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Re-defining statistical literacy in the teaching of statistics to undergraduate medical students

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M MacDougall
    Dr P Warner
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

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.

Additional requirements

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.

Funding Notes

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 .



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