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Statistics for the biological and environmental sciences: improving service teaching for postgraduates

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution

Published

Publication date07/2010
Host publicationICOTS 8 proceedings: International Conference on Teaching Statistics 2010 Ljubljana, Slovenia
EditorsChris Reading
Place of publicationAuckland
PublisherInternational Association for Statistical Education
Number of pages6
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

A challenge for statistics educators is to maximise the effectiveness of service teaching to nonstatisticians in order to create successful end-users of statistics, build research capability and to raise the profile of statistics within the wider community. In 2008 we undertook an evaluation of statistics service teaching within the Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University.
Collaborating with staff and students enabled a thorough study of the strengths and weaknesses of the course. Recommendations for how to make the course more suitable for occasional users in the biological sciences were made. An evaluation of the revised course was completed in 2009 and the results, presented here, are compared with feedback from 2008. We demonstrate that with close collaboration between all departments, making swift and tangible changes based on ‘real’ suggestions by the students who take the course is the only way to reach specific users.