Evaluation by Past Participants

Here we quote from the questionnaires returned by the participants of the courses we run in the 2001 - 2012 range. We quote from the section introduced by the question Could you summarize your opinion about the course here? and also from the section where we asked about the course logistic and the leisure program. We quote the full text (as much as we were able to decipher it), without any editorial changes and we do not quote participants who did not agreed to publicizing their opinion.

Summary of the opinion about the course

A lot of information but a great opportunity to learn and apply relevant techniques with the help + guidance from Petr + Jan. An excellent course :-) Great day out - could be a bit longer! Makes a nice rest day half through lots of statistics!  Jess Neumann, United Kingdom

The course is scientifically demanding and intesive but the outcome is rewarding. Jan and petr are excellent teachers and I truly recommend this course to all biologists as well as people from other fields. Logistics of this course was amazing. I felt informed at every step along the flow of the course. The social program was fun, relaxing and enjoyable. Inge Hiiesalu, Estonia.

This course is great! Very well organized and structured. The fact that there's plenty of time to work our dataset is a great advantage! It's very important to work out the theory learned with our own dataset, as everything become much more meaningful! Several dinners are organized, apart from the coffee breaks! Thet was fantastic. The accommodation facilities arranged were also great. Non-scientific program: the concerts and showing around the "night-life" of CB were very nice :-) The visit to C. Krumlov was very well organized and it's a wonderful town. I want to return, definitively! Maybe in spring and for sure with more time to visit the mountain areas. Joana Frazao, The Netherlands.

Intensive. Good and easy enough examples was used to show how different analysis work. Great lecturers! They were able to explain complex things well and simple enough. We were taken care really well! Arrival, accommodation, departure were made easy for us. Non-scientific program was nice addition to the long working days. Tiina, Finland.

It is an excellent introductory course on multivariate techniques. There was a bit much emphasis on the use of the CANOCO software, which is understandable since a new major version is out. Some advanced techniques, such as CoCA, PRC, and PCNM, were mentioned to attract the attention of participants. Logistic and social program are excellent, and I find it difficult to suggest any improvement. Gerardo Gold-Bouchot, Mexico.

The course was extremely helpful for my research, but most importantly there was plenty of time to work on your own data and ask questions about it. Steffi Nolte, Netherlands

This is my first time about statistical techniques and software program. I tried to learn how calculate these statistics and how to use CANOCO software program. I think this course was very beneficial for me. Jan and Petr told us very fluently and clearly. I think non-scientific program was appropriately and joyful for me. It was good planned for participants. Many thanks to Jan, Petr and Marie for their logistic support. Behluel Gueler, Turkey

I think that the course was an excellent opportunity to lear a lot of multivariate statistics with very experienced teachers! A lof of good discussions about how to get information from data without forcing data to tell something that they do not want to. Definitely they have thought of everything. Before you can think in a problem they have already solved. Perfect logistic. Gilson Correia de Carvalho, Brazil

I'd used the program before but after this course I know what I'm doing and also that what I've done before it wasn't well at all. Amazing! Inaki Balanzategui, Basque Country, Spain

I'd use Canoco for many years but this course was fantastic. I learnt a lot and really enjoyed understanding the mathematics behind CANOCO as well as learning more about what Canoco and CanoDraw can do. An extremely well organised course, both in terms of the scientific program and in terms of the course logistic, accommodation, food and trips. Ruth Mitchel, United Kingdom

It was a good overview and introduction to multivariate statstical techniques. I could have been prepared more before coming to the course. It would have been beneficial for someone who is new to this area. Overall, everything was convenient. Sinjae Yoo, South Korea

Although I had been using Canoco before, I still learned a lot: some new methods, playing with CanoDraw options and how to proceed with my data. I enjoyed the non-scientific part, especially the "picture and wine" evening and the tour to Cesky Krumlov. I also think that logistic was amazing: from e-mails with all the information, including train schedule, to preparing translations how to order a taxi. Thanks a lot for your help and organisation of the course. I'm waiting for Canoco 5 :-) Agata, Poland

The course was very well organized and was a very solid overview of the structure and capabilities of CANOCO and related data analysis methods. I know that I will continue to benefit from this course as I review my notes and examples in the coming weeks. It was very instructional to be able to participate in the construction and evaluation of my classmate's projects. Working in various data sets with different questions and problems has strengthened my understanding of these methods! Nicole Maher, USA

Extremely helpful. We went as far as we could on our own and you pushed us to go further - great! It is particularly good to be in the presence of two "masters"! Stephen Talbot, USA

