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Activity Number: 570
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Teaching of Statistics in the Health Sciences
Abstract #312718 View Presentation
Title: Teaching Command-Based Statistical Programs in Courses in Biostatistics
Author(s): Susanne Rosthøj*+
Companies: University of Copenhagen
Keywords: teaching ; training ; feedback

In many courses in biostatistics taught at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, students are introduced to statistical methods alongside command-based statistical software packages (SAS or R). Some students become powerful users whereas for others the technical programming details are a barrier for focusing on the statistical methods. As more and more theory and programming is introduced, these students are trapped in a downward spiral.

Becoming familiar with command-based statistical programs requires training. The students in the latter group do not work sufficiently with methods and programming between the teaching sessions. I describe an approach to make students develop their skills by formulation of specific training demands between the teaching sessions. The students had to enter their results in an online test system giving automated feedback. The training activities were incorporated in the teaching sessions by starting each session with collective feedback. This approach has increased the performance of both strong and weak students in several courses.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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