“jamovi has been invaluable to our students, even more so during coronavirus pandemic. Our department made the switch from SPSS to jamovi last summer. Since then, our students are more relaxed and confident in their abilities because they’re able to complete their homework on their own time, in their homes. I cannot imagine what we would have done if we were still using SPSS when the shelter-in-place orders started. But we’ve been able to teach our students the same skills with the same materials through remote learning. jamovi is used in several of our methods courses and by our honors students, or by about 2100 students each year. I believe our department has officially stopped installing SPSS on the computers in our teaching labs – I imagine that if we can persuade other departments on campus to make the switch, it would save the university a lot of money each year on license renewal.”
— Sara Weston, The University of Oregon
“The University of Tasmania’s Discipline of Psychology has always had a strong research methods and statistics stream within its undergraduate program. Like many psychology programs across Australia (and internationally) we had been using SPSS to teach our students how to conduct and interpret statistical analyses. Despite its popularity, SPSS had a number of drawbacks that meant it wasn’t ideal for teaching statistical analyses. These included:
- ● inconsistent naming conventions for variables across different analyses (very confusing for students who are learning statistics for the first time)
- ● an absence of simple measures of effect size for standard analyses such as t-tests (The APA has emphasised the importance of effect sizes for years, but SPSS still doesn’t include Cohen’s d. What’s a student to think?)
- ● voluminous output and little control of what is included (students have enough difficulty understanding the basics without having to learn what to ignore as well).
- ● static output that requires the user to completely re-run an analysis if there are any changes to the data (slow and error prone)
- ● not freely available to students to load onto their own computers. They either have to purchase a copy to work at home, or use computers on campus. This is particularly problematic for students taking units online.
With all of the above in mind (among some others), the teaching team in University of Tasmania’s Discipline of Psychology began to look for an alternative. When we found jamovi we knew we had a program around which we could build our units and not only ensure our students would still have a great learning experience, but also improve that experience. We adopted jamovi for our intermediate and advanced research methods units in Semester 1 2018.
Obviously changing from SPSS to jamovi meant we needed to update manuals for tutorials and student exercises, as well as examples in lectures. This required some work, but less than we expected given the way the jamovi team has designed the dialog system; it is familiar to anyone who has used SPSS. And because jamovi has a more streamlined output, and effect sizes are calculated within the program, we were able to simplify some elements in our documents. This was appreciated by students.
Another challenge we had to address was staff concerns about the switch to jamovi and what this would mean for units that incorporated statistical analyses and data sets based around SPSS. Would staff need to create new data files? Would students understand the existing SPSS output or would new analyses need to be performed and slides redeveloped? The fact that jamovi works seamlessly with SPSS data files and will perform identical analyses eased many of these concerns. The transition was quite straightforward and few issues have arisen.
Our overall experience with jamovi in 2018 was very positive. So much so that we are continuing to use the program in 2019. Students really liked using jamovi, both those who were new to statistical analysis and those who were taking an advanced research methods unit, after learning SPSS in their introductory unit. Students told us that jamovi was much more intuitive than SPSS, letting them focus on the understanding the analysis rather than navigating dialog systems and that being able to use it from home, for free, letting them practice more. We’ve also received similar positive feedback from students in our postgraduate psychology programs. They love having the program to work on their thesis on their home computers, and have made the transition easily from SPSS without any formal training in jamovi.”
— Michael Garry, The University of Tasmania
Do you have a testimonial about jamovi? We’d love to receive some more. Drop us a line at contact <at> jamovi.org