Effective Strategies for Teaching Statistics to Non-Specialists

Brief Description

This project aims to develop a digital case-study and related learning resources for use within core statistical analysis papers. These papers are common across a range of university courses, but many students approach such classes with trepidation and often fail to see the relevance to their future careers. The development of resources will occur within a framework involving investigating, implementing and assessing strategies for effectively teaching statistics to non-specialists. The resources developed will provide practical, relevant examples aimed at improving student engagement, satisfaction and achievement. Inquiry-based learning will be used as a theoretical basis for the development of the learning resources. Material will come from real-life examples, and draw on links with external contacts such as alumni and businesses. The learning resources developed in this project will be digital and will include short videos (using tools such as Mediasite) and statistical software. The project aims to appeal to students’ curiosity whilst they are learning about statistical concepts, students, thereby developing improved statistical analytical abilities and the confidence to apply these tools in practice. The effectiveness of the project will be assessed through student and staff feedback.

Team members, their areas and roles

  1. Sarah Marshall (project leader) – development of resources, collecting student feedback and presenting findings.
  2. Murray Black – assistance with identification and development of external contacts and advisor on the use of inquiry-based learning.
  3. Peter Maclaren – academic advisor from the Centre for Learning and Teaching.


Supported by a grant from AUT’s Learning and Teaching Development Fund.  The grant includes Center for Learning and Teaching Digital Media time and Learning and Teaching Technology Enablers support.


Project leader – Dr Sarah Marshall sarah.marshall@aut.ac.nz