Faculty of medicine, dentistry and health sciences. School of population health. CAPHIA WorkSHOP Perth Friday 19 September 2014 Ensuring competency in epidemiology and biostatistics among Master of Public Health graduates: teaching and learning approaches, dilemmas and needs
Faculty of medicine, dentistry and health sciences
School of population health
Perth Friday 19 September 2014
Ensuring competency in epidemiology and biostatistics among Master of Public Health graduates: teaching and learning approaches, dilemmas and needs
The core introductory biostatistics unit in the UWA MPH degree – what’s in the unit and what are the challenges and issues
Prof Matthew Knuiman
This is a core (or mandatory) unit in the
MPH by coursework(with or without a research project or dissertation)
Other UWA postgraduate degrees (eg Master of Aboriginal Health, Master of Clinical Research, Master of Surgery, Doctor of Clinical Dentistry, Doctor of Clinical Podiatry, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine)
and is also taken (with or without coercion) by many
Masters by Research and PhD candidates.
The unit is available in face-to-face mode (lectures, tutorials, comprehensive materials) and in on-line mode (recorded lectures, online discussion boards, comprehensive materials)
What are the learning objectives/aims?
Assessment by home assignments, on-line MCQ tests, final written exam
What is the assumed prior knowledge and experience?
What is the content?
Most calculations are done via SPSS (using pull down menus) but some also by hand-calculation. All data sets and examples are real.
Challenges and issues
Some have math phobia – not confident with math notation and year 10 high school algebra egln x, ex and how to calculate (0.4 – 0.2)/[0.03/√100] .
Some think not relevant to intended career (but statistical literacy is very important even if will not analyse their own data in future). Many enjoy the face-to-face discussions on review of published articles.
Some rely on SPSS to ‘think’ for them instead of just doing their calculations (and trust all computer output is sensible!).
The assessment requires ‘explanation and interpretation’ as well as correct formula and calculation/output, some have difficulty with constructing sensible sentences and don’t like losing marks because of this.
Harder to answer questions and help students in online (discussion board) environment than in face-to-face situation.
Cheating and collusion on home assignments is prevalent.