This Open Learning Environment unit of study is targeted at students undertaking a research degree. The development of a design is crucial for the scientific and statistical validity of research in the life sciences. These are needed for a range of situations from controlled laboratory studies where we are comparing specific drug treatments to field-based studies where we are surveying a particular bird species. No matter the context there are fundamental concepts common to all types of designs that all life scientists should know, and these form the basis for deeper knowledge. This unit will initially reinforce these fundamental concepts with a focus on both laboratory and field research with an emphasis on experimental and sampling designs. You will learn the vocabulary used in designing experiments and how this relates to their scientific and statistical validity. Using a series of published papers and ongoing research projects you will engage with the different types of designs and when and why they are used. Online modules and optional workshops will offer you the opportunity to gain experience in designing experiments and analysing the datasets they generate. By doing this unit you will develop the ability to describe and critique the key features of sampling and experimental designs, analyse the data they generate and use this knowledge to generate your own designs in your future career.
2hr optional workshops/week, 1 x 3hr compulsory workshop in week 4, online material
4 x online quizzes (12.5% each, total 50%), 1 x presentation (25%), 1 x group written assignment (25%)
It is expected students have had exposure to introductory statistics from prior learning.