Mini-course 2: Picturing Data - Risks
This mini-course from the Nuffield Exploratory Data Skills Project: Making Sense of Data is an introduction to the graphical presentation of data.
It consists of five units:
Changing patterns of risk considers what makes an effective chart, and emphasises the point that the choice of a chart will depend on the questions it is intended to help answer. This idea is a useful introduction to the next two units, which look at a range of different types of chart.
What are the risks? 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.
Risk factors looks at a range of common charts which can be used to compare the sizes of quantities. The emphasis is on the kinds of questions each chart helps to answer.
Reducing risks give some advice about the effective presentation of graphs. It would be most useful if this unit was done after students have had the opportunity to draw some graphs themselves.
Risks at work introduces logarithmic scales and logarithms. This unit could stand on its own, but its main purpose is to provide a foundation for work involving logarithms in later mini-courses.
The teachers' guide gives an overview of the mini-course.