A blog on statistics, methods, philosophy of science, and open science. Understanding 20% of statistics will improve 80% of your inferences.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Improving Your Statistical Inferences Coursera course

I’m really excited to be able to announce my “Improving Your Statistical Inferences” Coursera course. It’s a free massive open online course (MOOC) consisting of 22 videos, 10 assignments, 7 weekly exams, and a final exam. All course materials are freely available, and you can start whenever you want.

In this course, I try to teach all the stuff I wish I had learned when I was a student. It includes the basics (e.g., how to interpret p-values, what likelihoods and Bayesian statistics are, how to control error rates or calculate effect sizes) to what I think should also be the basics (e.g., equivalence testing, the positive predictive value, sequential analyses, p-curve analysis, open science). The hands on assignments will make sure you don’t just hear about these things, but know how to use them.

My hope is that busy scholars who want to learn about these things now have a convenient and efficient way to do so. I’ve taught many workshops, but there is only so much you can teach in one or two days. Moreover, most senior researchers don’t even have a single day to spare for education. When I teach PhD students about new methods, their supervisors often respond by saying ‘I've never heard of that, I don't think we need it’. It would be great if everyone has the time to watch some of my videos while doing the ironing, chopping vegetables, or doing the dishes (these are the times I myself watch Coursera videos), and see the need to change some research practices.

This content was tried out and developed over the last 4 years in lectures and workshops for hundreds of graduate students around the world – thank you all for your questions and feedback! Recording these videos was made possible by a grant from by the 4TU Centre for Engineering Education at the recording studio of the TU Eindhoven (if you need a great person to edit your videos, contact Tove Elfferich). The assignments were tested by Moritz Körber, Jill Jacobson, Hanne Melgård Watkins, and around 50 beta-testers who tried out the course in the last few weeks (special shout-out to Lilian Jans-Beken, the first person to complete the entire course!). I really enjoy seeing the positive feedback

Tim van der Zee helped with creating exam questions, and Hanne Duisterwinkel at the TU Eindhoven helped with all formalities. Thanks so much to all of you for your help.

This course is brand new – if you follow it, feel free to send feedback and suggestions for improvement.

I hope you enjoy the course.