It was very nice to discuss with people doing the same things with same programm. I could get a lot of ideas for my own work. Anke Hettrich, Germany

I thought the statistical part of the course was very good. There was a good mix of theory and practice, and it was not too complicated for the working researcher who is not a statistician. There was a good balance in the non-scientific portion. The trip to Cesky Krumlov was indeed a treat. Aaron Peacock, USA

I would recommend the CANOCO-course to all scientists working with multivariate problems. Beeing teached by Jan and Petr is a good way to get deep insights in statistical theory and useful methods for application. The mixture of theory and case studies was well balanced - and the 'mini-projects' were a good possibility to learn something about how to handle own data. In my opinion both course logistic and non-scientific programm (as the excursion to Krumau and the local pubs in the evening) was perfect. Tobias Purtauf, Germany

This was my first contact with CANOCO, and I am very satisfied what I learned here! Of course, I need to spend some time back home to improve my knowledge, but with this course, I made a "shortcut". Edita Stefanic, Croatia

The course is designed for environmental sciences and it is not easy to "translate" examples to the social sciences. Course materials are good and with help of Jan and Petr it was possible to make significant progress. Ivan Stefanic, Croatia

It is, definitively, a very good course. I consider myself a "non-experienced" user of Canoco, dealing with very basic multivariate problems, and in spite of that, I found the difficulty degree very appropriate and all explanations were clear to me. Jose Alejandro Rodriguez-Valencia, Mexico

I am hoping the course will help me in use CANOCO. While I not was able to prepair me before the start of the course, I had a lot of problems in following the content. Hubertus Beckmann, Germany

I would highly recommend the course to anyone who needs to analyze and interpret data using ordination or classification. Also, the Windows versions of CANOCO are excellent, especially the context-sensitive help in the wizard dialogs. Charlie Howell, USA

Taking in account that most of us are users, perhaps it would be better to spend more time rehersing with practical cases. I often felt that there was too much theory. Jorge Chiapella, Argentina & Austria

For me - it was very useful. Maybe next year I will be able to go to another course (but not introductory). Iwona Psuty, Poland

Very painless and even fun (!) introduction to multivariate statistics. But see comments above. Lori Lach, USA I learnt a lot. It was very usefull to get a good idea about ordination analyses and inspired me to study it further when going home. I am looking forward coming home and include more env V to complete the analysis of my data. Ursula, Sweden It probably could be a bit longer to include more practicals. Orla Lee, Ireland

A very good course in a nice atmosphere. I learned a lot but would have learned even more with more knowledge of ordination methods before the course.
Jan Karlsson, Sweden
The course is up to date scientifically and very practical. Helpful to both beginers and people with advanced research experience. Overall, it is a good experience. I would like to have more practice with software (Canoco & CanoDraw). Yong Wang, USA Very good - too advanced for me - but I still learnt a lot. Bronwyn Cahill, Ireland I got a lot more from the course than I expected. I found some of the statistical parts difficult to ?????, but I could use the manuals afterwards. Excellent tuition! Dr. Grace O'Donovan, Ireland
Very good, I appreciated much the personal assistance during the whole time and besides overlap between courses, I found it of high quality and useful for my purposes. Norberto P. Giannini, Argentina

It was very good and interesting, more comments coming in email ... Janet Ebaugh, USA

It was a very productive course in terms of learning about the course subject, but also the social atmosphere was great. It actually changed my opinion about multivariate methods in general significantly. Before the course I thought of them mainly as tools of visualizing complex data. It was a special treat to visit the local pubs with Jan and Peter did an excellent job with the logistic. Markus Wagner, Germany

Very good opportunity to speed-up the understanding and use of multivariate analysis. Very stimulating, very friendly. It was really really appreciated to see both of you with the desire to help each of us solving our problems and understand what we were doing. The individual explanations were benefic a lot. I think it would be good to start maybe earlier in the week with our individual project. Thank you for your good advices. Monique Poulin, Canada

Very good. The time spent with individual project was really good. There was time to individually consult experts of ordination with our own studies - and time enough to explain it in more details. Rikke Olsen, Denmark

It is an excellant course, which is very appropriate for biologist especially ecologist wishing to analyze any kind of data in details. It gives both a good theoretical and practical background to the challenge of analyzing "complicated" biological data. Jens Peder Jensen, Denmark

It is a very well balanced course, with the right proportion of theory and practical work on one hand, and the right combination of statistics and ecology on the other hand. Prof. Gerardo Gold Bouchot, Mexico

