Quantitative Skills > Teaching Methods > Teaching Quantitative Literacy > Graphs


Quick links to other graphing pages: Basic graphing skills, Understanding trends, Interpolation/Extrapolation, Functions, Graph Significance, Graphing confusion


created by Jennifer M. Wenner, Geology Department, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Graphing skills play an important role in many introductory geoscience courses. Students are expected to be able to plot data on x-y graphs, to estimate or approximate trends in data, to interpret trends in the context of geology. Sometimes graphs in geoscience textbooks are presented in formats that are foreign or confusing to students, even those who have had classical mathematics.

Because graphs and graphing concepts in introductory geoscience courses involve a variety of issues for both students and faculty, we present a number of pages designed to assist in the presentation of these skills. These pages address issues ranging from remedial skills to the geologic contexts in which we present these complex concepts.

Basic graphing skills

Or, skills students probably learned in high school - This page discusses skills that faculty may (generally correctly) assume that students were taught while they were in high school.

The important concepts covered include:

Advanced skills

or, important skills that introductory geoscience students may not have encountered in the past. There are a number of upper level skills that we may need to expand on before the students can complete exercises that demand the use of these mathematical concepts. These include:

Teaching the significance of graphs

This page helps faculty with teaching techniques that address models of the natural world, helping students to:

Sources of (possible) student confusion in geology

This page addresses the things that geologists do with graphs that may confuse students who have learned and internalized the "rules" for graphing in mathematics. This includes: