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Title: Online documentation for a biostatistics course using modern technology
Author: Cruz, J. P.
Freitas, A.
Keywords: Online documentation based learning
Sphinx markup system
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: ICERI2021
Abstract: In the last three years, the first author has been producing an online documentation to be applied on a Biostatistics course in a public university, in order to make the study of this subject more dynamic. The target students come from Biology, Geology and Biology, and Marine Sciences degrees. The main goal is to increase the study motivation outside classes offering better study support and providing a means to easily and quickly share new explanations online about subjects when certain frequently asked questions arise. This online material comes to complement traditional paper material such as powerpoint prints and book of exercises. Several sections of this online documentation have been improved and continuously updated with particular focus on online exercises, and more explanations in conceptual parts. For instance, during the last semester of classes (February-June/2021), several parts of a section titled "How to use..." and related to instructions to execute simple exploratory statistical analysis using graphical calculators and R language (also used as a calculator), were incorporated and improved. In the last class semester, and right at the beginning and for a total of 180 students, the online documentation was made available in a website ( In order to evaluate the success of this initiative among students, an anonymous inquiry was carried out after final grades have been released. Due to the reduced number of responses (28 students), a semi-structure interview were also carried out a few students which were selected for claiming that they collected the document online. A important conclusion is that the online documentation should continue but also be improved. Another goal was to keep a low time cost and effort for the production of the online documentation. We have used Sphinx markup system that has proved its value in the community of Python programming language. In fact, an huge documentation of scientific computer libraries has been written online in this way. As for other markup systems, there is the possibility of producing documentation for printing with little extra effort.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.21125/iceri.2021.1035
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Appears in Collections:CIDMA - Comunicações
OGTCG - Comunicações

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