Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

Second Edition source release + openintro package update

The source of the Second Edition of OpenIntro Statistics is now available at openintro.org. The textbook is written in LaTeX, so if you are unfamiliar with LaTeX but want to try your hand, we recommend reviewing slides from the UCLA Statistical Consulting Center to learn the basics. The second ReadMe file may also be useful in understanding the file organization of the textbook’s source.

Version 1.4 of the openintro package for R is now available on CRAN and includes data sets from the Second Edition. Note that the new package version may take a couple of weeks to propagate to all of CRAN’s mirrors. If you use the install.packages function to update your version of the package, verify you are in fact running version 1.4 after the update (via library(help=openintro)). If the mirror selected did not return the version 1.4, then the version has not yet propagated to that mirror. If this happens, then use the following line of code to download and install the package from the primary CRAN servers in Austria:

install.packages("openintro", repos="http://cran.r-project.org", type="source")

Let us know if you have any questions on these releases!

Best,
David

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New Software and Outreach

Happy New Year from OpenIntro,

We’re pleased to share recent news about exciting software developments and broad outreach programs to kick off 2012!

A new version of our free online course management software was released earlier this month. The software now supports four subjects (statistics, algebra, calculus, and physics), and has dozens of other new features. Instructors can manage multiple course simultaneously with class announcements, customizable homepages, and a clean new Question Bank interface. For those who like their mathematics extra fancy, the Question Bank now supports LaTeX notation for equations. Check out our YouTube video for a tour of the latest developments at openintro.org:

This semester also marks our first major outreach effort for OpenIntro Statistics, which we extend to you and your colleagues. If you are already using OpenIntro Statistics in your class, thanks! If you or your colleagues are using an alternative statistics book, we hope you will participate. (1) Request your students to read one section of our textbook during the semester along with the corresponding reading in the course’s regular textbook. (2) Then ask them to fill out an online survey comparing the OpenIntro textbook to their current textbook. (Send us an email and we’ll get back to you with the a link to the appropriate survey.) We hope this will enhance the students’ learning and help us continue to improve OI resources for you and folks around the world.

Thanks for all your support, and best wishes for 2012!

Cheers,
The Openintro Team

New course software features

The last month has been focused on developing new features for the online course management software for fall courses. Several instructors have signed up to use the software, and we’re excited to receive helpful feedback on what future developments will be most useful.

Below is a summary of what is new this month:

  • Manage Course. Teachers may specify a time zone and view a list of registered students.
  • Quiz Utility. Quiz timers are defaulted to 30 minutes but are adjustable in the range of 15-60 minutes. Instructors may also, if they desire, prevent students from taking a quiz more than once (but students may still view the quiz). Instructors may also view a summary of student performance. Students may review their performance on quizzes, which we hope will aid in studying.
  • Question Bank. The end-of-chapter-exercises from three additional book chapters have been entered into the Public Question Bank.
  • Archiving. By the end of a course, instructors will have dozens of elements that they have distributed to students but that they may no longer wish to see on their homepage. To this end, we offer an Archive option, which allows instructors to hide quizzes, assignments, labs, and links that have already been posted. These archived elements are remain easily accessible on the instructor’s homepage by the Show Archived button (shown when at least one element is archived). Note that archiving has no influence on the appearance of student pages.
  • Highlighting Deadlines. Quiz, Assignment, and Lab due dates are now highlighted on students homepages when the due date is within 3 days, which will help students manage fast-approaching deadlines.

We have also posted a Labs page that will stage the release of labs in R and RStudio this fall. The first labs will be released later this month, and eight labs and their source are scheduled for release before the start of 2012 classes.

Send us an email and let us know what you think about our current products and planned expansions. We’re always looking for more input on what we should do next or what should take highest priority.