Redesign of a First-Year Theory Course Sequence in Biostatistics

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This communication describes the process and results of a curriculum review of a first-year sequence of courses in statistical inference within a Master of Biostatistics program. Our primary aim was to develop an innovative course in statistical theory that meets the needs of a diverse student audience, the majority of whom are seeking a terminal master’s degree while a minority will pursue PhD training in biostatistics. The main results were (1) different course paths for job-bound and PhD-bound students; and (2) the development of an innovative first course in statistical inference, which is a computationally-aided self-discovery of a salient (albeit not comprehensive) set of key concepts and techniques pertaining to statistical inference. The redesign process addressed a key conceptual barrier: namely, the unexamined assumption that deductive proofs are a necessary condition for rigorous presentation. Consistent with the principles of constructivism, we navigated this barrier by redefining the task to which pedagogic rigor should be applied: namely, to help students to develop a sound mental map of statistical inference. We believe that the approach we used to accomplish this redefined task could be generalized to additional aspects of statistical education, among others.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Troy, JD; McCormack, K; Grambow, SC; Pomann, GM; Samsa, GP

Published Date

  • January 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 12

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1927-2685

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1927-2677

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.5430/jct.v11n8p1

Citation Source

  • Scopus