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E-LEARNING IN DEMOGRAPHIC STATISTICS

Today’s teaching environment is propitious for designing instruments that enable university students to make use of e-learning. In particular, the area of Demographic Statistics is very suitable for the use of new technologies, as all the information used in imparting this subject is to be found on the websites of the various Institutes of Statistics. Moreover, very little software has been designed for the application of associated techniques, and so being able to use tools that apply these techniques automatically is a real advance for students who face this need. The present Communication describes the development of the teaching innovation project within the Innovation and Good Teaching Practice Programme, entitled "e-Learning of Demographic Techniques in Mortality Estimation" (UGR-10-24, 2011).

The material developed in this project is favourable to e-learning; the theoretical content and the different applications of demographic techniques to real mortality data are made available on the Internet. The webpage created contains, as well as the theory associated with each technique employed, automated practices and Flash-based video tutorials, with step-by-step descriptions of each practice and the necessary data. In particular, it describes the acquisition of data from Institutes of Statistics, the construction of tables of mortality, the deseasonalisation of real mortality data, the analysis of mortality among a population in the absence of a cause of death, the application of Arriaga’s method to analyse the contribution of age to changes in life expectancy, the application of the Heligman & Pollard function to adjust mortality quotients, and the projection of mortality tables using the Brass logit system.

All these aspects are compiled in the material described, intended to complement conventional classes, and thus facilitate comprehension of the different techniques available through the use of modern technological capabilities.