Skip to main content

Analysis of small samples in quantitative research using non-parametric statistics HEDC

About This Course

Small sample size datasets are widely used in quantitative research, especially within the Health, Social and Behavioural Sciences. There are two important issues to consider before conducting experiments with small samples. Firstly, it is important to understand what sample size is desirable to give optimal results. Secondly, when data, especially in circumstances, do not adequately meet parametric conditions, it is further imperative to decide the type of appropriate statistical tests.


This course introduces participants to effectively work with small samples and shows how they can go about deciding on using a suitable statistical test. The importance of statistical power analysis, sample size, effect size, and p-value will be discussed. Using practical examples, participants will learn how to predict sample size using a free tool— G*Power.

Demonstrating with IBM SPSS, participants will also be introduced to how to detect the normality and measure the kurtosis of distribution. The threshold of using either exact test or asymptotic (or approximant) test in SPSS will be discussed.

Finally, participants will be introduced to working with non-parametric tests specifically, Kruskal-Wallis H test and Mann-Whitney U test instead of ANOVA test and t test.


Postgraduate students and staff should have already known the basic knowledge of parametric statistics (e.g. t-Test and ANOVA).


This course was based on the PhD thesis by Dr Minjie Hu, Teaching Novices Programming: A programming process using goals and plans with a visual programming environment, Department of Information Science, University of Otago. The supervision and contribution to the original ideas of these contents by Professor Michael Winikoff and Professor Stephen Cranefield are much appreciated.

Course Staff

Course Staff Image #1

Staff Member #1

Biography of instructor/staff member #1

Course Staff Image #2

Staff Member #2

Biography of instructor/staff member #2

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.

  1. Course Number