Excellent, very useful, several new ideas for how more efficiently analyse and present complex data. Dr. Per Milberg, Sweden

This course was my first approach to multivariate methods. Nevertheless, after workwith my own dataset, I realize that such methods are powerfull tools to understand complex problems. Dr. Jorge Camacho, Costa Rica

Good balance between theory and practice Ejgil Gravesen, Denmark Very helpful and inspiring. Good overview (although not full) of what to do and what not to do with CANOCO. Possibility to work with own data and asking questions to experts is indeed very good! Agata Klimkowska, Poland

The scientific content of the course is perfect for researchers wishing to get to grips with using Canoco and fairly advanced application of multivariate techniques to a wide range of experimental designs. Some limited experience of Canoco prior to the course would help participants derive maximum benefit from the lectures. Dave Brooks, United Kingdom

The course was very good, I have learned a lot. Now I understand what I do. Els De Roeck, Belgium

This course provides some basic but also advanced options of CANOCO and explores the need for thinking and planning experimental design. It is important to study basic statistics and basic capacities of CANOCO before coming. It is an intensive learning opportunity and one should be prepared for it with specific data and a strong motivation. Cristiana Vieira, Portugal

I found the course difficult to understand in many parts. I would suggest you state on the website that a good working knowledge of statistics is a requirement for the course. Andy Godfrey, United Kingdom

For me is a contradictory feeling. I have learnt a lot byt also I have seen that there are many things that I ever do not know that exists and now new doubts come out. Stephanie Gascon, Spain

Pitched at an appropriate level for me; balance between theory and 'learning how to drive CANOCO ' was good; some difficult sections were rushed thru too quickly; other 'easy' bits went thru too slowly. Julian Reid, Australia

I had some knowledge in CANOCO, so the first part of the course was easily understandable. But suddenly it [?] more complex, and required my full attention. Even so, sometimes I got lost in the details, although I was able to catch the general idea. Tamar de la Concepcion Sanches, Spain

This course provides some basic but also advanced options of CANOCO and explores the need for thinking and planning experimental design. It is important to study basic statistics and basic capacities of CANOCO before coming. It is an intensive learning opportunity and one should be prepared for it with specific data and a strong motivation. Cristiana Vieira, Portugal

I found the course difficult to understand in many parts. I would suggest you state on the website that a good working knowledge of statistics is a requirement for the course. Andy Godfrey, United Kingdom

For me is a contradictory feeling. I have learnt a lot byt also I have seen that there are many things that I ever do not know that exists and now new doubts come out. Stephanie Gascon, Spain

Pitched at an appropriate level for me; balance between theory and 'learning how to drive CANOCO ' was good; some difficult sections were rushed thru too quickly; other 'easy' bits went thru too slowly. Julian Reid, Australia

I had some knowledge in CANOCO, so the first part of the course was easily understandable. But suddenly it [?] more complex, and required my full attention. Even so, sometimes I got lost in the details, although I was able to catch the general idea. Tamar de la Concepcion Sanches, Spain

I am glad that I had reviewed much of the text before the course began + was pleased to have the second copy in the format it was given to us, as I wrote extensive notes in it + well utilized the blank pages. For me, it would have been easier to understand if I had had a multivariate statistics course before. But I learned so much, it was well worth the effort. Leanna Ballard, USA

The course leaps your knowledge from almost nil to a level that allows you to comfortably execute simple and moderately complex analyses on your own. It touches many types of multivariate analysis and although you won't feel comfortable with the more complex ones, by the end of the course, the course builds strong fundations that allow you to progress further easily. Jonathan Belmaker et Efrat Gavish, Israel

Scientific part of the course was interesting althought mainly concerning different fields than what I have studied earlier. There were many good examples that made the theory lively. I am very satisfied with the scientific part of the course and feel that I have learned a lot. Leila Sihvonen, Finland

As I hadn't worked on multivariate statistics for some years, there was a lot of "new" and some really new informations for me. Thus, it was very intensive. Nevertheless, it was a very good program, as it combined the theoretical basis, practical performance and very good help in case of questions / problems. Michael Elmer, Germany

I liked the course very much. It included excellent introduction to different multivariate methods and different research questions they can be applied. Especially I liked strongly ecological approach on statistics that both lecturers mastered so well. I feel much more confident to use methods than before the course. Eeva-Stiina Tuittila, Finland

The most important thing I have learned was how to think if I want to answer ecological questions with the help of multivariate analysis. Heike Schulze, Germany