Issues Around Creating a Reusable Learning Object to Support Statistics Teaching


  • Mollie Gilchrist


Reusable learning object, Box and whisker plot, Boxplots, Interprofessional learning


Although our health professional students have some experience of simple charts, such as pie and bar, and some intuition of histograms, they do not appear to have much knowledge or understanding about box and whisker plots and their relation to the data they are describing or compared to histograms. The boxplot is a versatile charting tool, useful for presenting data from surveys and any other projects, where a reasonable quantity of data has been collected. An opportunity arose to create a reusable learning object (RLO) to describe, explore, and interpret boxplots, especially in relation to their data and summary statistics. Examples included interprofessional learning, as this was the main remit of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, from which funding was obtained. The RLO is aimed at both undergraduate and post‑graduate HP students, who would be able to use the resource flexibly, to augment their limited exposure to statistical techniques, and add to their appreciation of IP learning and working. The RLO includes animation and opportunities for students to interact with the resource. Existing, available 'real' data, collected as part of research projects concerning (IP) learning, as well as generated data, is used as illustrative material. This paper explores some of the issues raised during the creation of the RLO, and presents limited feedback from users. Issues raised include the working of the project team, delivery platform, copyright and intellectual property rights and software incompatibilities. To date, feedback from colleagues and students has been very positive and has encouraged further improvements. The creation of this RLO has been a longer and more time‑consuming experience than anticipated, and has highlighted the importance of a team approach, with constant reviewing. It will be interesting to see how the RLO will be used, and usage will be evaluated in the future.



1 Dec 2007