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Pages: 5469-5476
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

A CASE STUDY OF APPLIED STATISTICS EDUCATION IN AN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE DEGREE

A. Capilla

Polytechnic University of Valencia (SPAIN)
There is a growing need for professionals capable of identifying, analyzing, and providing scientific answers to issues directly related to environmental change and environmental problems. In order to address this need, many universities have increased the number of places offered on their environmental science programmes and specialist courses in recent years. The objective of this paper is to present a case study of applied statistics education in undergraduate environmental science studies at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (PUV), Spain. The PUV launched a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree in Environmental Science in 1997. The degree, which is run by the School of Civil Engineering, is interdisciplinary in both design and approach. The course content was designed in accordance with the guidelines set out by the university’s official programme, while the pedagogical approach and learning activities were developed to reflect recommendations made by mathematicians and statisticians over the past two decades as part of the reform movement in mathematics education. These recommendations include placing a greater emphasis on analyzing and interpreting data, increasing active participation by students, stimulating learning through real-world problem solving, and improving technology and communicating skills regarding data and chance. All the students that take the environmental science statistics course at the PUV have already studied calculus and algebra during their first-cycle degrees. Their background in statistics, however, ranges from no statistical experience whatsoever to basic skills acquired in an introductory statistics course (descriptive analysis and probability). The course was designed to prepare the students to use statistical thinking and reasoning, and provide them with the necessary skills to interpret and evaluate environmental data analyses. Concepts such as mathematical proof and calculation were given secondary priority. Derivations and hand calculations were replaced by the widespread use of statistical computing methods and software, and an emphasis was placed on the analysis of real data. Assessment and course evaluation procedures are also an important issue. The environmental science statistics course assesses performance on the basis of marks obtained in exams, class activities and laboratory tasks. Students are highly motivated and play an active part in classes. The connections with other degree subjects are established in accordance with the transversal approach needed to express educational objectives in terms of ‘competences’ and ‘learning outcomes’. The identification of these objectives is part of the process required to create an integrated higher education area in Europe.
@InProceedings{CAPILLA2014ACA,
author = {Capilla, A.},
title = {A CASE STUDY OF APPLIED STATISTICS EDUCATION IN AN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE DEGREE},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {5469-5476}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Capilla
TI - A CASE STUDY OF APPLIED STATISTICS EDUCATION IN AN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE DEGREE
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 5469
EP - 5476
ER -
A. Capilla (2014) A CASE STUDY OF APPLIED STATISTICS EDUCATION IN AN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE DEGREE, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 5469-5476.
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