Re-defining statistical literacy in the teaching of statistics to undergraduate medical students
Dr M MacDougall
Dr P Warner
Applications accepted all year round
Self-Funded PhD Students Only
Statistical literacy has already been recognized as a complex hierarchical construct. The challenge remains, however, to define this construct within the specific context of teaching statistics to undergraduate medical students.
This project will involve extensive survey work to explore the recommendations of practicing teachers of medical statistics throughout the UK. These recommendations will address the central question of what undergraduate medical students ought to know in order to prepare them to use statistics competently in medical practice and make safe decisions for their patients. The findings of this survey will be used as a strong basis for development of an inventory for assessing statistical literacy in undergraduate medical students at various stages of learning.
Rasch modelling will in turn be used to assess the validity of the student data forthcoming from the inventory, whilst the reliability of these data will be explored through the application of more recent techniques from measurement theory which correct for bias in Cronbach’s alpha.
Applications are sought from candidates with a good first degree (at least 2:1), and a Masters degree with a substantial quantitative component or in the mathematical sciences. This opportunity may be of interest to individuals wishing to pursue a career in educational research as an assessment professional or to acquire solid methodological training for a career as a social statistician.
Essential: postgraduate level training in psychometric methods, including the application of Rasch modelling to survey data, normally as part of a Masters degree programme; experience in the application of statistical regression techniques, including Generalized Linear Modelling; excellent communication and leadership skills
Desirable: experience in survey design and in a range of methodologies for collecting survey data.
Details of funding opportunities at the University of Edinburgh can be found under Mathematics (Subject Area) at http://www.scholarships.ed.ac.uk/awards/ and at http://www.scholarships.ed.ac.uk/postgraduate/development.htm .