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Research in statistical education — planning of an international survey

Research in statistical education — planning of an international survey

Jolliffe, Flavia (2002) Research in statistical education — planning of an international survey. MSOR Connections, 2 (2). pp. 13-15. ISSN 1473-4869 (Print), 2051-4220 (Online) (doi:

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As announced in the November 2000 issue of MathStats&OR [1], one of the projects supported by the Maths, Stats & OR Network funds is an international survey of research into pedagogic issues in statistics and OR. I am taking the lead on this and report here on the progress that has been made during the first year. A paper giving some background to the project and describing initial thinking on how it might be implemented was presented at the 53rd session of the International Statistical Institute in Seoul, Korea, in August 2001 in a session on The future of statistics education research [2].

It sounded easy. I considered that I was something of an expert on surveys having lectured on the topic for many years and having helped students and others who were doing surveys, particularly with the design of their questionnaires. Surely all I had to do was to draft a few questions, send them electronically to colleagues in statistical education who would be only to happy to respond, and summarise their responses? I should have learnt from my experience of advising all those students who thought that doing a survey was easy and to whom I had to explain that their ideas were too ambitious.

There are several inter-related stages in survey research and it is important to think about these before rushing into the collection of data. In the case of the survey in question, this planning stage revealed several challenges. Surveys are usually done for a purpose so even before planning how to do them, it is advisable to think about the final product and the dissemination of results. This is the route I followed.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] MSOR Connections is a journal of the Higher Education Academy covering Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research.
Uncontrolled Keywords: research, statistical education, survey techniques
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:00

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