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Expectations and Commitments for Engaged Learning


CISER statisticians offer Engaged Statistical Learning to faculty and graduate students in supporting units. Engaged Learning aims to improve general understanding of statistical methods and techniques by working closely with a statistician on problems related to their research.

In traditional consulting, clients drop off data, leaving statisticians to analyse and create reports for the client. In Engaged Learning, CISER statisticians provide the expertise, tools, and training to enable collaborators to perform the actual statistical analysis themselves. Please review the following expectations of collaborators and commitments from CISER before completing a meeting request.

If you are looking for the traditional statistical consulting model, please fill out a request for an initial meeting or contact us via email to discuss rates.

Expectations of Collaborators:

Provide advanced notice of schedule changes.

We understand that life happens, and that sometimes affects scheduled meetings. Whenever possible, please provide at least 24 hours notice to CISER if you need to reschedule a meeting and provide notice if you are delayed by 10 minutes or more.

Provide constructive feedback.

CISER’s goal of improving engaged learning is only possible if we get meaningful feedback on our processes and outcomes.

Be confident in your uncertainty.

We don’t know everything and we don’t expect you to, either.  Please don’t be hesitant to ask any questions or express any uncertainty.  We’d like to address potential concerns as early as possible.

Be patient.

Recognize that your research question may take multiple meetings and exchanges.

Respect CISER timelines and priorities.

Due to high demand and minimal resources, please contact us at least two weeks prior to your desired meeting date.

Contact CISER early on in your research process.

The earlier we can provide feedback on your study, the easier the statistical analysis will be.  Studies without statistical input at the beginning can become an exercise in disaster recovery. 

Give credit for meaningful contribution.

Credit can come in the form of co-authorship on manuscripts, co-PI status on grants, or other methods agreed upon before the start of a project. CISER defines ‘meaningful’ as an element or improvement that you could not have achieved without our assistance.

Become partners with CISER.

CISER is not a black box where you drag and drop data and get results out. This means you should expect to engage in learning statistics and be prepared to teach CISER statisticians your expertise to the extent that it fulfills your project objectives. This also means that you should not expect CISER to format or scrub your data.


For Student Collaborators:

Arrive ready to learn.

In order to ensure that engaged learning can be effective, we ask that student collaborators come to us with a basic understanding of statistics.  We ask that you first successfully pass Stat 512 or another statistics course(s) applicable to your discipline before requesting CISER assistance.

Understand CISER’s Mission.

CISER is not for class projects, homework, or exam preparation.  Any project found to be in violation of this expectation will be dropped.

Come prepared.

Bring your faculty adviser to the initial meeting and be prepared to discuss your research goals, questions, relevant literature and preliminary results to help CISER statisticians better understand your research.

CISER Commitments:

Respect your time.

Whenever possible, we will notify collaborator(s) at least 24 hours in advance if we must cancel a meeting or arrive late.

Provide a comfortable learning environment.

We recognize that many people are reticent to seek help from a statistician. We are eager to help you and will be patient in addressing your needs.

Speak to your understanding.

As much as possible we will use common language to communicate the statistical aspects of your design, analysis, and results.

Respect your deadlines.

We will try our best to respond in a timely fashion and provide assistance under reasonable deadlines.

Help you be successful.

This means that we will try our best to provide robust study design and defensible statistical analyses with integrity and professionalism, and clarify, define, and answer your research questions.