This section provides practical information, exemplars, and tips for using data in teaching, including ideas for using data in teaching, practical advice on sharing data with students, teaching resources and teaching case studies.
Making your own teaching dataset
You can make your own teaching datasets from the archived data collections. For example, teaching datasets can be created by extracting international time series data into a spreadsheet and cutting down datasets from the large social surveys.
The best way to make a teaching dataset will depend upon your aims and the type of data. However, here are some points to consider when using data from the UK Data Service.
Find and download your source data collection
You can access the source dataset in the usual way by registering with the UK Data Service. Indicate the use of the data is to make a teaching dataset.
Rather than downloading the full source data collection, for many key survey datasets you can download a subset of data from Nesstar (here is a video tutorial showing how).
Making changes to the data
Be clear about the purpose of the teaching dataset: Do you want it as simple as possible for a specific teaching context or broader and more versatile?
Make sure to keep everything that is essential – e.g. for survey datasets, think about any necessary weighting and ID variables.
Keep a clear record of the changes you made.
Creating adequate documentation for the new dataset is important.
Good documentation will help:
The documentation should explain the origin of the data and make it clear how the data varies from the source data collection. For an example, see this User guide for the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, 2012: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues Teaching Dataset.
Think about whether the information is presented in an accessible way for students and whether it indicates to teachers the potential uses of the dataset.
For large quantitative teaching datasets, consider producing a codebook with both the variable details and frequencies. Such information will be helpful to you when planning further ways to use your new teaching resource. For example, see Understanding Society, Wave 3, 2011-2012: Teaching Dataset codebook.
Deposit your dataset
We encourage lecturers and teachers to deposit teaching datasets developed from our data collections.
We know finding time to deposit a teaching datasets may not be easy, but we believe that the benefits make it worthwhile. Notably, by depositing your data, you can
Get in touch if you would like help repurposing data or if you have created your own teaching dataset which could be shared with others.