cod. 1004402

Academic year 2020/21
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Statistica (SECS-S/01)
Discipline per le competenze professionali
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understading
The course aims at providing knowledge and comprehension skills of statistical tests and analyses. The knowledge not only of basic statistics but also of statistical analyses typical of biotechnology will give students the possibility to comprehend when and how to apply such tests and analyses as well as to interpret appropriately studies and papers including statistical applications.

Applying knowledge and understading
The skills provided within the course will enable students to organize concretely experimental data and to choose the appropriate statistical test. Such a capacity will make students able to use applied statistical packages. Students will be able to use their learned skills to write popular and scientific reports, supporting their biological, medical, or genetic hypotheses with appropriate statistical methodologies and providing a correct interpretation of the results.

Making judgements
The skills students will learn during the course will allow them to form an informed opinion on the potentialities and strengths of the various statistical tests, on the effects of possible wrong choices and evaluations as well as on the degree of reliability of statistical analyses reported on the scientific literature.

Communication skills
The students will have to show ability in supporting their experimental works and studies with appropriate statistical analyses. They will have to prove their skills of communicating others, in a clear and consistent way, the correct interpretation of the results of such analyses, comprehensible even to a non-specialist audience.

Learning skills
The students will have to show the capacity to go beyond the methodologies learned during the course, identifying the quantitative contexts in which more complex and more sophisticated statistical analyses are required. They will have to show an individual and autonomous way of comprehension and application of such new methods.


Students are expected to be familiar with the basic methodologies of the descriptive statistics, from graphic and table presentation of data to the calculation of basic indicators, besides knowledge of some key theoretical distributions such as Binomial, Poisson and Normal.

Course unit content

The course deals with the most useful and applied statistics in biotechnologic studies, both parametric (t test, ANOVA, linear regression) and non parametric tests (Pearson chi square, Mann-Whitney, McNemar, Kolomogorov-Smirnov). Attention is also devoted to some multivariate methods.

Full programme

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L. Soliani (2015) Statistica di base. Piccin, Padova.

Teaching methods

This year, the teaching method will depend on the general health situation, changing from the traditional face-to-face method to online streaming or mixed methodology.
The lectures will be delivered with a hybrid methodology, with traditional face-to-face lecture associated with live synchronous streaming. The course is structured in lectures on different statistical topics. Some practical lectures will address students to learn the use of a freeware statistical package such as PAleontological STatistics:
Open discussion and exchange of ideas between students and the teacher is greatly welcome.
The slides used in the lectures will be available online on the course website (on the Elly platform). They will be uploaded every two weeks, and must be considered an essential part of the teaching material. To download the whole material and videos, students should be registered online.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment method adopted is a written examination. The questions will have the aim of evaluating, first of all, both the knowledge and understanding of the different theoretical topics treated within the course and its application through the interpretation of graphical-statistical outputs provided for the examination. Independent and personal judgement will be evaluated through the comments provided by the student to support his choice of the test (or analysis) more appropriate for a specific research hypothesis. Evaluation of communication skills will be based on the ability to express clear concepts and considerations on experimental and statistical issues, on synthesizing skills, and on the use of an appropriate terminology. Finally, learning skills will be demonstrated through the acquisition of satisfactory levels of personal interpretation, reasoning and independent elaboration of statistical concepts and methodologies.
For all these reasons, the questions have no fixed score, and an overall evaluation based on the principles above described.
However, in case of persistence of the epidemics, it will be necessary to shift to an online method of evaluation. In particular, the final evaluation will be carried out through a multiple choice test. The test will be 25 minutes long and will include 8 questions, characterized by different scores. The questions might require the use of a calculator.
Further and more detailed instructions on the online evaluation method will be available prior to each exam session.

Other information

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