Exploring Society By The Numbers

Integrating Data Into the Curriculum: Learning to Read Tables

Barbara Risman, North Carolina State University

Summary

This assignment will require you to locate three tables on-line (detailed directions are provided), print them out, interpret the data in the tables, and answer several questions on what you have learned from the tables.

Learning Goals

Skill
This assignment will help you learn how to:
  • Test hypotheses using quantitative data
  • Produce a bivariate table (bivariate means having two variables)
  • Evaluate the implied hypothesis (is the hypothesis supported by the data?)
  • Provide bivariate tables with a control variable
  • Evaluate the hypothesis under the conditions of the control variable

Context for Use

This exercise was designed for a sociology course. Students will look at race/ethinicity, family type and income in the United States.

Description and Teaching Materials

Exercises: PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 85kB Mar25 09)
Exercises: DOC (Microsoft Word 41kB Mar25 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses a customized data set made from combining census information from 1950-1990 and guides students through data manipulation using WebCHIP software found at DataCounts!. To open WebCHIP with the dataset for the activity, please see instructions and links in the exercise documents under teaching materials. For more information on how to use WebCHIP, see the How To section on DataCounts!

Assessment

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References and Resources

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