Use This ERIN Resource
As the knowledge base in neuroscience continues to expand educators need timely resources to engage their students. Educational Resources in Neuroscience (ERIN) was a web portal developed by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The database included videos, interactive quizzes, and simulators, all selected and reviewed by experts. Selected resources from ERIN can now be found on Neuronline.
Resource Highlighted: The New Statistics: Estimation for Better Research
Audience: For advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and researchers
Some subjects are best learned through hands-on experience, and statistics is one of them. This resource, The New Statistics: Estimation for Better Research, combines interactive Excel spreadsheets with a comprehensive textbook. The book embraces an innovative approach to statistics aptly called the “new statistics.” This approach uses effect sizes, confidence intervals, and meta-analysis to interpret study findings.
The accompanying software, which is free and can standalone, is called Explanatory Software for Confidence Intervals, or ESCI. It provides numerous opportunities to manipulate data, analyze graphs, and grapple with tricky concepts like the difference between confidence intervals and p values. Even without the textbook, the spreadsheets offer enough help to guide even the newest student of statistics.
Enhancing the Credibility of Research
According to Geoff Cummings, PhD, professor emeritus at La Trobe University in Australia and author of the resource, this approach will help social scientists conduct more nuanced analyses of their research. By moving away from null-hypothesis significance test (NHST), which relies almost exclusively on achieving “statistical significance” (p < 0.05) and using meta-analysis and estimation tools, researchers can arrive at more accurate results.
The software is available for download for both Windows and Mac, and runs under Microsoft Excel. There are also videos available on YouTube and iTunes on many relevant topics: frequency distributions, normal distribution, sampling, confidence intervals, and the dance of p values, to name a few. Not only do these resources introduce students to the new statistics, they also give them practice using key tools of the trade.