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Case Study 7 Interactive Spreadsheets

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Executive Summary

This case study speaks about the perceptions of students about Statistics. The subject is generally considered difficult and intensive by the students. The paper seeks to increase students' awareness about this subject. The research paper revolves around the steps taken by the Department of Statistics at the University of Cape Town (UCT) to achieve this goal. The pedagogical needs behind the usage of spreadsheet programs have also been studied. It has been observed that use of such programs is useful in promoting the popularity of the subject and the likelihood of using these spreadsheets first as Open Educational Resources (OER) at other departments at UCT has also been considered. The paper expresses confidence that Statistics is an interesting and a popular subject. Its popularity is well documented by the existence of a number of web portals devoted to the subject. However, the paper seeks to find out the extent of awareness about OERs and the reasons behind its use and non-use. The project under study specifically prohibits developing a website for engaging students as well as reproducing existing tools. The methodology adopted by the research project has been described by Robson as, "A strategy for doing research which involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon in its real life context using multiple sources of evidence."

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