Bethany White

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Statistical Sciences, Faculty of Arts & Science

Title: Exploring Students’ Perceptions About Statistical Practice

Research Focus: There is widespread inappropriate use and interpretation of statistics, especially in the life sciences (Weissgerber et al., 2016), which is a contributing factor to reproducibility concerns in science. One way to address this is to improve the statistics training of life science researchers. The purpose of my work is to explore students’ perceptions about statistical practice and their preparedness to appropriately use statistics in life sciences research. I will also assess how these outcomes evolve when students take their mandatory introductory course in statistics.

Study Design: Students’ attitudes and self-efficacies for statistics and their abilities to recognize and handle issues related to statistical practice in life sciences research will be assessed by way of surveys administered at the beginning and end of a second-year life sciences statistics course in Winter 2019.

Impact: An important aim of this study is to help identify areas in need of further attention to inform development of targeted learning activities and assessments for future offerings of this course that will build students’ awareness and skills in these areas; ultimately, to better prepare them to use statistics appropriately in life sciences research. These research findings will be shared widely to advance research in this area and to benefit others’ teaching and learning of statistics as well.

SoTL Cohort Poster presented at the 2019 Teaching and Learning Symposium