(Screen shot from Fact Sheet)
In a high school statistics course, it is normal to use technology to analyze data, and make inferences. The technology most readily available are graphing calculators, which depending on the make and model, are satisfactory. The use of a dedicated statistical software program like SAS University Edition is a great addition to the class. The fact that it is free is astounding and welcome news for schools on tight budgets that need tools for students to use.
I have used Fathom Dynamic Data Software in my statistics class in the past, but our technology has improved, and the licenses expired, so it was time to update. I have personally used Minitab 10 (current version is Minitab 17) and liked the user-friendly program to analyze data. While searching for some ideas and resources, I came across SAS, a well-known, reputable software program that is advertised as free! I clicked on the link and began learning about it.
I have not used this program and decided to evaluate its use in my statistics class. After downloading the program and performing a range of analysis, it has impressed me to the point of endorsing its use in my class. It is not an easy program to master right away, but there are multiple resources, tutorials, documentation, and user communities to assist you. I liked the ability to “point and click” items to perform the varied analyses, but for those that want more control and custom ability, there is an option to write code programs to run statistics. For my class though, it is sufficient to use the “point and click” ability. I was impressed with the variety of graphs it can produce that look professional and can be exported as Word files, or PDF files. Any result can be exported as well: tables, numerical summaries, regression analysis, lists, etc. They can be used to supplement and enhance research papers, reports, and assignments. The program can also save your progress in analysis for later use, so there is no need to complete your analysis in one sitting.
SAS University Edition can be used in any statistical analysis that is required in our statistics course, so there are no limitations. It is a complete package that can accompany any lesson or content section in our curriculum. I anticipate that I would be able to have students use about two dozen functions in SAS, and they can be taught how to use it in assignments and projects with little difficulty.
SAS University Edition (2016). Retrieved from https://www.sas.com/content/dam/SAS/en_us/doc/factsheet/sas-university-edition-107140.pdf