The ISI Family Offers a Wealth of Opportunities and Advice on Statistical Education

18 January 2024

I’ve spent much of my career focused on statistical education. I took my first statistics course in the psychology department at my undergraduate institution, and it was one of the worst courses I’ve ever taken. It’s a good thing I gave statistics a second chance, or I probably would have followed in the footsteps of a long line of social workers in my family. Don’t get me wrong - I have great respect for social workers and I think it’s a very noble profession. But it wouldn’t have been the right choice for me. 

Fortunately, my next experience with statistics courses was in graduate school, and was completely different from my awful undergraduate course. I was lucky to serve as a teaching assistant for three professors who exemplified the art of teaching introductory statistics well. Contrasting their courses with the course I had as an undergraduate convinced me to dedicate much of my career to making introductory statistics a positive experience for students. I was swept up in the reform of statistical education, away from being formula-based and instead focusing on statistical literacy. 

There is More to Statistical Education...

Perhaps the dedication of my career to enhancing statistical literacy is the reason that I hadn’t realized until recently that for me, “statistical education” was synonymous with teaching others. But that’s only part of what the term should mean to statisticians. The other part is continuing to educate ourselves! And so, I present you with the following quiz. What do the titles in the list below have in common? And what does the information in parentheses after each one mean?

  1. Women statisticians in ISI: Do you have to be a Superwoman to be Successful? (ISI Committee on Women in Statistics, 8 Nov 2023)
  2. Applications of Artificial intelligence in the teaching of statistics. (IASC, 17 Nov 2023)
  3. Enhancing the Credibility of Survey Data - Old Tricks and New Techniques in Improving the Respondent Experience (IASS, 13 Dec 2023)
  4. Teachers’ autonomy and their reactions to teaching essential statistics and mathematics about global crises: A multinational view (IASE, 5 Dec 2023)
  5. Statistical Edutainment - an ISLP webinar in conjunction with IASE (ISLP with IASE, 23 May 2023)
  6. Survival Analysis using Modified Kaplan-Meier Model (IASS, 28 Jan 2022) 
  7. The second IAOS Krakow Working Group debate on Increasing engagement with users; addressing misuse and misinformation (IAOS, 6 June 2023)

The answer to the quiz is that these are just seven of the dozens of free webinars linked to the ISI Courses & Webinar page! Here is a great opportunity to enhance your own education, and to learn something beyond your usual sphere of statistics. The webinars listed in the quiz all have links to recordings of the webinars, and in some cases, the presenters’ slides. Most of the remaining 41 webinars on the ISI webinar page do as well. Many of these were offered by the affiliated ISI associations, as noted in parentheses following each title, along with the date. But you don’t have to be a member of the affiliated associations to enjoy their webinars! For example, if you want to learn more about survival analysis using a modified Kaplan-Meier Model, tune into the International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS) webinar on the topic. If you want to learn more about artificial intelligence in the teaching of statistics, tune into the International Association of Statistical Computing (IASC) webinar on the topic. And so on. 

If you prefer to attend webinars live, you can find lots of opportunities to do that as well. Visit the webpages of the ISI associations, and look for their sections on webinars and courses. You are sure to find some upcoming events of interest.

Back to the Theme of Statistical Literacy...

I can’t resist returning to the topic of statistical literacy, and making sure you are familiar with the International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP). As noted on their website:

“ISLP is a project initiated by the International Association for Statistical Education (IASE), which is the education section of the International Statistical Institute (ISI). The main objective of the ISLP is to contribute to promoting statistical literacy across the world, among young and adults, in all walks of life. To this end, we provide an online repository of international resources and news in Statistical Literacy, international activities to promote the resources and the individuals and institutions behind them, and outreach activities to increase awareness.”

If you haven’t visited this amazing resource, I urge you to check it out.


I know we are all in information overload, but if you have read this far I hope it means you are interested in statistical education. And I hope you define it broadly, to include your own education as well as the education of others. I’ve given you just a small sample of what ISI has to offer you in statistical education, both for yourself and as a resource to help others. If you have suggestions for what else ISI can do, I would love to hear from you ([email protected]). Or, if you have ideas for what the affiliated associations can do regarding education, I’m sure their leadership would be happy to hear from you as well. 

Jessica Utts
VICE-PRESIDENT (2023-2027)