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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The TSHS Resources Portal: A Source of Real and Relevant Data for Teaching Statistics in the Health Sciences

  • Author(s): Brearley, Ann M
  • Bigelow, Carol
  • Poisson, Laila M
  • Grambow, Steven C
  • Nowacki, Amy S
  • et al.

The use of real and relevant data in the statistics classroom is an ideal for many teachers of statistics, as these offer clear benefits for engagement with the kinds of real world applications that students will encounter in the future. Yet, the time required to identify and obtain well-documented data and to prepare classroom teaching materials is often prohibitive. In this paper we review the many benefits of using real and relevant data, and use these to define the characteristics of a well-documented health sciences data resource. We review the barriers to using real and relevant data in teaching. Lastly, we introduce the Teaching of Statistics in the Health Sciences (TSHS) Resources Portal (, a source for well-documented health-related datasets and teaching materials. This dynamic resource provides a means to both obtain and contribute peer-reviewed educational materials. The target audience of the tool is teachers of statistics in health sciences settings, particularly those who teach introductory and applied courses in the graduate or post-graduate setting, but we expect that other statistics educators seeking rich, well-documented datasets will also find the Portal a useful resource.

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