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Introducing statistics

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: M140
  • Level: 1
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Student reviews

To say M140 was a walk in the park would be a slight exaggeration, and is in no way intended to be disrespectful to a highly successful presentation; which I did feel was reasonably accessible to a wide range of student backgrounds. On reflection, there were many useful elements of practical use like the normal distribution, standard deviation and probability theories which were not only interesting in and of themselves but also provided a basis for future advancement at OU level 2.

The end-of-module assessment was highly enjoyable, particularly as it contained material relevant to my own past-time interests which served to make the exercises very meaningful. Also, the tutor-marked assignments covered a wide range of topics that had practical everyday significance such as hypothesis testing covering a basic sign test and other more sophisticated methods. You don't have to be a maths genius to pass but I would like to say it would be of value to someone who is able to transfer any M140 learning materials into everyday practical use.

If you struggle with some elements of the coursework, for example the computer work, this ought not to be a barrier to gaining a decent final grade. Finally, may I take this opportunity to thank all the coursework team of M140 for providing a thoroughly successful, enjoyable and respectable module.

John Graham Owen

Course starting: February 2019

Review posted: March 2020

If you have never been introduced to statistical ideas before and are looking to study statistics, this module is essential and provides a strong foundation.

If you are familiar with statistical ideas from previous studies and are not following a pathway where M140 is compulsory, this module may not be worth your time.

Despite some of the interesting ideas and contexts introduced, I found this module quite boring. The assessments were very easy and I did not gain much satisfaction from completing them. As an introductory OU level 1 module, it does not assume more than a basic knowledge of mathematics (e.g algebra and percentages).

Analysing data (M248) feels like the real introduction to statistics, although some may argue that the two modules differ significantly in their goals. Ideas I found confusing in M140 were presented more clearly in M248, and I can't help but feel that the simplification in M140 actually made things worse.

Course starting: February 2018

Review posted: January 2019

This is a great introduction to statistics. The material was well written and I would like to give the mini video-casts a mention as I found them an excellent resource which really helped with the tutor-marked assessments.

The teaching was also excellent with great advice and support.

If you're preparing to do this module then I'd take a quick look at conditional probability, normal distribution and the many different types of statistical tests (z-test, chi-square test, t-test etc).

In general a positive experience.

David Shaw

Course starting: February 2018

Review posted: November 2018

This was an ok module but not as well taught, in my opinion as A level stats. Having done A level stats 20 years ago I found this quite an easy module.

Course starting: January 2017

Review posted: August 2018

I enjoyed M140. It's definitely manageable even if you're not a maths genius.

Make sure you check the material before the module really starts off to find out if you have to revise some basics.

Getting familiar with the statistics mode of my calculator saved me a lot of time. There are many useful tutorials for the Casio fx-83ES on Youtube.

This module seems to be a good basis for B292 as well.

M140 is not only useful for a degree. To this day I profit from having studied the module.

Course starting: January 2015

Review posted: September 2016

Overall, a highly interesting and colourful module with a variety of real world applications of the material detailed in the text ranging from applications of probability to clinical trials. The level of maths involved was generally simple - not much beyond basic arithmetic and plugging numbers into standard formulae. The structure of assessment was not particularly onerous either - a variety of short TMAs and iCMAs, followed by a slightly longer EMA. The standard computer application for the module - Minitab - was also easy enough to use and clear in its presentation. Overall, I would recommend this module for those less confident in mathematics, as it is considerably less mathematically rigorous than MST124 and MST125.

Michael MacKay

Course starting: February 2014

Review posted: November 2014

This is an enjoyable and colourful module. The books introduce lifelike challenges, with the approaches and tools introduced at a bearable pace. There are themes and problems to solve, rather than just abstract formulas to learn. There's also a practical experiment to put your theory into practice. It's far from dry.

M140 was fresh out when I studied it. Naturally there were a few mishaps in the materials, which will have been ironed out now. There was a good choice of face-to-face and online tutorials plus bite-sized videos to supplement the books.

Only two minor grouches.
(1) The spreading of datasets and materials across the site when you should be able to pick up everything you need (TMA files, EMA files and licence keys) from one folder in one download. A good site design re-vamp would avoid the frustration of hunting around.
(2) The course handbook repeats sections of the books, rather than synthesises the material. An opportunity to provide a Unit Revision helper was missed here.

If you want to dip your toes in the water with statistical tools and concepts, I recommend M140, as it requires no prior statistical experience - just your standard maths.

Richard Johns

Course starting: October 2013

Review posted: September 2014

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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