UCL Changemakers


Visualising Statistics

This project aimed to create an interactive online tool to help students visualise statistical theory and gain a deeper understanding of it.

28 July 2021

What did you want to achieve in this project? 

The aim of this project was to create an interactive online tool that will help students visualise statistical theory to promote a deeper understanding of it, as well as show how this theory is implemented to analyse data. Stats students need to be fluent not only in statistical theory but also uin advanced statistical software, and these skills tend to be taught in separate causes, leaving students struggling to connect the theory was the applied data analysis. We want to use this interactive tool to help bridge this gap and allow students to gain a more nuanced understanding of statistical software and its applications.

What happened in your project?

We began with designing a survey which would be used in 8 departments at UCL (Maths, Geography, NatSci etc) to gain an understanding of existing statistical knowledge. In two weeks we collected over 100 responses. Using this we began to understand what topics students found the most difficult- as well as the easiest. This allowed us to identify aspects that would require our attention and decided that only a certain number of topics rated the ost difficult by students would be covered, and eventually decided to focus on the topic of linear regression.

We built a tool about linear regression using Rshiny that can be used by students to see correlation between response variable and factors. 

What were the successes of your project? 

We successfully built an online tool that students can use! We also expect future students to further develop the tool and add other components to it! It will be handed down to future cohorts and we hope that it will help many students for years to come. 

What was it like doing a ChangeMakers Project? 

Our project was the first initiative ever completed by students in the Statistical science department! We lacked prior experience so it was challenging, especially when faced with survey distribution and technical programming. However, we finished our project and have gained more resources for the future development of the tool, so it went well! It also gave us a closer relationship with the department, as we have to interview students and staff to understand where we would fit in, and to gain guidance. Generally it was a pleasure to work with ChangeMakers!

What was the best thing about working with ChangeMakers? 

It gave us the change to show our innovation and ability to work as part of a team. 

What advice would you give to other students? 

Make a strong and reasonable plan before starting your project! You don't want to put too much on your plate, and having a clear plan will help you get through the hard work! 

You should also make sure that all group members get equally involved in the proejct, and prepare yourself for the challenges that sometimes come with working in a team!