Probing statistics

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    Statistics crept into this week’s agenda at Uni - fun! To be fair the prospect of statistics sounds worse than it is likely meant to be. Numbers sound somewhat frightening to most people and statistics just a downright nightmare. Personally, I’m not big on numbers, never have been, even though, ironically, they dictate my workload 5 days a week, 260 days a year - at my job the end game is actually all about numbers, be them increasing market share or sales revenue.

    At Uni it’s not so much about numbers but rather the interpretation of statistical data in research - measures of dispersion and variability in data, mean, median, mode, standard deviation - and all that jazz. Not frightening in principle (although perhaps a bit dull even if admittedly quite useful), but I will have to wait and see how it all pans out. Not that it stopped a full 15 minutes of Q&A at the end of the lecture - something of an overkill. I may be biased, but Sport Management students seem so much more relaxed than your ‘average’ Management student. But perhaps that’s just me.

    We’re set to have a full month of lectures on statistics and two additional weekend workshops - so the reader must not judge me for thinking the topic will get old fairly quickly. Weekend workshops are optional and I’ve heard from full time students who have taken the module in the autumn term that they are not particularly helpful for the exam. But alas I will give them the benefit of the doubt and head down to Uni next Saturday morning. Call it commitment if you must, I will attribute it to a certain (morbid) curiosity.

    Morbid because the level of engagement achieved in any one lecture is directly related to the quality of the lecturer, and sadly - although also quite surprisingly - the majority of lecturers this term have left something to be desired for. They’re not necessarily bad professionals, they’re just clearly not scholars. These weekend workshops can therefore literally constitute a ‘waste of time’; time which would be arguably better spent ploughing through the two 500+ page textbooks, both of which I’m somewhat struggling to make a dent.

    I’m actually teetering on the verge of inferring a certain questionable standard of the programme, something which seemed unfathomable last term and even at the start of January. It’d be interesting to apply theory to practice and run a quantitative survey with students on the quality of lecturers of the Sport Management degree. Utilising a Likert scale, calculate the standard deviation to assess the calibre of lecturers.

    Or is that being overly critical? We as students get assessed, surely the University would appreciate some feedback as well, particularly if it’s employing theory studied in the classroom?


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