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Designing software for cognitive change: StatPlay and understanding statistics

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Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT)


We discuss the design of Computer Based Learning Environments and argue that multiple representations are valuable and that learners need guidance and structured activities, even when an exploratory, learner centred approach is adopted. We describe StatPlay, a collection of demonstrations and interactive simulations intended to promote cognitive change and good understanding of central aspects of statistics and probability offering multiple representations. In addition to free exploration challenging tasks—some in game formats—offer structure and guidance to the learner’s activities. StatPlay is being developed in Visual C++ for Windows. We describe use of StatPlay by students and a quasi-experiment tracking the development of their sampling concepts.


  • Science Education
  • Conceptual Change
  • Cognitive Change
  • Game Format
  • Multiple Representation

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© 1995 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Cumming, G., Zangari, M., Thomason, N. (1995). Designing software for cognitive change: StatPlay and understanding statistics. In: Tinsley, J.D., van Weert, T.J. (eds) World Conference on Computers in Education VI. WCCE 1995. IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing. Springer, Boston, MA.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4899-1714-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-0-387-34844-5

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