Profits and pitfalls: Thoughts on using a laptop computer and presentation software to teach introductory social statistics

Janet Wilmoth, John Wybraniec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the issues associated with using a laptop computer and presentation software during lectures. This discussion is informed by our own experience as well as end of the semester grades and student course evaluations from six sections of introductory social statistics that were taught between the fall of 1995 and the spring of 1997. Direct student quotes are used throughout the paper to emphasize particular points and to provide insight into students' perspectives on the computer presentations. Based on this objective and subjective evidence, we conclude that computer presentations can act as useful tools in courses like social statistics and methods. These presentations encourage classroom interaction, heighten interest, and provide a structure to lectures that can facilitate student comprehension and performance. This article also discusses potential problems that arise when using this technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-178
Number of pages13
JournalTeaching Sociology
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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