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Taking advantage of really cool web based tools to enable students to ask questions and investigate answers. The challenge of developing great assignments. Marion Field Fass, Beloit College 2010. Hans Rosling and Gapminder : Watch his TED talks!.

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slide1

Taking advantage of really cool web based tools to enable students to ask questions and investigate answers

The challenge of developing great assignments

Marion Field Fass, Beloit College 2010

gapminder goal to make data accessible and understandable
Gapminder: Goal to make data accessible and understandable
  • What’s here: Gapminder WORLD from UNICEF
life expectancy at birth in 2000 versus per capita gdp in 2001 by province
Life Expectancy at Birth in 2000 versus Per Capita GDP in 2001 by province

http://www.china-profile.com/data/overview_1.htm

gapminder so much data so little time
Gapminder: So much data, so little time
  • Characteristics of one country over time
  • Comparisons of regions
  • Investigations of economic development, income disparities
  • Hypotheses about related factors
    • What contributes to infant mortality? Maternal mortality? Literacy, doctors, trained birth attendants, etc.
    • How does infrastructure relate to economic development?
refining the assignment
Refining the assignment
  • First explore the possibilities
  • Then respond to a specific assignment (FYI)

1) 1820 to present -- what time periods represent the greatest increase in life expectancy?

2) Choose 5 countries from 5 different continents and look at life expectancy. What hypotheses do you have about differences you observe?

3) Repeat 1 and 2 using children per woman (Fertility) as your independent variable (horizontal axis). Does this change what you observe? What do you think is the relationship between fertility and life expectancy?

building an argument using graphs
Building an argument using graphs
  • GLOBAL HEALTH- first explore the possibilities in class
  • Using the data you have available on Gapminder, Measuredhs.com, and other sources, develop a visual argument that explores the questions raised in the introduction above. Which comes first- Health or wealth? Contrast countries or regions, focusing on 2 dependent variables- infant or child mortality and life expectancy, and at least 4 independent variables that help you tell your story.
challenges
Challenges
  • Developing clear assignments
  • Explaining the graphs
    • Students are most successful if they simplify
  • Ruling out certain words in discussion- prove, cause
  • Using instead: correlate
  • Encouraning questions about variables
other amazing data to explore relative cost of low fat milk to soda
Other amazing data to explore: Relative cost of low fat milk to soda

http://maps.ers.usda.gov/FoodAtlas/

slide15

http://www.nationmaster.com/country/ch/Age_distribution

Age distribution

China

2000

and 2050

http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/country.php US Census Bureau

MOVING AGE PYRAMIC http://www.china-profile.com/data/ani_pop_1.htm

how the world is changing www worldmapper org
How the world is changingwww.worldmapper.org

Animation of Internet users 2000 to 2007

resources for investigation
Resources for investigation
  • Gapminder- tools and videos www.gapminder.org
  • Demographic and Health Surveys, www.measuredhs.com
  • Worldmapper, lots of cartograms, www.worldmapper.org
  • US Food Environment Atlas, http://maps.ers.usda.gov/FoodAtlas/
  • BP Statistical Report on World Energy, with charting tool, http://www.bp.com/productlanding.do?categoryId=6929&contentId=7044622
  • http://chinadataonline.org/ Subscription, very costly
  • http://www.chinatoday.com/ Limited information at China Today
  • China agricultural and economic data http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/China/
  • China population pyramids, http://www.nationmaster.com/country/ch/Age_distribution
  • World population pyramids, US Census Bureau http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/country.php
  • China Profile. http://www.china-profile.com/ FREE