Data, Accuracy and Precision
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process.
This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Apr 30, 2008
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
1. how to use three different tools (methods) to collect quantitative position data about a landscape: a level and tape; a GPS (global positioning system); and a total station.
2. how to compile these data on a spreadsheet, and then plot them as a topographic map or surface using computer software.
3. how to evaluate the quality (accuracy and precision) of those data by comparing the two maps to what you know is actually out there.
4. finally, give an assessment of the benefits and limitations of each method for collecting data.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Using data analysis software (Excel & Surfer);
Writing brief reports;
Description of the activity/assignment
Designed for a geomorphology course
Addresses student fear of quantitative aspect and/or inadequate quantitative skills
Addresses student misconceptions
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Microsoft Word 99kB Apr30 08)
- Instructors Notes (Microsoft Word 27kB Apr30 08)