Monthly Archives: October 2014

Data to Insight – MOOC with FREE access

There is still time to signup to the FutureLearn Data to Insight MOOC. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who wants to start an introduction to data handling.

The course is being facilitated by the Department of Statistics at The University of Auckland, New Zealand, below you can find a brief introduction from Professor Chris Wild who is based in the department and is the lead educator for Data to Insight.

Note that while the educators and facilitators are based in New Zealand the FutureLearn MOOC is based in the UK where most of the content is hosted.


With the world of data (big and otherwise) growing explosively, statistics education has to find ways to get much further, much faster.

By agreeing to produce a statistics MOOC, my university has given me the space and technical support to produce a prototype for introductory statistics that takes up the challenge of finding ways for getting much further into data much faster. The course, called “Data to Insight” launched on the UK’s FutureLearn platform 10 days ago.

Course Details

Most of the content is delivered in 42 five-minute videos. The course has a 8-week, “3 hours a week” structure and each week features just 30-minutes of instructional video. Within a few days, students are launched into a 10,000-observation, 70-variable dataset derived from a large observational health study (NHANES) and a dataset derived from Gapminder using 30 country-level indicators of over the last 50 years.

There are a large number of new ideas and approaches prototyped in this course and one of the main audiences I want to reach with them is other tertiary (university and college) teachers of statistics and research methods.

To make it easy for you to see quickly what has been done and how, I’ve made a combined course outline/index page which lets you bypass the normal course layout and jump right to particular movies.

Access to the resources can be secured up until 30 November so start the course soon, here: futurelearn.com/courses/data-to-insight

Chris Wild, Department of Statistics, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

John Hooper Medal for Statistics 2014

This week CensusAtSchool.ie published results from their 2013/2014 questionnaire, revealing some key findings at an event to publicise the John Hooper Medal for Statistics 2014.

The John Hooper Medal for Statistics, now in its fourth year is awarded by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in Ireland who are a supporter of the CensusAtSchool.ie project. Every year thousands of students take part and this year was no exception…read more and see a list of all the winners at the CSO website.

Central Statistics Office

CensusAtSchool 2014/2015 Questionnaire Live

The ICSE this week launches the 2014-2015 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire. If you are a teacher based in the UK why not take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources to help improve mathematics, statistics and data handling in your school.

Getting Started

Want to try it out before you use the resource with your class? Follow these simple steps:

Want to know more…read on.

What is CensusAtSchool

Initially, when conceived in 1999 CensusAtSchool was run in cooperation with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which is responsible for the adult census. The aim was for each school class to be used as an illustrative population for a census. The same principles apply to the class as to the general population. As they were collected, data was added to a national database.

CensusAtSchool now produces a new survey every year for school aged learners to complete, that contains between 10 and 20 questions divided into categories – about the children themselves, their households and their schools. The distribution of questionnaires, the receipt of summary spreadsheets of the returns, cross-curricular worksheets for use in the classroom and the national database of pupils’ responses are all administered online.

It’s all about data handling

CensusAtSchool provides the opportunity to collect real data that excites an individual to investigate and enquire further, this is especially true when it is personal data that brings to life a story one has a personal connection with. Every academic year a new online survey is produced for 11-16 year old children that allows them to collect their real data via some core questions and a series of topical or themed questions.

The planning and collection of data by pupils has obvious long-lasting effects, multiple subjects are incorporated and topic boundaries crossed while integrating ICT and data handling that has real benefits throughout many curriculum activities, this is amplified further when data is analysed, discussed and disseminated.

You can visit the site at CensusAtSchool.org.uk. Did we mention we have internationalpartners running the project in New Zealand, the USA, Ireland, Korea and Japan? Take a look here.