Creating a reusable learning object for healthcare students: 'Boxplots Explored'

Mollie Gilchrist, Paul Summers

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    22 Downloads (Pure)


    Although our health and social care (HSC) students have some experience of simple charts, such as pie and bar, and some intuition of histograms, they do not appear to have much knowledge or understanding about box and whisker plots and their relation to the data they are describing or to other charts, eg histograms. The boxplot is a versatile charting tool, useful for presenting data from surveys and any other projects, where a reasonable quantity of data has been collected. An opportunity arose with funding under the Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) initiative, sponsored by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), to create a reusable learning object (RLO) to describe, explore, and interpret boxplots, especially in relation to their data and summary statistics, with links to interprofessional (IP) learning, as this was the main remit of the CETL established at this university. The RLO is aimed at both undergraduate and post-graduate HSC students, who would be able to use the resource flexibly, to augment their limited exposure to statistical techniques, and add to their appreciation of IP learning and working. The RLO includes animation and opportunities for students to interact, for example to experiment with changing data values to see the resulting effect on the chart. Links are made to existing websites with historical detail for further exploration if wanted. Existing, available 'real' data, collected as part of research projects concerning (IP) learning, as well as generated data, is used as illustrative material. This paper explores some of the issues raised during the creation of the RLO, and discusses limited feedback from users. Issues raised include the working of the project team, delivery platform, copyright and intellectual property rights and software incompatibilities. The completion of the project was delayed, which reduced the potential for evaluation. Interim feedback from colleagues and students has been very positive and encouraged further improvements. In conclusion, the creation of this RLO has been a longer and more time-consuming experience than anticipated, and has highlighted the importance of a team approach, with constant reviewing. It has been an enjoyable, although at times, a frustrating experience. It will be interesting to see how the RLO will be used, and usage will be evaluated in the future
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Bibliographical note

    This paper was given at the 6th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL 2007; Copenhagen; Denmark; 4 October 2007 through 5 October 2007.


    • Box and whisker plot
    • Boxplots
    • Interprofessional learning
    • Reusable learning object


    Dive into the research topics of 'Creating a reusable learning object for healthcare students: 'Boxplots Explored''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this