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Stanford online course on statistics and medicine teaches students worldwide how to interpret data

12885-statistics_newsThis summer, nearly 16,000 students are learning how to interpret data and analyze provocative medical questions through Stanford's free online course “Statistics in Medicine."

The nine-week course is being offered through the university's open-source platform, OpenEdX. A story published yesterday in Stanford Report offers a closer look at the format of the class and how it's attracting students across the world. Mandy Erickson writes:

Early mornings, while her family sleeps, Tracy Womack logs on to her computer and watches Kristin Sainani, a clinical assistant professor at Stanford School of Medicine, explain the finer points of statistical methodology.

The middle school math teacher in Santa Barbara, Calif., is taking Statistics in Medicine, a free massive open online course, or MOOC, "because I want to be a learner," she wrote in an email. "I like math, so this is fun for me."

Across the Pacific Ocean, in Tokyo, Takayuki Oguri is expecting the MOOC to improve the quality of his work as a clinical research associate, which requires him to "design, monitor, record and report clinical study," and statistics directly influences the quality of his reports, he wrote. "That's why I take this course."

Previously: Can massive open online courses change health care? and Stanford offers free “Statistics in Medicine” course, starting June 11
Photo by Miranda Mead

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