79446 - Scientific Method In Horticultural Research

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

This course is designed to a) provide the students with tools to apply the products of the research in the horticultural sector and b) to correctly plan a research experiment and analyze to data a By the end of the course, the students will be able to: 1) understand the importance of the scientific method and its multiple-step process; 2) plan and perform simple and practical-oriented experiments in the field of horticultural research; 3) perform correctly the statistical analysis of biological observations; 4) communicate correctly the results of the scientific work.

Course contents

•Terminology and descriptive statistics: Errors, mean, weighed mean, mode and median; variance, standard deviation, standard error and C.V. •Probability: binomial and normal distributions; permutation, combination and probability of one event, standard normal curve z; confidence limits; testing one sample against the population. The t distribution curve. •Testing two samples: t student for independent samples and paired t-test

•ANOVA for single factors experiments
Completely randomized design and Randomized complete block design; randomization and layout and analysis of variance •ANOVA for factorial experiments
Interaction between factors; Complete block design; randomization and layout and analysis of variance •Regression and correlation analysis: linear and non-linear relationship; simple and multiple regression. •Research methods •Experimental designs •How to effectively present experimental data


Copy of the slides presented (pdf), exercises (excel) and summary of the lessons.

Additional information and examples can be found in the following books

•Gomez K A and A A Gomez. 1984. Statistical procedures for agricultural research. Wiley and Son. •Hoshmand A R. 1998. Statistics methods for environmental & agricultural Sciences. CRC Press •Lawal B. 2014. Applied Statistical Methods in Agriculture, Health and Life Sciences. Springer. •Mead R et al.. 1993. Statistical methods in agriculture and experimental biology. Chapmann & Hall.

Teaching methods

Frontal lesson and exercises using excel

Assessment methods

•Written text with exercises and open questions

Teaching tools

excel files with exercises carried out together.

Office hours

See the website of Massimo Tagliavini