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Choosing the Best Error Bars to Use on a Graph Featuring DataClassroom
March 15, 2021 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDTFree
In this free workshop, Kristen Dotti from Catalyst Learning Curricula will walk you through the choices that are commonly used to depict the spread of data in a sample group. Interpreting error bars was once a skill limited to upper-level science courses but has now become a basic part of data literacy in our everyday lives. Error bars on a graph allow the reader to interpret the data, but which descriptors of central tendency should you use? Range, median, SD, SEM, 95CI, or something else? Participants will learn how to select an appropriate indicator to reveal the variation seen in measured samples or to depict the uncertainty of an experimental group. We will use DataClassroom to explore the impact of increasing sample size on error bars when they are defined by standard deviation, standard error of the mean, or the 95% confidence interval. We will discuss how and when error bars can be used to predict the outcome of a statistical hypothesis test and learn a few fun ways to cover these same concepts with your own students.
Note from Kristen: Although Data Classroom is a paid subscription service that is available for teachers and districts, the resource is so valuable as a teaching tool for data analysis, graphing, and statistics that I wanted to dedicate another free workshop to make teachers aware of the utility of this program. Their free version and the 90-day trial of the licenced version will allow you to determine if this resource is a must-have for your classroom. As an AP and IB teachers, I find the manipulation of all aspects of a data set and the presentation of data in the graphic form–particularly the choice of error bars–to be something my students need. I want to let other AP and IB teachers know about this resource, and would love to see students using it at a younger age so they could be better prepared as they progress through the vertical science curriculum.