A European colleague is doing a session on statistics for advocacy at a national library conference and asked for my ideas. Here is my spontaneous response:
Thanks for your letter. I agree with you: 90 mins. is too short for including a hands-on session. But much can be done by preparing (or finding) materials that participants can study afterwards (at home or in their libraries) – and just introducing them at the session. I have not tried to look for instruction or motivation videos on library stats at YouTube – but maybe there are some?
Here in Oslo we are now starting to produce instruction videos – looks like a very useful approach (good discussion at HASTAC about flipped classrooms). First effort here:
- http://vimeo.com/11549238 – but we now use Adobe Connect, which works better.
- More about CTT here http://samstat.wordpress.com/ctt/ – This is the topic where I’ve got most stuff in English.
I would basically treat a 90 min event as a “door-opener” or “quick tour of library statistics” (+ Q&A) : a combination of consciousness-raising, one or two brief cases, pointing to and demonstrating one or two (not too many) good tools for beginners, showing that there are lively discussions (Ray Lyons is good).
A practical habit
Statistics is not a collection of facts, knowledge or fixed methods – it is a set of tools, a way of reasoning, and a practical habit (which professionals increasingly will need in their daily lives). The research methodology approach – which most statistics courses follow – is 90% irrelevant.
You may of course use all my materials – IFLA based or otherwise. It’s all CC. We did a three day course for library practitioners a couple of weeks ago and a three week (!) course some months ago. The materials (in Norwegian of course) are available here
- (3 days) https://sites.google.com/site/statistikkipraksis/
- (3 weeks) https://sites.google.com/site/statistikkipraksis/home/undervisning/sip
[Added: We hope to do a SFA course in Uganda next June, and I plan to translate / rework parts of these materials into English in the spring]
See also Plinius Data:
with country links to the right.
I am also experimenting with making my courses for librarians much more visual (graphs and infographics rather than tables and numerical parameters) – and feel that is a good way to go.