SOCR: Statistics Online Computational Resource
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The need for hands-on computer laboratory experience in undergraduate and graduate statistics education has been firmly established in the past decade. As a result a number of attempts have been undertaken to develop novel approaches for problem-driven statistical thinking, data analysis and result interpretation. In this paper we describe an integrated educational web-based framework for: interactive distribution modeling, virtual online probability experimentation, statistical data analysis, visualization and integration. Following years of experience in statistical teaching at all college levels using established licensed statistical software packages, like STATA, S-PLUS, R, SPSS, SAS, Systat, etc., we have attempted to engineer a new statistics education environment, the Statistics Online Computational Resource (SOCR). This resource performs many of the standard types of statistical analysis, much like other classical tools. In addition, it is designed in a plug-in object-oriented architecture and is completely platform independent, web-based, interactive, extensible and secure. Over the past 4 years we have tested, fine-tuned and reanalyzed the SOCR framework in many of our undergraduate and graduate probability and statistics courses and have evidence that SOCR resources build student's intuition and enhance their learning.