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Using technology to inspire and enhance the learning of statistics in a large cohort of diverse ability

Weir, Iain; Gwynllyw, Rhys; Henderson, Karen

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Rhys Gwynllyw
Associate Professor in Teaching and Learning




In this paper we illustrate how we have used technology to teach and efficiently assess statistics within a Level 2 research skills module delivered to Business School students. The student cohort was a large diverse group of non-mathematicians and the syllabus comprised a short course in statistics together with learning the SPSS statistical software package. Student learning was enhanced through the use of multimedia and this enabled students to self-learn SPSS output creation. This freed up time in lectures and subsequent computer practicals for staff to concentrate on giving higher level interpretative advice.

The statistics assessment comprised a contribution from each computer practical to a Learning Journal and two e-Assessments. For each Learning Journal question, students were given a preprepared template which was designed to represent a complete statistical analysis. It had the SPSS output removed, numerical values blanked out and inserted multiple choice interpretation decisions to make. Setting it up in this way enabled students to concentrate on the mechanics of the creation of SPSS output and interpretation of results. The e-Assessment system used was DEWIS as it can communicate with the R statistical package which was employed to generate bespoke student data and generate answers that would match SPSS screen output; implement continuation marking for a large number of inputs; run staged assessments; provide dynamic feedback specific to student inputs.

Results have been excellent. Teaching and assessing in this way has made the challenging task of delivering and assessing this material in a short space of time achievable. The fact that students can refer to their Learning Journals and access “how-to” SPSS videos will be beneficial to their further studies.


Weir, I., Gwynllyw, R., & Henderson, K. (2015). Using technology to inspire and enhance the learning of statistics in a large cohort of diverse ability. In IATED (Ed.), Edulearn15 Proceedings. IATED

Conference Name 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Conference Location Barcelona, Spain
Start Date Jul 6, 2015
End Date Jul 8, 2015
Publication Date Jul 1, 2015
Deposit Date Jul 13, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 1, 2016
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Book Title Edulearn15 Proceedings
ISBN 9788460682431
Keywords e-assessment, statistics, SPSS, multimedia, higher education
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : EDULearn15 Proceedings


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