Quizzes and statistics workshops

I’m just preparing for the first of several staff development workshops where we will be sharing some of our work on developing quantitative methods diagnostic quizzes, a student-centred learning activity developed in the University VLE, which in our case is Moodle.

It will be interesting to see how many of our colleagues have used Moodle quizzes already. I’m expecting they may be a commonly used activity in Moodle, although perhaps not so much in the humanities and social sciences?

We’ve been fortunate to work with a colleague in our pharmacy department who has been keen to use quizzes to help students to refresh their knowledge of introductory level statistics and identify areas of weakness, where we’ve provided links to further resources to help them review the areas they are less familiar with.

We’ve already run a focus group with six of the students and they were certainly very positive about the quizzes, although they didn’t seem to be too sure why they would need to know so much statistics, unless it’s in preparation for an exam. I think all will become clear when they have their face-to-face workshops in a few weeks!

I particularly loved this quote from one of the students:

“… a lot of us probably won’t end up using it [statistics] in life anyway.”

 This is interesting in the light of the Nuffield Foundation £15.5m funding now available for quantitative methods training for social science undergraduates:
“… a strategic response to the critical shortage of quantitatively trained social scientists in the UK, which has led to employers across all sectors unable to recruit people with the skills to apply quantitative methods to evaluating evidence and analysing data.”

We’re expecting staff to attend from the central elearning team and the library, as well as academics from several different departments across faculties which should provide a variety of views and experiences of teaching and using quantitative methods.

Melanie (Project Officer)