Demonstrating The Central Limit Theorem In The Classroom: An Excel Exercise


  • Hilde Patron
  • William J Smith
  • David Boldt


The Central Limit Theorem (CLT) states that regardless of the underlying distribution, the distribution of the sample means approaches normality as the sample size increases.  Understanding the CLT is central to other concepts presented in a business statistics class; however, the CLT remains one of most misunderstood concepts in introductory statistics.  This paper describes the steps for developing a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that allows students to visualize the CLT.  In addition to introducing students to creative uses of spreadsheets, we show that student learning is enhanced by incorporating this pedagogical exercise in the classroom.


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