An Open Source Approach for Modern Teaching Methods: The Interactive TGUI System

Gerlinde Dinges, Alexander Kowarik, Bernhard Meindl, Matthias Templ

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In order to facilitate teaching complex topics in an interactive way, the authors developed a computer-assisted teaching system, a graphical user interface named TGUI (Teaching Graphical User Interface). TGUI was introduced at the beginning of 2009 in the Austrian Journal of Statistics (Dinges and Templ 2009) as being an effective instrument to train and teach staff on mathematical and statistical topics. While the fundamental principles were retained, the current TGUI system has been undergone a complete redesign. The ultimate goal behind the reimplementation was to share the advantages of TGUI and provide teachers and people who need to hold training courses with a strong tool that can enrich their lectures with interactive features. The idea was to go a step beyond the current modular blended-learning systems (see, e.g., Da Rin 2003) or the related teaching techniques of classroom-voting (see, e.g., Cline 2006). In this paper the authors have attempted to exemplify basic idea and concept of TGUI by means of statistics seminars held at Statistics Austria. The powerful open source software R (R Development Core Team 2010a) is the backend for TGUI, which can therefore be used to process even complex statistical contents. However, with specifically created contents the interactive TGUI system can be used to support a wide range of courses and topics. The open source R packages TGUICore and TGUITeaching are freely available from the Comprehensive R Archive Network at

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