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The Probability/Statistics Object Library - Concluding Remarks

Kyle Siegrist

I end this article with three recommendations.

First, I hope you will visit the PSOL , use the resources in the library, and provide feedback on ways that these resources can be improved. Although there are many excellent projects in probability and statistics available on the web, I think that the PSOL project is special because of two attributes:

  • Scale. The PSOL contains approximately 60 applets in probability and statistics, all with a common interface and with no explicit mathematical exposition. The applets are built out of approximately 100 distinct components.
  • Reusability. The objects in the library, at both the applet level and the component level, are designed to be adapted and implemented in other projects. The objects are completely free and open source.

Second, I want to encourage authors and developers of educational resources in mathematics to give more attention to issues of reuse and adaptation. Currently, I believe, most authors tend to develop materials from scratch, without considering that high quality components may already be available. These developers also tend to think of their work only in terms of a final product to be adopted, without much thought of how their materials might be broken into components and reused (adapted). The Reusable Learning project is an excellent resource for authors and developers on such issues.

Finally, I want to encourage teachers and students not to think of themselves only as consumers of educational resources, but also as partners in the development process. To an increasing extent, teachers and students will assemble and adapt resources from disparate sources to create a customized learning environment. By putting these resources together, if only by providing the expository glue that connects them, teachers and students become developers.

Kyle Siegrist, "The Probability/Statistics Object Library - Concluding Remarks," Convergence (October 2004)