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Telling Stories About and With Data

Presenter 1
Jackie Carter
University of Manchester

This session focuses on a project with a remit to produce some evidence of how teachers use data resources, and the impact on student learning. There is concern about levels of data and statistical literacy skills of UK social science students, even though the cutting edge of social science is reliant on use of real world datasets, and there is a great desire to improve research-led teaching in the area. The project collates the experience of attempts to upskill students in data and its discipline-related usage, and provides an illustration of educational practice at both discipline and national level. The case studies showcase attempts to make learning and teaching about and with data a less passive experience. The UK national data centres provide access to a wealth of social science data - provided by national census agencies, and inter governmental organisations including the OECD, IMF, UN and World Bank - for undergraduate and postgraduate study. Students often avoid handling and discussing data in their study unless forced to confront it. The challenge for educators lies in promoting students' use of data, but the benefits in doing so improve both academic performance and job prospects for students.

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