This project addresses the growing importance of data literacy as a fundamental skill for living in a democratic society and the disheartening fact that few people have a solid understanding of data. It addresses this need by studying how advanced visualization tools can affect teachers' and students' develop understanding of several crucial statistical concepts.
The project focuses on how people understand distributions of data, how they compare two groups of data, and how they think about convariation; it examines the ways in which powerful visualization tools can facilitate the learning of these concepts. As a collaboration between educational software developers and educational researchers, the project takes advantage of the expertise of both groups in order to:
- develop a research foundation that elucidates teaching/learning processes in the area of statistical covariation;
- develop a set of design principles for statistical education tools that best support statistical learning;
- use the largely untapped design expertise of commercial software designers in educational research; and
- leverage NSF's investment in educational software development.
The ultimate goal is to accelerate the development of both statistical education research and software in ways that would be impossible without such a collaboration.
This project was supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (REC-0106654). Opinions expressed here are those of the project staff and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.