About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4792-4802
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

REAL DATA; REAL WORLD; REAL STORIES: A CASE STUDY APPROACH TO DEMONSTRATING IMPACT ON THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE

J. Carter

University of Manchester (UNITED KINGDOM)
There is concern about levels of data and statistical literacy skills of UK social science students, even though the cutting edge of social science is reliant on use of real world datasets, and there is a great desire to improve research-led teaching in the area. The Learning and Teaching Telling Stories project collates the experience of attempts to upskill students in data and its discipline-related usage, and provides an illustration of educational practice at both discipline and national level. The case studies provide details of attempts to make learning and teaching about data a less passive experience.

The UK national data centres provide access to a wealth of social science data for undergraduate and postgraduate study. The data is provided by national census agencies, and inter governmental organisations including the OECD, IMF, UN and World Bank. Students often avoid handling and discussing data in their study unless forced to confront it. The challenge for educators lies in promoting students' use of data, but the benefits in doing so improve both academic performance and job prospects for students.
Efforts in the UK have focused on developing learning activities in university teaching programmes to address this challenge. The session focuses on a project carried out in summer 2009 with a remit to produce some measure of how teachers use the data resources, and the impact on student learning.

The Telling Stories session uses a case study approach to bring to life the experience of the challege faced by educators in attempting to improve the data skills of social science undergraduate and postgraduate study in the UK. Groups of teachers at several UK universities were interviewed, and their stories were written up to provide case studies for the website.
Recordings of these interviews were embedded into the stories.

Importance/Relevance:
The project is a starting point for the data centre looking at the impact of its services across institutions in the UK but the universal nature of the use of data should ensure comparability across discipline and national boundaries.
The project complements quantitative data gathered for regular reporting, including numbers of users, numbers of data downloads and numbers of institutions using the data, as well as use by discipline area.
The project enables us to find out what strategies for learning and teaching are particularly successful in encouraging student use of social science data. Further dissemination of these findings will utilise the social media spaces that are most frequently accessed by educators and students. For instance examples of successful practice are uploaded onto YouTube and advertised via Twitter.
The aspiration is to build a network of educators who use data in their teaching, and who are committed to improve awareness of data and statistical literacy of students.

Information for the national data centre: www.mimas.ac.uk The Census Data Service: cdu.mimas.ac.uk International Time Series Data: www.esds.ac.uk/international The research findings for the project are currently being written up and analysed.
@InProceedings{CARTER2010REA,
author = {Carter, J.},
title = {REAL DATA; REAL WORLD; REAL STORIES: A CASE STUDY APPROACH TO DEMONSTRATING IMPACT ON THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {4792-4802}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Carter
TI - REAL DATA; REAL WORLD; REAL STORIES: A CASE STUDY APPROACH TO DEMONSTRATING IMPACT ON THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 4792
EP - 4802
ER -
J. Carter (2010) REAL DATA; REAL WORLD; REAL STORIES: A CASE STUDY APPROACH TO DEMONSTRATING IMPACT ON THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 4792-4802.
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