Discovering Important Statistical Concepts using Spreadsheets (DISCUS)

DISCUS consists of eight Excel workbooks and a set of associated photocopiable work cards covering the topics: Descriptive Statistics, Probability, Binomial Distributions, The Poisson Distribution, Continuous Distributions, Sampling, Regression and Hypothesis Testing. The materials are designed to be used off the shelf by students working on their own, and little preparation by teaching staff is required. Each workbook consists of a series of interactive spreadsheets on a particular topic. No prior knowledge of Excel is necessary. The accompanying work cards provide a series of thought provoking challenges which it is hoped will help the student to gain insight and understanding. The overview contains technical information about the spreadsheets; how they work, how to save the workbooks and advice as to how the spreadsheets could be used. The section entitled 'Further information' explains the benefits of using the spreadsheets and that the spreadsheets are adaptable. The overview includes a list of all the different topics covered in each workbook.



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Binomial Distribution

The workbook contains a number of simulations designed to aid students understanding of the Binomial distribution.

Binomial distribution: simulated tossing a coin ten times. The probability of achieving 0,1,2… heads is calculated and displayed in a frequency table and a bar chart. The...

Continuous Distribution

The activities in this workbook are designed to help students understand the Normal distribution, the student's t-distribution, the Chi-squared distribution, the F-distribution, the Exponential distribution, the Beta distribution, the Gamma distribution and the Weibull distribution.

For each distribution...

Hypothesis Testing

The activities in this workbook cover the ideas of statistical significance, type I and type II errors and the power of a test. The relationship between power and significance in the context of tests of means is considered and the final spreadsheet shows how to conduct a chi-squared test of association in a...

Descriptive Statistics

This resource is designed to help students understand:

• Different averages: the mean and the median.

• Measures of spread: the standard deviation and the interquartile range.

• Statistical diagrams: histograms and boxplots.

Self teaching notes and questions are contained on the work...