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Teaching Forum

Welcome to the Statistics Teaching Forum!

Organiser for 2022-2023: Dr Elke Thönnes

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The program for 22/23 is as follows:

2022-2023 Sessions

Term 3

  • Wednesday 3rd May 2023, 2-3 pm, MB0.08. Coffee/Tea/Cake after the seminar in the foyer.

Speaker: Prof Jeremy Levesley (Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of Leicester)

Title: Authentic assessment and business-based projects

Presentation slides.

Abstract: This is a talk for mathematicians and statisticians so perhaps I should start with a definition. An authentic task is one which a majority of people would agree it is important to be able to perform. Authentic assessment is the assessment which says whether or not the task was completed. In this talk we will explore whether or not maths/stats degree assessment defines authentic tasks, and then whether or not the assessment properly measures the capability to perform those tasks.

As an ex academic with 30 years at Leicester I saw "employability" move up the priority list for universities. At the same time also "student satisfaction" with an emphasis on easily explicable assessment criteria has also grown. These seem to me to be in tension. I would like to try to resolve this tension, but this may take a change in point of view by universities on what they think the purpose of a degree is.

I am now part of a company running student projects for universities. Business tasks from industry are given to students and a supervisor from industry provided. The measurement of the projects is related to the accreditation process for chartered engineers. I am hoping for feedback from the audience on this sort of approach and how it fits with their notion of a university degree, be it undergraduate or masters.

Term 1

    • Week 6 - Friday 11 November, 3 - 4 pm, MB0.08, Tea/Coffee/Cake from 2:30 pm in Atrium

    Speaker: Dr Jagjeet Jutley-Neilson (Department of Psychology, University of Warwick).

    Title: Neurodiversity (Specific Learning Differences; SpLDs) and the Student Academic Experience.

    Abstract: This interactive seminar is aimed at staff members interested in building inclusive curriculums and wider student experiences for disabled students. Across the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) sector, we see a positive increase in the number of students starting courses with declared disabilities, particularly Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) such as Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Condition. Neurodiversity encompasses all of these mentioned SpLDs, many of which co-occur or overlap.

    However, research across the HEIs has identified that disparities exist when comparing the continuation rates and the learning and teaching experiences of disabled students versus non-disabled students. At the University of Warwick, our TEF submission in 2018 and the Access Participation Plan also echoed these wider sector research findings. This session enabled staff to share experiences and challenges of embedding inclusive practices.

    Events planned for 2023/24

    • Date/Time/Venue to be confirmed.

    Speaker: Prof Rhys Jones (Associate Dean of Education at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey)

    Title: Weapons of statistical instruction

    Abstract: We are living in an increasingly data-centric world, where it is essential for everyone to have a statistical awareness and build upon their statistical senses. The need for statistics has never been greater. With rapidly changing times, and a world saturated with data and interesting variables, we need new ways and new ideas to help make statistics more accessible for everyone. It should come as no surprise that statistics education has also experienced seismic shifts in recent years, with respect to content and teaching methods utilised. New Zealand in particular have made significant changes in relation to their statistics curriculum and pedagogies used to deliver the subject, at the primary and secondary school level.

    This talk will explore interesting ideas, present useful skills, and delve into exciting contexts, to supercharge the teaching of statistics and data science. There will be a focus on the visualisation of data, using free web-based software like iNZight, explaining how these displays can convey engaging data stories. Skills development in being able to read graphs and eyeball data, describe trends well and the value in using dynamic data displays, will also be discussed. This will then lead onto the importance of context and the need to provide engaging real-world data sets that can appeal to students. The second part of the talk will then describe how skills developed in the first part can be nurtured to enable students to craft their own interesting and engaging data stories.

    Key ideas and approaches conveyed throughout the talk will be supported with my own experiences of working with teachers and academics in New Zealand, Australia, the US and also the UK, along with relevant evidence-based research.