Mini-course 3: Trends - Population Changes

This mini-course from the Nuffield Exploratory Data Skills Project: Making Sense of Data is particularly appropriate for dealing with time-series data - data which show how one quantity changes over time.

It consists of five units:

Looking at population changes introduces some of the problems of interpreting graphs, and of knowing what to plot. Changing scales can affect our impression, and even our interpretation, of a graph, and choosing which graph to plot requires some thought if the desired message is to be put across.

Factors affecting the size of a population and Monthly births  show how to fit lines to data which show general trends, and how to plot the variations, or residuals, separately. Splitting the data in this way helps to simplify what may be a complex story.

Growth rates of populations compares the use of linear scales and logarithmic scales for plotting line graphs, and looks at how to interpret the slopes of lines of these two types of graph.

Looking into the future shows how to calculate rates of changes, and different ways of comparing the rates of change of more than one quantity.

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

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This resource is part of Making Sense of Data: Nuffield Exploratory Data Skills Project