Don Davis, professor of mathematics and statistics at Lakeland Community College, found health sciences students did not have strong knowledge of statistics concepts, an essential aspect of the healthcare field. Students were often intimidated by statistics, or needed additional help understanding statistical concepts.
Davis introduced Maple T.A. due to its ability to allow students to practice numerous versions of the same problem with its algorithmic question generation feature, and receive instant feedback for self-assessment.
Students are able to work on problems in the context of the healthcare field and perform statistical analysis simulated by actual clinical trials. They gain a stronger understanding of statistical concepts and are better equipped for success in their chosen field.
No other discipline is associated with statistics more than the medical field. It is difficult to read a newspaper or watch TV news broadcasts without seeing a reference to a medical study or health survey. But how are the studies created and interpreted? That is the focus of the Statistics for the Health Sciences course created by Don Davis, professor of mathematics and statistics at Lakeland Community College.
Many students begin their study of college mathematics with a general introductory statistics course. Even though such courses serve as a solid overture to statistics, they do not focus on the healthcare field. In the Statistics for the Health Sciences course, applications deal directly with clinical research, epidemiology, hematology and so on, immediately allowing students to see how statistics can directly affect them.
Because statistics is not a strong area for many health sciences students, they need additional help in learning and understanding statistics concepts. Prof. Davis chose Maplesoft’s online testing and assessment platform, Maple T.A., to aid them in their statistics course.
“Maple T.A. works great for students who sometimes feel intimidated by statistics, by providing immediate feedback,” said Davis. “It then gives them the opportunity to practice concepts they don’t quite grasp.” The algorithmic feature in Maple T.A. generates different versions of the same problem so students can practice, get immediate feedback, and then practice some more until they completely understand the concept. This provides a powerful learning and concept-reinforcement platform.
With Maple T.A., students can work on not only numerical and graphical descriptive statistics, but parameter estimation, hypothesis testing and nonparametric statistics that are all in the context of the healthcare field. “We can perform statistical analysis simulated by actual clinical trials.” Davis added. “This allows nurses and medical technicians to critically decipher and analyze published medical reports.”
Most students who enroll in the Statistics for the Health Sciences course become registered nurses; others become medical laboratory technologists, administrative medical office assistants, radiographers, respiratory therapists, sleep study technicians and surgical assistants.
“Using Maple T.A. serves as the ideal practice, exploration, testing and assessment tool for statistics in the health sciences,” concludes Davis. “It allows me to ask more detailed questions, and the practice exercises better prepare students for quizzes and tests, when compared to reviewing the material with pencil and paper.”
Contact Maplesoft to learn how Maple T.A. can be used in your classroom.