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Easy Ways to Get Students Engaged with Data and Statistics: Home

Plunge your students into data and statistics...but with floaties!

This guide highlights easy-to-use tools and resources for getting students engaged in using data/statistics without the headaches of requiring them to use complicated software or statistical coding.

Each box on this guide:

  • Links to one or more tools/resources
  • Links to "help resources" to use the tool/resource
  • Offers "lesson ideas" and/or teaching resources
Have tools/resources or lesson ideas to suggest?

Please reach out to Mandy or Joel from the Research Data Service (RDS) Team with tools/resources and lesson ideas you would like to see shared on this guide -- we're happy to consider them!

Plunge your students into...

...finding and interpreting Statistical Tables!

HELP RESOURCES:

Here are some help resources for browsing and searching the Statistical Abstract of the U.S., and for viewing statistical tables and seeing when statistical tables were last updated.


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Plunge your students into...

...analyzing Raw Data!

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HELP RESOURCES:

An overview guide with some tips/tricks of using ICPSR at GSU, and an interactive hands-on tutorial that walks through ICPSR's key features.


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ICPSR has compiled various "Teaching & Learning with ICPR" resources created especially for undergraduate faculty and students.

Their Data-Driven Learning Guides are stand-alone exercises that use online data analysis to teach social science concepts -- NO SPSS NEEDED!

  • These standardized exercises introduce (or reinforce) key concepts in the social sciences by guiding students through a series of questions and related data analyses.
  • Analyses are preset so students can focus on content rather than mechanics of data analysis.
  • To assist instructors with selection, guides are also categorized by the most sophisticated statistical test presented in the exercise -- you can filter by analysis method on the results screen.

Also checkout the Exercise Set (Modules) linked from ICPSR's Classroom Exercises page for sequenced activities (likely more appropriate for Research Methods courses and more substantively focused courses).

The RDS Team offers support to GSU students, faculty, and staff in the areas of data analysis tools & methodsmapping & data visualizationfinding data & statisticssurvey design, and data management. The RDS Team offers:

  • One-on-One Help -- Contact an RDS Team member to schedule a consult, or check out their Drop In! hours.
  • Workshops -- Check out the RDS workshops.
  • Custom sessions for GSU courses, departments, and research teams -- Contact an RDS Team member to learn more.

Plunge your students into...

...creating Data Maps and Statistical Tables!

HELP RESOURCES:

Here are guides and videos from Social Explorer and a link to their knowledge base and FAQs.


Social Explorer maintains a blog to highlight its features, tools and data. The blog is broken down into categories, and the Case Studies category is particularly useful for those interested in lesson ideas. The Case Studies are written by Social Explorer users, many of them educators, who want to share their creative uses of the product. Here is a sampling of some of the Case Studies on the Social Explorer Blog:

Plunge your students into...

...using Public Opinion Polls!

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HELP RESOURCES:

Here are some help pages for using Boolean and phrase searchingother search tips, and understanding search results.


This 10-minute presentation gives an example of taking a social media item and diving deeper into the polling data related to it, drawing from polls found in the Polling the Nations and Roper iPoll databases (GSU no longer subscribes to the latter). This example presentation was created for the GSU Undergraduate Get Data Lit! Contest, but it could be easily adapted for a course assignment.

Also check out Roper's "Classroom Materials" page!

The Roper Center has a "Classroom Materials" page with lesson plans, sample assignments, hands-on workshop exercises, example syllabi, SPSS exercises, and undergraduate research examples.

Plunge your students into...

...exploring Data Visualizations!

Easy-to-use online tool to visualize relationships between variables and how they change over time. Global data on various topics for exploring global social inequalities.

Arranged on a "street" from poorest to richest, explore 30,000 photos of 264 families in 50 countries for a visual snapshot of social class/SES inequalities.

HELP RESOURCES:

This "Gapminder Tools Guide" PDF file diagrams the various pieces of the Gapminder Tool.


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Gapminder's "For Teachers" resources page links to videos and guides to help use the Gapminder tools, plus links to various other resources for teaching basic data interpretation. Also checkout the Gapminder Answers videos and PPT slides page for potential lessons/class exercise ideas.