Training Workshop on R Statistical Language for Staff of Amadu Bello University, Zaria and the Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina State


March 15, 2020 - Agada Iveren Blessing

Highlights 74, Agada Iveren Blessing PhD. FIMC CMC, March 2020

The latest R statistical training workshop (organized by the USAID Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project (NAPP)) was held at the Amadu Bello University Zaria (ABU) Nigeria. Nigerian researchers and students were taught skills required for data analysis that will ensure evidence based decision making. The participants at this R workshop were drawn from two universities: The Federal University Dutsinma (FUDMA) in Katsina State and Amadu Bello University, Zaria. Some of the participants were from the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) housed at ABU Zaria.

The facilitators, Dr. (Mrs.) Agada Iveren Blessing, Dr. Charles Olumba, Mr. Philip Hegarty and Mrs. Balaraba Sule
are all NAPP Scholars trained at Michigan State University on the R statistical language. The workshop took place at the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS)conference hall from March 17-21, 2020. The Dean of the faculty of Agriculture Amadu Bello University Zaria, Prof. M. Mamud gave the opening remarks acknowledging the rare impact of the ‘train one to train all’ capacity development strategy of the NAPP project. He further advised the 22 participants (18 males and 3 females) to maximize this rare opportunity given them adding that he would ensure a step down of the knowledge gained to other staff within the faculty and without.

The training (lasting 5 days) covered a well-structured module (labs) having several topics such as: R and R studio installations, importing/exporting data, data management and wrangling, data visualization, statistics refresher, regression (linear/nonlinear) and correlation analysis, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and mean separation. Following participants interests, they were also taught how to easily make publication ready graphs. Every session was hands-on with syntax and scripts introduced to participants for easier grasp of the software.

An assignment was given to the participants to submit to the facilitators two weeks later. This assignment was aimed at giving them on-going practice with R statistical language long after the training ended. Additionally, a WhatsApp group was created by the NAPP scholars to ensure continued training and feedback from the participants.

The training ended with a quiz session and participants giving a presentation on a research question (of their choice) answered through the use of R. Thereafter, participants were presented with certificates by the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture ABU Zaria, Prof. M. Mamud with a vote of thanks given by two of the participants Dr. Kabir and Dr. Mrs. Abdulmalik. The trainees expressed their joy at the knowledge gained and the opportunity to be selected to participate in the training workshop. It was also suggested that adding another training for advanced R would be much appreciated.



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