Thursday, March 6, 2014

Teaching Roundtable: Collaborative Information/Data Collection during Class

Friday, March 14, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in Julian Room 135

Regardless of your discipline, the collecting of information or data from student collaborations has been made easier through various online resources. One way in which student labs can be made more relevant and engaging is by having the entire group work to produce a communal dataset; each student or student group runs an experiment in parallel, then the data are aggregated for the entire class. This provides a larger sample size than any individual can achieve on his or her own in a reasonable time, and illustrates the replicability of experiments as well as the importance of larger datasets for greater statistical power.

The problem can come with getting all of the data in one place and giving students access to it. Simple methods, like entering the numbers on a grid on a board, work well, but Google Docs allows for real-time entry of data in a standardized format, and can even allow for real-time representation of the data in graphical format, providing instant, ongoing feedback on the progress of the lab exercise.


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