Introduction to STATA training course organized at Ahmadu Bello University

An “Introduction to STATA” training course was held at Ahmadu Bello University on November 12-13, 2015 for 42 members of the faculty and graduate student body (with a very substantial number of female researchers participated in the course). The training course covered a basic introduction to the use of STATA for data storage, data cleaning, and statistical analysis. A survey was sent to all participants after the training course and the feedback showed that while most participants had never used STATA prior to this training course, most found it relevant to their work and planned to use STATA in the future. In addition, the overall feedback on the training was positive with most participants asking for additional courses. The most common response on ways we could improve the training course was by extending the number of days of training.

The team that conducted the course do not believe that extending the number of days of training is necessary, but believe that there can be improvements to the management of the time allocated to the course. From this initial training, the lessons learned that could improve the time management in the course include: 1) providing a trial version of STATA for all participants, so that all participants are using the same version; 2) reducing the number of participants or increasing the number of trainers as the small team of three members was not able to quickly provide support to 42 participants without disrupting the flow of the course; 3) have multiple USB drives per trainer ready with activity files that are prepared for each section of the training in order to quickly bring a participant up to the section that is being taught should they arrive late or have an issue with their files and to combat the issue of virus, which infected many of the participants’ computers. These steps will improve the time management of the existing training course structure and allow for the training course to cover more information.