The official press release is out, so I thought I'd post the relevant details here. Ordinarily I don't like blowing horns on these boards, but those of you who will be at the Statistics meetings in Chicago will have a chance to see and play with these materials, so I thought it might be a service to send the announcement here. Executive Summary for the board: * ActivStats is a multimedia presentation of the introductory statistics course. * It follows the MAA/ASA guidelines for statistics curriculum and is thus fully appropriate for the APStat course. * It will be available for people to play with at the JSM in Chicago; come to the Addison Wesley Interactive booth or the Data Description booth. (I realize many readers of this board won't attend the statistics meetings. Contact me or Addison Wesley (addresses below) if you'd like more information. * It will ship for Macintosh in January (in-class beta tests this fall) and for Win95 in Summer 97. * (Yes, this means that Data Desk is on Win95 -- we'll show that in Chicago also.)
------------------ (press release follows) ---------------------- READING, MA and ITHACA, NY (August 1, 1996) Today Addison Wesley Interactive and Data Description, Inc. announced ActivStats (tm), a ground breaking product for statistics education. ActivStats provides an introductory statistics course on CD-ROM using the full range of multimedia capabilities. ActivStats integrates video, simulation, animation, narration, text, pictures, interactive experiments, web access, and a full-function statistics package into a rich learning environment. Students develop a sound understanding of statistics concepts and methods motivated by real-world examples; informed by interactive visualizations; explained by animated expositions; and applied immediately to real data.
ActivStats is authored by Dr. Paul Velleman of Cornell University, a pioneer in the design of computer applications for teaching and data analysis. It incorporates the best of current technology and methods for teaching statistics. ActivStats creates a new learning environment that enables students and faculty to:
* Work with specially designed simulations to help students discover and understand basic principles of randomness, probability, and inference.
* Explore data using a full-function graphical interface statistics package integrated with the course materials.
* Analyze real-world data through case studies--many motivated by videos from the Against All Odds and Decisions through Data video series published by COMAP.
* Learn key concepts through carefully crafted multimedia explanations that use visualization, animation, and narration.
* Add notes and bookmarks for later study and review.
* Navigate through the course with a dynamic table of contents and a hypertext-based glossary and index.
* Link to World Wide Web resources (on computers with Internet access) to gather data or view associated learning materials.
* Follow a course scope and sequence that is consistent with the ASA/MAA guidelines for teaching statistics and with the Advanced Placement Statistics Exam.
* Work with resources that provide additional depth, examples, and assignment material including:
Excerpts from leading textbooks such as Basic Practice of Statistics by David Moore fully integrated with each lesson. (with permission from W.H. Freeman)
Projects integrated into each lesson; many from the leading project-based learning text, Workshop Statistics by Alan Rossman with data sets on the CD formatted for use in the integrated statistics package. (with permission from Springer Verlag Publishing Co.)
Homework exercises provided for each lesson, including many that use the interactive visualization tools.
"Computer-based multimedia has great promise for statistical education," says Professor David Moore, Purdue University professor, ASA President-elect, and a leading textbook author, "ActivStats is true multimedia, driven by highly interactive animations rather than by text. It will be an effective learning tool."
ActivStats author Paul Velleman notes "We have combined the best aspects of each type of media; video for motivation, animated tools for visualization, narrated presentations for exposition, interactive illustrations for concept construction, and immediate application of newly learned concepts for reinforcement."
"ActivStats brings the very best in statistics education to the student's desktop in a seamless and integrated environment." adds Chip Price, Director of AWI, "ActivStats is an open and flexible platform that will be a whole new way to teach and learn statistics."
ActivStats can be used in a variety of ways to improve teaching and learning. It can be used in courses that combine teacher-led meetings with student time in a computer lab; courses that are designed completely around computer delivery such as self-paced and distance learning courses; and as a resource for projects, video, visualization tools, and student self-study in more traditional lecture courses.
Teachers can easily customize ActivStats to fit their own course needs. They can author activities for any page that look just like the activities that form the basis for ActivStats learning. They can assign exercises that use the visualization tools; create projects that use the statistics program; or link to a course home page or other sites on the World Wide Web. Teachers can also easily set up bookmark files that locate videos and visualization tools for classroom demonstrations.
Information and Availability
ActivStats will be available for Macintosh computers running System 7.5 and equipped for multimedia for the Spring 1997 semester. ActivStats will be available for Windows 95 computers equipped for multimedia for the Fall 1997 semester. A special preview package for instructors is available on Macintosh for the Fall 1996 semester. A similar package will be available for Windows 95 users in the Spring of 1997.
For more information about sales to courses for colleges and high schools contact Addison Wesley Interactive. For information about personal and industrial sales contact Data Description, Inc.
Addison Wesley Interactive is a new publisher of multimedia products for college and high school courses. Its first products are designed for courses in mathematics, physics, statistics and engineering. AWI was founded in September 1994 as a new start-up business unit within the Addison Wesley Longman Higher Education Publishing Group. Addison Wesley Interactive currently has 17 employees. Information about Addison Wesley Interactive and its products can be found at http://awi.aw.com.
One Jacob Way Reading, MA 01867 (617) 944-3700 ext. 2563 firstname.lastname@example.org http://awi.aw.com
Data Description, based in Ithaca, NY, has developed and distributed the Data Desk statistics program since 1984. The company continues to develop innovative data analysis software and is now applying its expertise in statistics education and interface design to develop multimedia-based education titles. Additional information about Data Description, Inc. and its products can be found at www.datadesk.com/datadesk/.