Events Calendar

DSAS Colloquium - Dr. Bethany White (U of T)

Tuesday, April 4, 2023
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Physics & Astronomy Building (PAB)

Dr. Bethany White (University of Toronto)

Are undergraduate life science students prepared for quantitative research? 

There is widespread misuse of statistics in life sciences research (Weissgerber et al., 2016), which is contributing to reproducibility concerns in science. This emphasizes the importance of training, yet life science students often only need one statistics course toward their undergraduate programs, if that (Tong et al., 2022). Several years ago, an undergraduate course that integrates statistics and research design was introduced at the University of Toronto to improve the quantitative preparation of life sciences students. In a previous study conducted in this course, although we observed improvements in student self-efficacy to choose appropriate statistical procedures and to interpret results, we still observed significant gaps in their abilities to do both at the end of this course. To extend this work, we are currently conducting a survey study across several life sciences programs to explore students’ abilities to engage with statistics as consumers and producers of quantitative research (Tractenberg, 2016). In this talk, I will describe this study, highlight preliminary findings, and discuss implications for statistics for life science teaching and learning. 

Jay Gweon

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