Faculty Advisor

Dr. Christine Browning



Presentation Date


Document Type



A primary purpose of the study was to examine the effects of using dynamical statistical software (DSS) on prospective teachers’ (PSTs) understanding of statistical concepts, especially variability. Data were collected from PSTs enrolled in a probability and statistics course designed for prospective K-8 teachers. After initial analysis of the data using coding and classification schemes, we found the need to develop a more targeted framework to analyze students’ different levels of understanding. The variability framework (Garfield & Ben-Zvi, 2005) and the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy were then used in combination to develop a revised framework in order to draw comparisons of student conceptions of variability. By using this framework along with examining PSTs’ coursework and observation data, we noted that dynamic software, such as TinkerPlots® (used in the study), provided several means for students to dynamically engage with the data while thinking about variability. Features of Tinkerplots® allow the students to construct displays of data and then efficiently alter the views of the data for appropriate analysis. Findings also suggested how the current tasks in the course could be revised to promote further understanding of variability as the PSTs engage with the dynamic software.