ACRL 2015: Promoting Data Literacy at the Grassroots: teaching and learning with data in the undergraduate classroom


  • Reference (ex: what is the GDP of France?) – locate, access, cute
  • Data mgmt – project plan, metadata, storag/share

So what Instruction needs to occur btw data reference and data management 

Pedagogical models

  • Statistical literacy – exploratory data analysis (Cobb & Moore, 1997)
  • History teaching – heuristics of reading primary sources (Wineburg, 2001)

3 lesson plans

  • Discover data through literature
  • Evaluating data sets
  • Research design

Data through literature

  • ICPSR, etc serve as dataset source that faculty give to students and then to analyze it
  • File format access and discoverability are challenges to data reuse
  • Ex: sociological research methods course — students would find data from citation, understand value of secondary data analysis, see relationship btw data and literature, use documentation to evaluate a dataset
  • Built upon existing ICPSR module

Evaluating datasets

  • Health and populations course about demography:
  • Students will understand the complex web of data products, use documentation to evaluate a dataset, articulate how variables relate to research questions
  • Focus on structures that produce data (in this case, gov and orgs)
  • Who cares about this topic to collect data? Who has authority/resources to collect data?
  • What can the data show? Trend, disparity, comparison, spatial pattern
  • How is data collected?
  • Use data that can be viewed and manipulated online (vs downloading) — ex: World Bank

Operationalzing/Research Design

  • This happens after learning about SPSS
  • Students will identify potential collars and disseminators of data, describe accessibility issues associated with data sources, Operationalzing a research question In order to develop a data search strategy
  • Who collects data and can I access it?


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