Build Data Interpretation skills

8 Classroom Strategies to build Data Interpretation skills in High School Students

1.Teach students the skills they can use to summarise data.

Introduce skills, such as:
-determining the measures of center (mean, median, and mode), identifying range, outliers, quartiles.
-Application of Ratios and Percentage increase/decrease for comparisons of real-life data.
-Types of graphs (Line graphs, Bar graphs, scatter plots, pie charts, etc.)
-Different graphing techniques

2.Give as many graphs to analyse as possible to students.

Data interpretation challenges commonly held assumptions and is not an intuitive exercise. Hence, it is necessary to consciously develop the data interpretation skills in students with as much practice as possible. Here, the cognitivist theory of learning should be referred to while making lesson plans.

3.Use scenarios from other subjects and come up with a graph for different data sets

You can use internet resources to find datasets that you can use in your class for practice.
For example Source 1 for datasets, Source 2 for datasets, Source 3 for datasets, Source 4 for datasets

4.Guide students to visualize the data in various formats

For example, Give newspaper articles like this to students and ask them to dig deeper and come up with more data and guide them to visualize the data using different graphs.

Tip: The more they practice to select and draw graphs on their own, the deeper will be their understanding of data.

5.Give real life research projects

For example, find data for Tiger census, demography of YouTube subscribers of a channel, data gathered by YouTube about the users and what they might do with the data, the spread of the covid-19 virus, Lockdown and flattening of the curve.

6.Ask students to conduct surveys using google form and gather data, find patterns and plot graphs

For example, students could survey their classmates on how they came to school (such as by car, bus, foot, or another way) and then display the data in a circle graph.

7.Have students not only communicate their opinions and arguments, but also back up them up with data.

Refer to this Example –

Opinion: What impacts the Happiness levels of individuals?
Back up with data: The Global Happiness Project connects students around the world in an investigation of happiness. 240 teachers and thousands of students in 43 states and 11 countries are collaborating on the project. Students are interviewing family, teachers, friends, and community members about what makes them happy and even measuring the impact of “laughter therapies”
Students have been thinking about how to measure happiness and exploring metrics such as Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index. They have conducted surveys to gather their own data about key indicators of happiness and are communicating their findings in a variety of formats. Students will also be proposing action projects that leverage data, creativity, and community to increase the happiness factor in their environments.

8.Connect Data to Student Interests

When students choose which topic to explore, they’re more apt to ask questions that take them deeper. If they get to choose a data set that interests them, it’s a much better entry point for students to start thinking about statistics. Students are drawn to data that reveal something about their own lives.
For Example, Can you find any pattern in the questions asked in the Science paper in the last 10 years by CBSE 10th Board exams?

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