BIOL 4001

3.0 Credits


This course explores the nature of data and the challenges involved in collecting and handling it, this includes planning the collection of data necessary to examine a particular problem, manipulation of data, summarizing and describing a data set. It also covers the statistical approach for testing hypotheses, and performing data analysis using current statistical tools as a tool for description and hypotheses testing. Students will also interpret and evaluate statistical analyses used by others, design experiments, and analyze and interpret the results of experiments or observational studies.

Delivery Method

Online Paced.


An introductory statistics course and 60 credits of post-secondary education is recommended.


On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Propose and prepare statistical analyses necessary for successful study design in biology
  • Describe and interpret descriptive statistics of data
  • Identify and explain the purpose and methods of inferential statistics
  • Assess the power of statistical analysis and scientific interpretation
  • Carry out data collection, construct hypotheses, analyze data, and apply statistical methods
  • Use recently developed statistical freeware packages for analysis of data
  • Critically evaluate scientific studies based on their study design and statistical analyses
  • Effectively interpret and communicate purpose and methods of inferential statistics to audiences familiar with basic science
  • Demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively
  • Objectively assess peer work

Course Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Describing, Displaying, Estimating Uncertainty in Biological Data
  3. Design of Experiments
  4. Proportions, Frequencies, and Contingency Analysis
  5. Linear Models
  6. Extend Linear Models
  7. Likelihood
  8. General Linear Models
  9. Bayesian Methods
  10. Computer Intensive Methods
  11. Multivariate Methods
  12. Meta-analysis

Maximum Completion

14 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

Whitlock, M., & D. Schluter. The Analysis of Biological Data 2e. Roberts and Company Publishers, 2015.
Type: Textbook: ISBN: 978-1-936221-48-6

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through Blackboard's "Mail" tool or by phone. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.


In order to complete this course successfully, you must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and on the final project.

Quiz 1 5%
Assignment 1 6%
Quiz 2 5%
Assignment 2 7%
Quiz 3 5%
Assignment 3 6%
Assignment 4 6%
Discussions 10%
Final Project 50%

In addition, please note the following:

  • It is recommended that you complete all of the activities and assessments to achieve the learning outcomes of the course and to prepare for the major project.
  • If you do not complete the course, or complete less than 50% of the coursework, or do not complete the mandatory course component(s) by the course completion date, you will be assigned a "DNC" (did not complete) grade.