Teaching Medical Statistics Over the Internet
Rachael Knight (Royal Women’s Hospital, Australia), Kate Whittington (University of Brisol, UK), W. Chris L. Ford (University of Bristol, UK) and Julian M. Jenkins (University of Bristol, UK)
Copyright: © 2009
The potential for computers to assist learning has been recognised for many years (Jenkins, 1997), with reproductive medicine benefiting greatly from Internet technology (Jenkins, 1999). Following a detailed survey of information technology facilities and skills for postgraduate education (Draycott, 1999), a pilot Internet training programme in reproductive medicine demonstrated effective methods to deliver online teaching (Jenkins, 2001). Based on this experience, in 2001 the Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the University of Bristol, U.K. launched a postgraduate masters course in human reproduction and development, delivered principally over the Internet (Jenkins, 2002). This course has been under continuous evaluation and development since its launch, refining the application of learning technology to most appropriately meet students’ needs (Cahill, 2003). A particularly challenging module of the course considers research methods and statistics. This module was independently evaluated from both a student and tutor perspective, with the objective of identifying learning priorities and optimal educational methodology. This article presents strengths and weaknesses of delivering statistics education online, considering how best to develop this in the future.