|Mary Ann Coughlin (USA)||Mary_Coughlin@spfldcol.edu D.P.E|
Professionals in the field of Institutional Research must use data analysis and statistical skills on a daily basis. Yet, professionals come to the field of Institutional Research with diverse backgrounds and differentiated knowledge of statistics. As a result, most professionals find themselves searching for review or refresher courses in data analysis and statistics. Thus, teaching a statistics course in six hours or less is the challenge. This paper will focus on the difficulties that are associated with teaching statistical content and skills in professional development settings to individuals with a wide range of statistical skills and abilities. The central tenet of the paper is that the art of teaching is what makes for effective training. Various pedagogical approaches designed to increase statistical understanding are explored and defined. Suggestions for sequencing and practical examples illustrating the use of statistics in Institutional Research will be given.
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