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US National Science Foundation Grant MDR-8954626
Starting date: 
Clifford Konold and Craig D. Miller

DataScope® was a Macintosh Classic data-analysis program from the 1990s with accompanying data sets and instructional activities for grades 9-13.

The design of DataScope was heavily influenced by our belief that the best way to motivate students to learn and use statistical techniques is through exploring issues of concern to them. It was designed to be computationally powerful yet simple to use. Displays included histograms, box plots, scatterplots, one and two-way tables of frequencies, and tables of descriptive statistics. The software was intended for use in introductory courses stressing exploratory data analysis of fairly large data sets. It encouraged students to make initial judgments of relationship by visually comparing plots. A generalized "grouping" capability permitted the formation of plots (and tables) grouped on different levels of a chosen variable. Additional features included point ID on scatterplots and box plots, and random resampling for testing hypotheses about differences between two medians, frequencies in a 2 X 2 table, and correlation coefficients.

We used DataScope to support student projects in which they formulated their own questions, collected and analyze their data, and wrote a brief report. We also made use of several large data sets, including results of a student survey, almanac-type information on 104 countries, and Olympic gold-record times/distances from a selection of track-and-field events. These data sets were incorporated into the instructional units we designed for use with the software.

The following articles and reviews provide additional information about instructional use of DataScope. See also the Chance Plus Project.


Konold, C. (1995). Datenanalyse mit einfachen, didaktisch gestalteten Softwarewerkzeugen für Schülerinnen und Schüler. Computer und Unterricht, 17, 42-49. (English version: "Designing data analysis tools for students.")

Konold, C. (1995). Issues in assessing conceptual understanding in probability and statistics. Journal of Statistics Education, 3(1).

Konold, C. (1994). Understanding probability and statistical inference through resampling. In L. Brunelli & G. Cicchitelli (Eds.), Proceedings of the First Scientific Meeting of the International Association for Statistical Education (pp. 199-211). Perugia, Italy: Università di Perugia.


Ernie, K. (1996). Technology reviews: DataScope and Prob Sim. Mathematics Teacher, 89, 359-360.
Garfield, J. (1995). Software review: DataScope and Prob Sim.The Statistics Teacher Network, Winter , p. 7.