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This is a session of Topic 7: Technology in Statistics education             Full topic list

(Friday 7th, 10:30-12:30)

Building and using databases for student analysis



Instruction and research in many areas focuses upon the analysis of raw data obtained from databases. Sources of these databases are surveys, censuses, time records, gene expression data banks, and many other. For example, Citibase, UNCDB or FAOStats for economic data. Queries and selecting the data needed for analysis require some training in the use of the database and may not be easy for students of Statistics at some level. Some instructors may choose to build their own databases from data collected for their research or from those publicly available databases, and make these databases more user-friendly and specific to the topic of the class. For example, an instructor may create and maintain a database containing specific data for different countries in one table, nationality and other characteristics of major scientific discoveries in another table, and characteristics of all students, including nationality, in the department classes in yet another table, and link all those through the database. Students can then make queries to obtain data for their analysis. They may be able to do the analysis online, or they may have to download the data for analysis in a statistics software package.

This session will bring together those who have had experience in using any of the publicly available databases for statistical analysis by students, and those that have built their own databases for the same purposes. Possible topics are:
  • Benefits and costs of using publicly available databases versus using an instructor-specific database.
  • Effects on student learning of statistical concepts when using publicly available versus instructor-specific databases.
  • Hurdles and advantages of maintaining an instructor’s specific database current and interesting for a diversity of students over the years.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of downloading database data and analyzing it with statistical software versus directly online.


PaperTitlePresenter(s) / Author(s)
7A1At the intersection of Statistics and culturally relevant pedagogy: potential and potential challenges of learning Statistics through socal activismNoel Enyedy (United States)
Shiuli Mukhopadhyay
Joshua Danish
7A2Towards statistical thinking: making real data realRobert Gould (United States)
Christina Palmer (United States)
Frauke Kreuter
7A3Teaching Statistics using a real-time on-line database created by studentsCarl Lee (United States)
Felix Famoye
7A4Use of web-based public databases in statistics courses: experiences and challengesLea Bregar (Slovenia)
Irena Ograjenšek
Mojca Bavdaz