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Sarra Saffron Powell
“Supporting the development of students’ statistics skills”
Sigma northwest and North Wales maths network hub
(Please note this event if for staff across the HE community)
18th Jan 2013
10.00 - 4.45 pm
University of Liverpool
126 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, L69 3GW
10.00 – 10.30
Welcome, coffee and registration
10.30 – 11.10
12.00 – 12.40
12.45 – 1.15
4.00 – 4.30
“Do we have to teach so much Statistical Hypothesis Inference Testing?”
This workshop will review tried and tested activities that develop learners abilities to reason with data, and argue that plugging and chugging on paper should not be replaced with analogous tasks on a computer. Participants will join in some activities designed to help learners understand threshold concepts. We may briefly illustrate why we believe this delivers better learning, as well as helping deal with maths phobia. We will also argue that a reasoning approach produces more employable graduates as a result of a better understanding how statistical methods are a core part of gaining knowledge rather than some strange ritual that is done after we have gained knowledge in order to be allowed to publish.
“Development of a statistics advisory service at a new university”
Like many new universities, Birmingham City University does not have a mathematics department but many students are expected to analyse quantitative data in their final year and postgraduate projects. Therefore, the University launched a Statistics Advisory Service in 2011. Since then it received additional funding from the National HE STEM Programme enabling it to increase capacity, develop resources and form partnerships with faculty-based staff. This presentation evaluates the effectiveness of the different strategies adopted by the University. In particular, the development of a series of statistical methods workshops and Staff Development training courses in Excel and SPSS are highlighted.
“Peer Assisted Learning: The way forward for engagement with statistics?”
Kieran Balloo, Gina Pauli , Becky Street, Marcia Worrell, Philippe Koulouris, Jose Fialho
This workshop will provide an overview of the peer assisted learning module, which is a final year optional module in Psychology at Roehampton, in which third year students (peer assisters) support first year students with their statistics and research methods learning . The aim of the module is to enhance the learning experience and statistics understanding for both first years and the peer assisters. The workshop will be delivered through a series of interactive dialogues with the staff and students involved with this module about the strengths and shortcomings of this approach. The workshop will be facilitated by the academic staff responsible for the module, two peer assisters and one student that has been peer assisted.
“Online statistical methods”
Basil Turnbull Wolf
We recognise that statistical concepts are not intuitive and pose particular problems for students who fear mathematics. Many students require one-to-one teaching and encouragement to overcome their fears and their instinct to avoid, rather than solve, problems. We aim to provide an environment where students are encouraged to overcome their difficulties in understanding and where one-to-one teaching is available to those who need it most. A description of our approach follows:
An on-line course in basic statistical methods is used for a module of over 350 students in agricultural and biological sciences. Short lectures and demonstrations of SPSS software are delivered via the BlackBoard VLE. Data sets tailored to the subject interests of the students are provided and linked to formative quizzes that test understanding of concepts and ability to conduct and interpret analyses. Feedback is provided and we require a pass mark of 75% before progression to further formative or summative exercises. Progress is monitored in the grade data base. Support is available through a course handbook, discussion board and workshops.
“Using quizzes to support learning about basic statistics”
Geraldine Jones, Melanie Burton, Anita McGrogan
Aim: To explore the pedagogical uses of statistics quizzes;
Context: A cross-disciplinary team at the University of Bath have designed and implemented a (Moodle) question bank to facilitate self-directed learning of basic statistics through questions and associated feedback links. The quizzes have been successfully trialled with undergraduate students.
We will present a case study including
- Question bank development
- Statistics topics covered
- Pedagogical purposes of the quizzes
- Quiz engine strengths and weaknesses
- Student experiences
“Data into words”
The Data into Words session demystifies the writing of statistics, which is important for dissemination - or, from a student perspective, getting the marks they deserve after conducting the experiment and analysis. It has the wide aims of engaging students with the purposes of using words to describe results, confidence in using a strategy to write stats, before opening up some strategies and practising writing during the session itself.
We will discuss the teaching approach and possible anxieties of students, how we broach the question of writing, the strategies we share with students, and the importance of getting writing done during the session.
“Statistics in Contexts – Supporting student understanding with resources”
This session will introduce some resources designed to help A level students understand statistics in the context of other subjects. These resources are now freely available and could be useful to universities in supporting the development of statistical understanding in first year undergraduates.
“Improving the Teaching of Statistics through Student Projects”
This presentation will describe an ongoing project undertaken at
Loughborough University that brings eight final year project students in mathematics together with five members of staff who altogether teach five modules in statistical methodology to students in four different departments in the university: mathematics, engineering, information science and sport science. The project as a whole is managed and overseen by a member of staff in mathematics.
The goals of the project are
1) To produce teaching resources appropriate to students in the five modules, to complement the teaching in those modules.
2) To give final year mathematics project students and the project coordinator a feel for how statistics is used in several disciplines.
3) To give final year mathematics project students a sense of what it is like to do statistical consulting.
4) To share ideas on best statistical practice across disciplines in the university.
This presentation will describe how the project got started, how it is being implemented, and the progress to date on the goals above, including some examples of resources produced by the project.