How the Central Limit Theorem tutorial fits into the typical statistics
course: WISE tutorials are modularized to allow instructors to pick or choose
modules that best fit their course needs. Each module is a self-contained lesson
that does not depend on any of the other modules, although some specific
prerequisite information may be required.
The Central Limit Theorem (CLT) Module was designed with the assumption that
students have some familiarity with basic elementary statistics, such as mean,
standard deviation, variance, the normal curve, and sampling distributions. You may
find it helpful for your students to complete the Sampling
Distribution Module before the CLT Module. The CLT Module is intended to
prepare students to learn about hypothesis testing and confidence intervals.
When to use the CLTtutorial? Instructors often introduce the Central
Limit Theorem after they've discussed descriptive statistics and the
z-probability distribution and before an introduction to formal
hypothesis testing procedures. Some instructors may wish to use Activity
2 of this module for review later in the course. This relatively advanced component emphasizes conditions
where it may not be appropriate to assume that sampling distributions are close to
normal. This critical concept is relevant to students who have already learned the
importance of the normality assumption for parametric hypothesis testing. You
may consider having students return to this component later in the course, after
t-tests and ANOVA have been introduced.
Suggestions for Using the CLT Tutorial
- Class demonstration/Lecture aid
- Lab assignment
- Homework assignment
- Review assignment
There are many ways in which the CLT Module can be inserted into your
lesson plan. Your choices may depend on students’ level of computer literacy,
computer resources available at your school, and class time restrictions.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Pre-lecture Assignment
Assign the module as homework to introduce the Central Limit Theorem to students.
This will allow you to use more class time for in-depth discussions and activities
instead of a full lecture.
2. Live Demonstration
As part of either a lecture or guided lab assignment, the SDM applet itself
may be used by the instructor to demonstrate visually different aspects of the
sampling distribution and the Central Limit Theorem. Some instructors may choose to
step through parts or all of the tutorial in a demonstration mode. This demonstration
may serve as a stimulus for classroom discussion and/or introduction to an assignment
for students. See our
step-by-step guide for a live demonstration using the applet.
Demonstration Guide | Instructions for Using Applet
3. Post-lecture Assignment
After your presentation of the Central Limit Theorem material, the module can be used to
demonstrate lecture points and give students practice using the concepts. This applet
allows students to gain a perspective on the concepts that complements a lecture or other
presentations. The more perspectives students are exposed to in the course of instruction,
the more likely they are to understand and retain the material.
For more information, see the Introduction
to the tutorial.
- Multiple-choice questions - The main portion of the module is designed to give
students feedback without evaluating their performance. The multiple-choice questions
provide feedback on both correct and incorrect responses. However, no record is kept of
- Essay questions - There are
after the main part of the module. These questions are multiple-choice
and short-answer essays and are designed to examine conceptual understanding of the topic.
You may want students to complete this portion of the module and hand in their responses
for your evaluation. This will give you an opportunity to evaluate what your students have
learned. We have not posted answers to these questions.
WISE modules are designed as self-contained lessons that students can use with little,
if any, guidance. If you are concerned that students may not feel comfortable using web
pages and applets, you may consider using the module as part of an in-class activity. Most
students complete the module in 40 - 50 minutes.
We hope this tutorial is helpful for you and your students, and we
welcome your feedback on this tutorial and other aspects of the WISE site.
Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions, comments, difficulties? See our
technical support page or contact us: email@example.com.