• The higher education landscape, all over the world, is in constant flux. A changing external and internal environment is not a new phenomenon in higher education but is an inherent characteristic of the higher education system over centuries. The Association for Institutional Research (AIR) was established in the United States of America in 1959. The relevant burning issues confronting higher education institutions in the USA at that point in time, and which gave rise to the need for the establishment of such an association shows that while similar issues as those in the early nineteen sixties still exist, the strategies and solutions to the problems differ substantially from those of the past, mainly due to the advancement of technology.

  • This paper introduces the realization of the Bulgarian Management Training Institution Development Project in the Faculty of Economics, University of Veliko Turnovo: the aims and objectives, methodology, specific outcomes, and investigation of students' opinion. Developing statistical education for business-students, we focus on using the Internet as an agent of socialization of statistical information, specifically in the context of the Bulgarian situation. Analysis of teaching in the distance module "Statistics in Internet" shows that students do not have appropriate computer skills. We discuss importance of improving computer facilities and using computer based approach for training students in how to apply their statistical knowledge and literacy.

  • Training institutional research (IR) professionals in the use of statistics is a complex and challenging task. It is complicated by the need to develop a functional model of institutional research that includes its various roles. In addition, the specific statistical and analytical tools used to perform necessary tasks must be better understood. This is important due to the need for IR professionals to teach others to use and interpret statistical results. IR professionals have tended to use basic tools and have limited statistical sophistication. The specific tools or statistical methodologies that are important in IR should differ based on the situation of the individual and the academic background of the audience and should not be limited by lack of training in statistics. The work done by Terenzini (1993) further indicates that IR professionals need to broaden their approach to research by operating within three types of intelligence.

  • Professionals in the field of Institutional Research must use data analysis and statistical skills on a daily basis. Yet, professionals come to the field of Institutional Research with diverse backgrounds and differentiated knowledge of statistics. As a result, most professionals find themselves searching for review or refresher courses in data analysis and statistics. Thus, teaching a statistics course in six hours or fewer is the challenge. This paper will focus on the difficulties that are associated with teaching statistical content and skills in professional development settings to individuals with a wide range of statistical skills and abilities. The central tenet of the paper is that the art of teaching is what makes for effective training. Various pedagogical approaches designed to increase statistical understanding are explored and defined. Suggestions for sequencing and practical examples illustrating the use of statistics in Institutional Research will be given.

  • We live in changing times! The 21st century is fast becoming an age of assessment, of quality assurance - and of accountability. What does this all mean for the professional statistician? It means that potential clients need assurance of "professional competence". It also requires that this "professional competence", once achieved, is maintained in the light of advancements in both technical and analytical tools. This paper will illustrate the philosophical underpinning of the CPD process which will be implemented and used by the Royal Statistical Society as a vehicle to ensure the maintenance of professional standards within the statistical profession, in support of its professional status award of Chartered Statistician (CStat.). The paper will also seek to initiate and encourage a continuing rational debate between Academic Statisticians (who are increasingly being encouraged to generate commercial revenue for their universities) and practising commercial statisticians (who are increasingly finding academic developments in statistics irrelevant for their current needs).

  • As educators, we should not only aim to provide our students with technical skills, but should also help them develop life skills. In recent times there has been an increasing emphasis on communication skills, application skills and reporting skills, but we possibly have not yet sufficiently articulated the social issues associated with good data collection, analysis and reporting. We also need to demonstrate to the students, and through them to the community, the wide field of applicability of statistical techniques, and the need for viewing events from a numerate point of view (among others), in order to interpret what the events mean. There are many social issues that can and should be raised with our students, which can also be used to illustrate statistical techniques. Examples of this, particularly pertinent in South Africa, are issues such as HIV/AIDS, rights of women, etc. For example, HIV/AIDS can be used to discuss regression on indicator variables (HIV negative, HIV+, then later expand to symptomatic and non-symptomatic). This could then be combined with a few questions about whether the class thinks that mortality tables apply to them. This paper focuses on the questions: do statisticians have a social responsibility to students to include such issues among the technical issues, and what is the best way of doing this?

  • The computer's potential to improve the teaching of data analysis is now a well-known litany (Jones, 1997; Snell & Peterson, 1992; Velleman & Moore, 1998). It includes its power to illuminate key concepts through simulations and multiple-linked representations. It also includes its ability to free students up, at the appropriate time, from time-intensive tasks - from what NCTM's (1989) Standards referred to as the "narrow aspects of statistics" (p. 113). This potentially allows instruction to focus more attention on the processes of data analysis - exploring substantive questions of interest, searching for and interpreting patterns and trends in data, and communicating findings.

  • This book is the result of National Science Foundation-funded research that looked at the experiences of a set of science projects which use the Internet and offers an understanding of how the Internet can be used effectively by science teachers and students to support inquiry-based teaching and learning. The book emphasizes theoretical and critical perspectives, and is intended to raise questions about the goals of education and the ways that technology helps reach those goals and ways that it cannot. The theoretical perspective of inquiry-based teaching and learning in which the book is grounded is consistent with the current discipline-based curriculum standards and frameworks. The book begins by detailing the history and current practice of network science and extends the inquiry by examining discourse and data in depth. The second section examines the broader question of how the Internet should be used or not used to assist student learning. The author concludes that technology will not replace teachers; rather, the technology will provide teachers and students an overwhelming access to resources and an opportunity to pursue their own questions.

  • The school and classroom offer the best opportunities for students to practice becoming skilled participants in reflective online discussion. The role of the teacher in leading productive discussions is considered, and the ways in which online exchanges can support classroom discussion are discussed.

  • In the final part of a four-part series, the writers reflect on the ways in which teaching practices need to change if they are to take advantage of rapidly emerging technologies. They investigate what a classroom looks like and how student learning is widened and deepened when technology is integrated thoroughly into teaching and learning, and examine how schools or districts can support teachers in their integration of technology into teaching and learning practices.