore.edu/
is a general site for teaching mathematics at the primary
and secondary (K-12) level. It contains several
probability and statistics resources.
- The site of the American Statistical Association's
Section on Statistical Education (http://www.stat.ncsu.edu/stated/homepage.html)
is not designated for AP Statistics, but it provides
information and links related to statistical education.
It provides links to data archives, the Journal of
Statistics Education, the Statistics Teachers
Network newsletter, statistical education links, the
Joint Statistical Meetings, textbooks and reviews, and
- At the Statistics Teacher Network site (http://www.bio.ri.ccf.org/ASA/stn.html),
articles from past issues of the newsletter are available
- Log onto the Statistical Science Web at the University
of Queensland, Australia (http://www.maths.uq.oz.au/~gks/webguide/index.html)
for links to more statistical publications and other
- Advising students
- Visit the American Statistical Association's Center for
Statistics Education at https://www.amstat.org/education/index.html.
This site offers information about and links to colleges
and universities offering degrees in statistics,
statistics in primary and secondary education, AP
Statistics workshops, Beyond AP Statistics, and other
resources for statistics teachers. Such information is
useful for developing a course, as well as for advising
- Chris Olsen at George Washington High School, Iowa, has
compiled a list of colleges and universities that give
college credit for AP Statistics and the criteria used by
each. This information, which is useful for advising
students, can be accessed at http://www.wash.cr.k12.ia.us/academics/math/apinfo/states/index.html.
The institutions are classified by state.
- Statistical humor:
Statistics is very interesting, and so are statisticians.
David Lane's web site at Rice University, the Rice Virtual
lab in Statistics (http://davidmlane.com/hyperstat/index.html),
gives links to other web sites for statistical humor. Look
in the column labeled Related Work. Visit the following
web sites for some statistical humor.
There is a lot more information available on the
Internet than is possible to list in one paper, and more
is becoming available every day. With this information, it
is hoped that teachers will get a good start in the right
direction, and then they will be able to explore more
resources on their own.
Kabacoff, R. I. (1995),
"Developing World Wide Web Based Tools for Statistical
Education," in Proceedings of the Section on
Statistical Education, American Statistical
Association, pp. 249-252.
Ruxton, G. D. (1996), "Can the
World Wide Web Make Statistics Textbooks More Fun?"
Chance, 9(1), 56-57.
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL 36688-0002
JSE Homepage | Subscription
Information | Current Issue |
(1993-1998) | Data Archive | Index | Search JSE
Information Service | Editorial Board |
Authors | Contact JSE | ASA