Coding club - a peer-to-peer learning environment to surmount statistics anxiety and code fear
Team Members: Isla Myers-Smith, Christopher Lucas, Kyle Dexter, Albert Phillimore, Christina Coakley, Gergana Daskalova, John Godlee, Haydn Thomas, Sandra Angers-Blondin, Pedro Miranda, Samuel Kellerhals, Claudia van den Berg
Our proposed innovation – Coding Club (https://ourcodingclub.github.io/) – is a peer-to-peer initiative aiming to advance quantitative skills among students and researchers by combining 20 student-led workshops and an interactive online learning platform to maximise educational benefit and audience reach. In particular, we are committed to providing accessible support in attaining statistics and programming fluency, and to reducing statistics anxiety – the worry about a lack of quantitative skills – and code fear – the fear of programming.
Undergraduate, postgraduate students, and staff will collaborate to teach their peers, develop a positive learning community, and build cross-disciplinary links. Peer instructors will develop online materials and build an interactive open access platform for distance learning.
Coding Club will provide students and researchers with the appropriate statistical and programming skills for their future careers in business, consulting, or academia. Coding Club will advance knowledge in the programming language R, which is the most widely-used tool for ecological analysis, and is also easily transferable to other disciplines. Coding Club will allow students and researchers to tailor their quantitative training to the skillsets and level they want to obtain in a way that traditional training courses cannot. Statistics anxiety and code fear are especially prevalent among women and minorities, an issue we will address by encouraging wide participation and teamwork between individuals from different backgrounds, nationalities, and career stages.
The emphasis of Coding Club will be on acquiring skills in a supportive environment and on developing life-long learning, so that students can progress with their quantitative education beyond their degrees.