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Johns Hopkins University

Statistical Reasoning for Public Health 1: Estimation, Inference, & Interpretation

Johns Hopkins University via Coursera


A conceptual and interpretive public health approach to some of the most commonly used methods from basic statistics.


Introduction and Module 1
This module, consisting of one lecture set, is intended to whet your appetite for the course, and examine the role of biostatistics in public health and medical research. Topics covered include study design types, data types, and data summarization.

Module 2A: Summarization and Measurement
Module 2A consists of two lecture sets that cover measurement and summarization of continuous data outcomes for both single samples, and the comparison of two or more samples. Please see the posted learning objectives for these two lecture sets for more detail.

Module 2B: Summarization and Measurement
Module 2B includes a single lecture set on summarizing binary outcomes. While at first, summarization of binary outcome may seem simpler than that of continuous outcomes, things get more complicated with group comparisons. Included in the module are examples of and comparisons between risk differences, relative risk and odds ratios. Please see the posted learning objectives for these this module for more details.

Module 2C: Summarization and Measurement
This module consists of a single lecture set on time-to-event outcomes. Time-to-event data comes primarily from prospective cohort studies with subjects who haven to had the outcome of interest at their time of enrollment. These subjects are followed for a pre-established period of time until they either have there outcome, dropout during the active study period, or make it to the end of the study without having the outcome. The challenge with these data is that the time to the outcome is fully observed on some subjects, but not on those who do not have the outcome during their tenure in the study. Please see the posted learning objectives for each lecture set in this module for more details.

Module 3A: Sampling Variability and Confidence Intervals
Understanding sampling variability is the key to defining the uncertainty in any given sample/samples based estimate from a single study. In this module, sampling variability is explicitly defined and explored through simulations. The resulting patterns from these simulations will give rise to a mathematical results that is the underpinning of all statistical interval estimation and inference: the central limit theorem. This result will used to create 95% confidence intervals for population means, proportions and rates from the results of a single random sample.

Module 3B: Sampling Variability and Confidence Intervals
The concepts from the previous module (3A) will be extended create 95% CIs for group comparison measures (mean differences, risk differences, etc..) based on the results from a single study.

Module 4A: Making Group Comparisons: The Hypothesis Testing Approach
Module 4A shows a complimentary approach to confidence intervals when comparing a summary measure between two populations via two samples; statistical hypothesis testing. This module will cover some of the most used statistical tests including the t-test for means, chi-squared test for proportions and log-rank test for time-to-event outcomes.

Module 4B: Making Group Comparisons: The Hypothesis Testing Approach
Module 4B extends the hypothesis tests for two populations comparisons to "omnibus" tests for comparing means, proportions or incidence rates between more than two populations with one test

Taught by

John McGready

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  • Bruce Thompson completed this course, spending 12 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.

    This is the worst, and the best MOOC I have done. Worst because I'm mathematically challenged but need to know statistics. Worst because John McReady is so good at statistics that he assumes I know "stuff". Worst because there are distracting typos...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Simply this is the best start for learning statistics for statistics novices. The best thing about the course is that it help the learner to develop from the beginner level to above intermediate level within only 8 weeks.
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