An Evaluation of the Minitab Package in Teaching Business Statistics Concepts


  • Marcelline R. Fusilier
  • Pamela Hammers Specht
  • Daniel C. Ganster
  • Conrad Jackson


"Two studies empirically evaluated the effectiveness of computer assisted instruction in facilitating students’ comprehension of the concepts of the Central Limit Theorem and Type I and Type II error. Undergraduate students were assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group’s regular class material was supplemented with a computer assisted instructional exercise from the Minitab Package (Ryan, Joiner & Ryan, 1976). The control group did not experience the exercise. Results indicated that an instructional program supplemented with Minitab was as effective as a program utilizing only traditional instructional methods. The potential utility of the Minitab package in business education is discussed. In recent years, the use of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) techniques has proliferated in educational institutions. These techniques have been applied to the teaching of subjects as widely varied as mathematics and foreign languages. Furthermore, they are used at all levels of education, from early elementary to postgraduate training. The fast implementation of the CAI systems, however, has often preceded a critical examination of the utility of the computer packages in promoting learning of the various subjects for which they are used. This is becoming an issue of widespread concern as educational institutions are investing time and money in implementing computer assisted instructional packages that have not been evaluated for their utility in promoting comprehension of subject matter (Williams & McDonald, 1982). Business education, like many other areas of higher education, has been involved in this proliferation of CAI. Many computerassisted instructional packages are touted as helping students to more effectively comprehend business concepts (Milkovich & Mahoney, 1975; Robson, 1975) but few have been systematically and rigorously evaluated in this respect. "