Mini-course 1: Looking at Data - the Way We Live

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This mini-course from the Nuffield Exploratory Data Skills Project: Making Sense of Data is an introduction to collecting, organising and interpreting data.

This mini-course consists of five units:

Where does the money go? is an introduction to looking at tables of data. It includes some simple ideas of the sorts of things to look for, and estimating the sizes of values. The idea of thinking about what the data might be like is introduced here. Although this idea is used many times in later work, it is not essential that this unit is covered prior to this work.

Leaving school shows how tables of data are structured and introduces the idea that a table shows different kinds of quantity categorised by various factors. This forms the basis for later work in this mini-course and for much of the work in mini-course two.

Consumer goods discusses some of the issues involved in designing a study to collect data. This unit could be omitted if students were learning only about the interpretation of data. There is some reference to the previous unit.

People at work is a continuation of the previous unit and looks at how to begin to summarise the results of a simple survey. The ideas from the unit ‘Leaving school’ should have been covered.

Eating, drinking, smoking looks at selecting data and presenting data in tables in order to make effective points. It would make most sense for it to be done after students have had the chance to look at and interpret some tables of data using the ideas from the first two units.

The teacher guide gives an overview of the mini-course.

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