The Bristol Centre for Multilevel Modelling has released the beta version of Stat-JR. The software has two features that may make it attractive for teaching.
For those teaching advanced techniques the software can sit on top of other packages (such as SPSS or Stata) and use their features within a single command language (so that students do not need to learn whole new packages in order to execute new techniques).
However the (for me) really exciting bit of this software is the ‘ebook’ interface that it offers. It is possible to author ebooks with dynamic pages populated from datasets.The dynamic ebook page receives instructions from a reader which it then executes and posts results back to the page. This makes it a useful tool in building teaching materials, since the Stat-JR ebook can sit on top of spss or other applications. Interactive learning materials can be updated with later releases of data sets or releases of statistics software, or different examples suited to different discipline backgrounds, with much less effort needed to tailor materials to different audiences or take account of other changes.
From the CMLM message:
At present whilst the software is a beta release we are only distributing it in (renewable) 30-day limited licence form but it is our intention after a period to release fully when, as with our MLwiN software, Stat-JR will be free to UK academics with potentially a small one off fee to non-academics and non-UK users. Note that currently, as with MLwiN, Stat-JR is a Microsoft Windows only piece of software.
If you would like to test out the software and give us feedback then
for more details on the software, its documentation and how you can download it please visit http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmm/research/estat/downloads/index.html and fill in a request form for a download.
The Stat-JR team.