Scientific Program > Topic 4 > Session 4I >
Presentation 4I1. Factors Affecting Performance in a University Service Course on Biostatistics: An Update

Presenter
John A. Harraway (New Zealand) jharraway@maths.otago.ac.nz

 

Presentation Abstract

About 800 students each year enroll in a subject Introduction to Biostatistics at the University of Otago. It is a compulsory subject for students competing for entry to health sciences professional courses. At school there are two subjects, mathematics with calculus and mathematics with statistics, with many students studying only one of these the year before university. There is debate about which one best prepares students to gain high marks in biostatistics necessary for entry to professional health sciences programmes. The school syllabus in mathematics with statistics is first compared with that in Introduction to Biostatistics. Results from the analysis of marks achieved in biostatistics are reported. The fitted regression models show prior knowledge of statistics has no effect on performance in biostatistics, that there is no gender effect and that prior knowledge of calculus may be beneficial. Reasons for these results are discussed and proposals made to improve the presentation of statistics to students.

 

Manuscript
Download in Adobe Acrobat format (159 Kb).

 

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