Statistics made alive
This paper examines briefly some of the problems of teaching statistics to agriculture students in the traditional manner. The current teaching has consisted of foundation courses on the statistical concepts at undergraduate level followed by a design and analysis of experiments course at postgraduate level. This is compared with a newer approach which comprises a change at both levels. With the traditional approach the students found it difficult to integrate the statistical concepts into their project work, and this undermined the quality of their research. The new approach concentrates on exploring the whole process of planning and implementing research projects and includes an intensive course in basic statistical concepts, with emphasis on critical thinking in problem solving. The paper ends with an evaluation of the impact of this approach at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and with plans for the future.
- Faculty of Agriculture