Do Clinical and Translational Science Graduate Students Understand Linear Regression? Development and Early Validation of the REGRESS Quiz

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Abstract

Introduction: Although regression is widely used for reading and publishing in the medical literature, no instruments were previously available to assess students' understanding. The goal of this study was to design and assess such an instrument for graduate students in Clinical and Translational Science and Public Health. Methods: A 27-item REsearch on Global Regression Expectations in StatisticS (REGRESS) quiz was developed through an iterative process. Consenting students taking a course on linear regression in a Clinical and Translational Science program completed the quiz pre- and postcourse. Student results were compared to practicing statisticians with a master's or doctoral degree in statistics or a closely related field. Results: Fifty-two students responded precourse, 59 postcourse , and 22 practicing statisticians completed the quiz. The mean (SD) score was 9.3 (4.3) for students precourse and 19.0 (3.5) postcourse (P < 0.001). Postcourse students had similar results to practicing statisticians (mean (SD) of 20.1(3.5); P = 0.21). Students also showed significant improvement pre/postcourse in each of six domain areas (P < 0.001). The REGRESS quiz was internally reliable (Cronbach's alpha 0.89). Conclusion: The initial validation is quite promising with statistically significant and meaningful differences across time and study populations. Further work is needed to validate the quiz across multiple institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-451
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Translational Science
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013

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Linear regression
Linear Models
Statistics
Students
Time and Motion Studies
Public health
Reading
Public Health
Research
Population

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Evaluation
  • Statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Introduction: Although regression is widely used for reading and publishing in the medical literature, no instruments were previously available to assess students' understanding. The goal of this study was to design and assess such an instrument for graduate students in Clinical and Translational Science and Public Health. Methods: A 27-item REsearch on Global Regression Expectations in StatisticS (REGRESS) quiz was developed through an iterative process. Consenting students taking a course on linear regression in a Clinical and Translational Science program completed the quiz pre- and postcourse. Student results were compared to practicing statisticians with a master's or doctoral degree in statistics or a closely related field. Results: Fifty-two students responded precourse, 59 postcourse , and 22 practicing statisticians completed the quiz. The mean (SD) score was 9.3 (4.3) for students precourse and 19.0 (3.5) postcourse (P < 0.001). Postcourse students had similar results to practicing statisticians (mean (SD) of 20.1(3.5); P = 0.21). Students also showed significant improvement pre/postcourse in each of six domain areas (P < 0.001). The REGRESS quiz was internally reliable (Cronbach's alpha 0.89). Conclusion: The initial validation is quite promising with statistically significant and meaningful differences across time and study populations. Further work is needed to validate the quiz across multiple institutions.",
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