Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsNICK BARTER: Why do numbers matter? Hello, and welcome to the course. Over the next two weeks, we'll be taking a look at why numbers matter.

Skip to 0 minutes and 17 secondsCHRIS STEVENSON: Every day, we take for granted the many decisions we make using numbers. We use numbers to decide on so many things, whether it's when to set our alarm clock, what to buy and sell, or where to send our kids to school. All the while, in the wider community, policymakers and influences are using numbers to help inform decisions that have great potential to affect a great number of people.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 secondsNICK BARTER: Numbers can help us understand the effect of planning regulations on our communities, and how governments decide how to spend their resources fairly and effectively.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsCHRIS STEVENSON: Quantitative research can help us understand what these decisions mean to people locally, nationally, and even globally.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsNICK BARTER: By the end of this course, you'll be able to: - apply statistical analysis to make decisions about real-world problems, - interpret bivariate correlations, - design a quantitative study to answer a research question.

Skip to 1 minute and 13 secondsCHRIS STEVENSON: This course will help you develop the skills you need to research and make evidence-based decisions on the things that you care most about.

Let's get started

Hello. Welcome to Why numbers matter.

In this course, we’ll explore the role of numerical data in our research and how it affects each of us in our day-to-day lives.

Quantitative research - research using measurement and numbers - will focus the mind and build a detailed and accurate picture of your research problem.

It is a powerful tool with which to understand the world around us and the impacts of the changes that we make.

For an overview of all course activities and steps, see the course map.

Your learning outcomes

By completing this course you should be able to:

  • apply statistical analysis to make decisions about real-world problems
  • interpret bivariate correlations
  • design a quantitative study to answer a research question.

Bivariate correlations are a statistical test of the strength of the relationship between two different things, such as rainfall and the size of a harvest.

Meet the team

Your lead educators for this course are Associate Professor Chris Stevenson and Professor Nick Barter.

Chris trained as a mathematician, and currently works as a biostatistician and epidemiologist at Deakin University. He has previously worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare where he helped design, implement and evaluate Australia’s national cancer screening programs.

Nick is from Griffith University and works to help corporations understand how to make more environmentally sustainable decisions.

Angela Victor and Chris Rawson are also on hand. Both Angela and Chris specialise in learning, teaching and providing learners with quality educational experiences at Griffith and Deakin Universities, respectively.

If you haven’t already, view your team’s profiles and follow them to keep up with the latest course updates, feedback and discussions.

You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using #FLNumbersMatter.

Your task

In the comments, share why you’re taking this course and what you hope to get out of it.

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This video is from the free online course:

Why Numbers Matter: Quantitative Research

Deakin University