News

Teaching ideas: bringing data to life in the classroom

Article dated: 1 August 2017

Do you want to show your students how to answer real-life questions using data available to them at the touch of a button? Then look no further...

We invite you to make use of our new teaching ideas. These short guides are designed to assist teachers creating lesson plans on data analysis skills.

Designing lesson plans to teach data analysis can be time-consuming; creating interesting research questions, locating and getting to grips with suitable data, and trying out analyses. Our Teaching Ideas are designed to do much of this work for you by providing:

  • A research topic and question embedded in a brief literature review
  • An overview of an appropriate dataset and specific variables that can answer the question
  • A set of analytical exercises for students, using these data
  • Some examples of the results students will get from these exercises

These Teaching Ideas are loose guides rather than prescriptive lesson plans. Use as much, or as little, as appropriate. For longer lessons, supplement with extra questions and exercises – some suggestions for other activities are included.

The UK Data Service offers access to major UK government-sponsored surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal studies, UK Census data, international aggregate, business data, and qualitative data. Take a look at the range of Teaching Ideas for creative ideas on using these datasets in the classroom.

Presented in a colourful and easy-to-use format, these Teaching Ideas are ready to hand out to your class. See the ideas for teaching page for the latest additions to the range.

You will find Teaching Ideas on the following topics:

Get involved: share your ideas

These Teaching Ideas focus on correlation and regression analysis using continuous variables; feedback from university lecturers highlighted a particular need for this type of resource.

Why not share your teaching experiences with others? We want to expand the suite of Teaching Ideas with ideas from teachers themselves. Please get in touch if you have suggestions of other topics/methods that we could cover, or feedback and suggestions on the current range.

Through this mutual sharing of ideas, we hope to provide a suite of useful teaching resources that will make lesson preparation easier and help one another provide higher-quality teaching for those studying quantitative methods. All teachers contributing ideas will be acknowledged on the handout we create.

Read more about the development of teaching ideas in our blog, A problem shared: a way to share ideas for teaching with data.

Discover UK Data Service