Lesson 1: Collecting and Summarizing Data

Overview Section

The lesson starts with a discussion about how to collect data and different methods to use. Once the data is collected, we need to summarize the data. How to summarize the data depends on which variable type we have. All of these concepts will be presented here.


Upon successful completion of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Describe the benefits and limitations of non-probability and probability sampling methods.
  • Distinguish between experimental and observational studies. Identify explanatory and response variables in a research study.
  • Based on the type of study, determine when a causal conclusion (as opposed to associations) can be made.
  • Articulate how the principles of experimental design (control, randomization, replication) would apply to a given study.
  • Given a research study, identify possible lurking and confounding variables.
  • Classify variables as categorical and quantitative. Create (using technology) graphical displays of categorical variables using pie charts and bar charts.
  • Create (using technology) graphical displays of quantitative variables using dotplots, histograms and box plots.
  • Select and interpret the appropriate visual representations for one categorical variable, and one quantitative variable.
  • Given a data set, compute and interpret measures of center, position (percentiles), and spread.
  • Construct and interpret a box plot.