Unit Two: Helping Students Interpret and use data-intensive documents


Return to: Go to: ETAP 623 Spring 2020 (Zhang) | Brian's Profile Page | Unit 3: Creating data intensive documents

Learning Objectives

  1. Learners will be able to identify types of data intensive media
  2. Learners will identify strategies for teaching interpretation of data intensive media
  3. Explain the benefit of data using intensive media in the classroom

Do Now

Think about your experience as a science teacher, or your future as a science teacher, and list the types of scientific documents you need students to understand. List the documents and provide a brief summary for how you go about helping students interpret them. Use the following discussion space to post your initial ideas: Talk: Discussion Unit 2

After you have done this, watch the embedded video in the following link and see what strategies you use that were mentioned in the video.



So why is it important to organize data? Without data intensive documents such as charts/tables, graphs, and diagrams, science would be a collection of numbers without order. Watch the following video on meta data, which incorporates questions you can ask your students when looking at data to help them understand it better. The video is embedded on the right side of the page. https://guides.library.pdx.edu/data/metadata

Supporting Scientific Text: Read the following article about teaching interpretation skills for science documents:


Interpreting charts/tables

Throughout my years of teaching science, I have noticed that many students come into the class without the knowledge needed to chart or graph data. Many times science teachers take for granted that students will know how to chart and graph information. Unfortunately, this is often not the case and if students do not know how to interpret these types of data intensive documents, they are not going to be able to achieve our definition of science literacy. In order to understand complex systems students need to be able to interpret the documents that scientists use to disseminate information. The above article gave us several strategies for helping students understand scientific texts and documents.

Interpreting Graphs: One area that students seem to struggle with is the interpretation of graphs. This can happen for many reasons, and sometimes it can be hard for the educator to narrow down exactly what the students are struggling with. There are many instances in science where students will have to interpret graphs including labs, tests/quizzes, and state exams. Sometimes the graphs are displayed in ways that make them more difficult to interpret or misrepresent the data (such as making a small increase on a graph look like a major change due to the scale chosen). There are tactics we can use as educators to help our students interpret the graphs more effectively, and create graphs for our students that will not mislead them. Read the following PDFs which focus on strategies for helping students interpret a graphs that may be confusing, and give suggestions for what types of graphs to have students use in certain circumstances. Even though state exams focus heavily on line graphs, in order for our students to be scientifically literate we must help them interpret all types of data intensive graphs. http://science-infographics.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Bar-Graph-Help-Document-v3.pdf Bar graph help

http://science-infographics.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Pie-Graph-Help-Document.pdf Pie Graph help

http://science-infographics.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Two-Axis-Graph-Help-Document.pdf Line graph help

Interpreting Diagrams:

Work Period