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Activity Number: 338 - SPEED: Biostatistical Methods, Application, and Education, Part 1
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Section on Teaching of Statistics in the Health Sciences
Abstract #306766 Presentation
Title: Experiences with Incorporating R into a Second-Level Biostatistics Course for MPH Students
Author(s): Christine Mauro* and Nicholas Williams and Anjile An
Companies: Columbia University and Columbia University and Columbia University
Keywords: R; SAS; categorical data analyis; logistic regression; teaching

Analysis of Categorical Data is a large second-level Biostatistics course taken primarily by Epidemiology students. The class covers analysis methods for binary response data, with applications to epidemiological and clinical studies. Topics include 2x2 tables, measures of association, and logistic regression analysis. Historically, the course has used the SAS computing language. Due to increasing student demand and the changing data science landscape, we incorporated R into the curriculum in Spring 2019. We provided R code and screencasts to students as supplementary material through a publicly available website: In addition, we created a new R package called catfun. Functions in this package combine several existing R functions, producing concatenated outputs that are more similar to SAS output. As an example, the package includes a function, prop_test, which with a single call, produces a one-sample test for proportions as well as an exact and approximate 95% confidence interval. The purpose of this presentation is to share instructor and teaching assistant feedback as well as student data collected via pre and post course surveys.

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

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