Data Uncertainty Module

Basil Tikoff, University of Wisconsin - Madison
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This is a (~35 slide) powerpoint with embedded video/audio that specifically addresses data uncertainty. It provides a "meter" that allows you to evaluate uncertainty. It provides geology field-based examples of how to judge different types of uncertainty. It could easily be used in a variety of classroom or lab settings, when data is discussed.

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Skills and concepts that students must have mastered


How the activity is situated in the course

It is used prior to a day in which we are evaluating the quality of different field-based data sets. Students work through this powerpoint and analyze existing datasets that have explicit uncertainty rankings.

Activity Length

~1 hour.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Evaluating uncertainty in data, particularly field-based uncertainty

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

critical evaluation of data

Other skills goals for this activity

independent assessment

Description and Teaching Materials

Data Uncertainty Module (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 48.7MB May16 20)

Technology Needs


Teaching Notes and Tips

The audio portions are authentic and very helpful for the overall experiences. This was originally designed as part of capstone experience, but we realized that it might be generally useful. It can be paired with evaluating fabric data on the Sage Hen flat project.

It has a counterpart about uncertainty associated with models (Model Uncertainty Module).


This activity provides the tools for data evaluation. Assessment is through the students use of these tools (see Sage Hen flat project).

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