As we move into the last week of the course, I found myself wondering whether students have started to meet their personal goals by engaging with both the course material and each other. That made me wonder what those goals were, so I read through the survey comments from students as they started Passion Driven Statistics back in March. Equal proportions of students said that they 1) believe that this topic is important to learn; 2) that the course would be interesting and/or 3) that the topic is required for their job or for a job that they are seeking.
When asking what other reasons students had for enrolling, there were hundreds of different answers many that made me smile or chuckle to myself and even more that I found deeply inspiring. Here are just a few…
I’m trying to find myself!
I love statistics
I believe that understanding statistics provides a sound basis for good citizenship and civic engagement in this age of ‘big data’
I like the format (i.e. application of knowledge to problem solving)
I’d like to tell stories through statistics
Practice for my MBA stats course.
To see how Wesleyan teaches a MOOC
To build a startup
Develop skills needed to become a data scientist
Boredom with the high school curriculum
I have a licensed copy of Enterprise Guide that I am to evaluate for possible use inside my Company. There are several of my colleagues enrolled in the course and in addition to learning some statistics, I hope in the end to conduct my own survey of the suitability of SAS Enterprise Guide for our internal applications.
It’s FREE !!!
My on-ground academic program that I am enrolled in now does not have a good stats program with access to professors. I need extra help.
To examine, from first-hand experience, the pedagogy used in MOOCs by the instructor.
I’m an elected official and would love to be able to get more from public policy data.
My current job requires a lot of data analysis, and I haven’t formally studied statistics before.
I am an AP Statistics teacher and I want to learn more about statistics and find interesting ideas to bring in to the classroom.
I want to be able to evaluate what I am doing as a teacher, and what is going on in my elementary classroom, so that I can help my students to learn.
I have an MPH (Epidemiology) (2000). Have been an at-home mom raising 2 boys, may want to enter world of work using my degree, but need to relearn many things.
Comprehending data in new ways will help not only to serve me professionally, but creatively as well.
I love data!
Attended Wesleyan (‘91) and wish I had taken more technical courses (I was a COL major!)
Statistics can be taught from a number of different angles, and I’m excited to try ‘passion-driven’ statistics; I think it might be the most effective way for me to learn.
Fun and profit!
I work at a non-profit where we are trying to begin using data to inform our decisions - specifically, to be smarter about how we target constituents to gain more active followers who ultimately become donors. We don’t have a data analyst on the team, but I believe with smart data practices we can save time and energy by learning from our experiments and informing strategy moving forward. I just don’t know how to do it yet!
I work in the mental health field and encounter statistics frequently. I get frustrated by people who have data that “shows” a treatment or program works when I am working with families and youth for which the treatment/program is not working. I am hoping to understand better.
Well actually I did enroll in 76 courses. I am a civil servant statistician in France, so I’m not looking for a job or grades or any recognition of any kind. As a SAS user, I simply couldn’t resist this course. I really find the whole MOOC idea revolutionary. Really wish I was 15 yo today.
I really just want some experience actually working with data, particularly larger datasets. In classes, we might study 60-100 observations with 4-5 variables, but I’d like to practice working with more data.
Won a bet: winner picks choice course and selects loser’ courses to take.
I am a qualitative researcher and I would like to, at some point, be able to have a competent conversation regarding quantitative research…
To further enhance my career within the U.S. Census Bureau I want to learn how to use microdata.
I want to apply for a scholarship Bachelor of Statistics Science at the Ministry for my country.
I have dyscalculia and want to challenge myself. Math has always been very difficult for me. I dropped statistics twice in college, and I failed calculus. But I love reading about math and I want to understand it. Statistics will also be useful in my job.
I am a nurse midwife. It is important for me to know about statistics and how research is done. If I want to have a place on the podium with physicians and hospital administrators, then I need to know what it is I am talking about in this age of evidence based medicine.
I have taken a stats class before (biostats) but it was terribly dry, devoid of any passion, and as a result I feel like I retained very little. I am a health scientist and would like to be able to do more analysis myself and be able to rely less on epidemiologists/statisticians I work with.
I lack knowledge in Statistics and I am aware that this is absolutely important to become a researcher, which I dream about.
I have always been afraid of statistics. It just feels like a good time to get over it.
I have taken several stats classes in my life and this information has never stuck in my brain. I’m hoping that learning stats around a project will help me internalize the knowledge.
Extra Credit for school
My wife is currently enrolled in a PhD program with a strong Statistics component, and I would like to be able to better understand and discuss this portion of her studies with her.
As a boost for my “Odyssey” in finding a job.
I am a passionate woman and I used to date a Biostatistician.
I would like to gauge my level of interest in statistics as I decide what area to pursue next in my career.
I am a college graduate, having finished my last undergraduate finals the previous week. I intend to continue learning, to avoid falling into the malaise that often grips people in the years after they “finish” their education - if we accept that education can really be finished. I signed up for this class because I intend to start my post-college life off in the right way; by deciding that I will never be “done” learning and will always be ready to experience and understand more.
My boss told me to do it.
I’m a nerd :)