The Doctorate in Professional Practice (DProf) programme at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) provides a means for practitioners in a range of professions to undertake research, and achieve doctoral status, whilst maintaining their professional roles. The programme is generic, covering a wide range of professional backgrounds, though most are allied to the social sciences. Students on the programmes are generally mature individuals, senior in their fields, from across the world. They have significant expertise in their professional fields, but often have limited understanding of quantitative research processes, including the use of statistics. This deficit is addressed via a module in Quantitative Research delivered via a series of seven online seminars utilising meeting/webinar applications. Though the use of online technology has become commonplace since the advent of COVID19, its use as a means of delivering a series of discursive, problem-orientated statistics seminars for small groups of students is innovative. Also, learners are required to undertake specific reading and viewing of videos before each seminar so that they become acquainted with key points in advance. During seminars, students discuss specific topics, participate in problem-solving, and learn how to use software for statistical tests. Screen-sharing permits real-time observation of the use of software. At the end of the seminar series, students are provided with at least one individual online tutorial so that specific issues can be addressed. This Case Study examined learners’ views of the Quantitative Research module by means of dialogic interviews. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts indicated that the use of an online seminar series to deliver the module was viewed positively by learners. They particularly appreciated the social aspects of the seminars which helped to remove fears and encourage participation. Understanding was enhanced by viewing short videos before and after the seminars, and by activities during the sessions. This innovative way of teaching statistics appears to have been effective in equipping DProf candidates with the statistical knowledge and skills required to undertake their Part 2 research.
Recommended CitationDavies, Christine, Online seminars in statistics for doctoral students: A case study, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 18(2), 2021.