A Self-learning Platform of Statistical Programming for Public Health Students Outside Classroom
Ka Chun Chong and Katherine Min Jia
A number of the courses in Public Health is spent on teaching the basic theory supplemented with several tutorials, and there is a lack of demonstrations and discussions on applying statistical tools in healthcare science evaluations. Our teaching team has recently developed a self-learning platform of statistical programming for public health students i.e. http://micromodule17.comuf.com/. The platform aims to introduce the basic knowledge of using statistical software on students' research and to introduce the principles of health policy and healthcare management.
The platform includes teachings for two major programs: Statistical Analysis System (SAS) software and Vensim which are freely available to every students. Each of the flipped classrooms consists of five to seven micro-modules. The micro-module first describes the concepts, uses as well as the syntax of each statistical theory. This is followed by the respective programming demonstration as a practical application on the software.
Interim and final evaluations have been conducted for the flipped classrooms. Overall, students indicated the contents are simple and easy to understand, with a clear layout. After watching the online video, they can understand statistical concepts and how to apply the skills using the software. Yet weaknesses include some diagrams being too vague and some examples being difficult. It is expected that students can learn the materials outside classroom and leave more time for in-class discussions, thus to bridge the gap between disciplines of statistics and public health practice.