Web-Based Training Program Convenient, Successful
Mani Lakshminarayanan of Merck, Venkat Sethuraman of Novartis, and Rick Peterson of the ASA
Web-based training has become a standard teaching tool for the Biopharmaceutical Section. The section and ASA Center for Statistics Education launched the program in March of 2007 to provide an alternative to live training courses. As the cost of travel and hotels has increased, web-based communication has emerged as a low-cost way to deliver training. Also, web-based training allows members to participate who cannot take the time to travel.
Webinars offered this year have included the following:
- Classical Sample-Size Analysis for Hypothesis Testing (Part I and Part II), presented by Ralph O’Brien of Case Western Reserve University
- Microarray Data Analysis, presented by Dhammika Amaratunga of Johnson & Johnson and Javier Cabrera of Rutgers University
- Design and Analysis of Count Data, presented by Mani Lakshminarayanan of Merck & Co, Inc.
- Large-Scale Significance Testing of Genomic Data, presented by John Storey of Princeton University
- Introduction to Hierarchical Bayes Methods for Data Analysis, presented by Brad Carlin of the University of Minnesota
The program has attracted a broad audience of industry statisticians, academic researchers, government statisticians, and graduate students, with both attendees and presenters indicating the webinars are convenient. Approximately 500 to 1,000 people have participated in each webinar, many attending with other participants in a large conference room in order to share a single registration fee. The majority of participants logged on from the United States, but other countries were represented.
Based on feedback received by the organizers, the low cost of each webinar is one of the most attractive features of the program. The Biopharmaceutical Section subsidizes the program to provide its members with the lowest possible rate. The registration fee for section members is $44. The fee for other ASA members is $59, but they have the option of joining the Biopharmaceutical Section for $8 and receiving the section member rate. The registration fee for non-ASA members is $74.
The section is currently working on the 2010 program and encourages readers to share their suggestions for future webinars by emailing ASA Education Programs Associate Rick Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.