Collating data sets

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Purpose: Usually students work in groups at a practical activity, and use their own results to interpret the outcomes. For some investigations, it is helpful to use larger data sets, than single groups could collect during a lesson. Google forms provides a simple means of collating a large number of sets of data, speedily and without some of the problems encountered when students each transcribe their own data onto a display board.

Teaching approach: When planning a class investigation which uses shared data, such as a survey, or field work, create a spread sheet using Google docs software. This can be linked to a separate Google tool (Google Forms) which is set up with similar fields to the spreadsheet. As students set up data collection they are given access to the relevant Google Form URL. On completion of the form the data transfers to the spreadsheet and is collated with the data from other forms submitted. The teacher can then display the completed data set in the spreadsheet, which could be distributed to the class for processing or data analysis could be carried out as a single class exercise.

Preparation: The teacher will need to register for a Google account to access the relevant Google tools. A spreadsheet needs to be set up ready for data collection, and decisions made whether to include formulae at the preparatory stage or whether to set up processing after data collection. A Google Form also needs to be created with similar data fields. The URL of this form then needs to be made available to the class (a QR code would be a simple way of achieving this- see data collection ideas, using quick response codes)

This booklet outlines an investigation that uses Google Forms to collate data from an investigation into electromagnetic fields in the environment (p24)

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