Instead help students to make further progress by

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Instead, help students to make further progress by summarizing their difficulties as a series of questions. Some suggestions for these are given in the Common issues table on the next page. These have been drawn from common difficulties observed in trials of this lesson unit. We suggest you make a list of your own questions, based on your students’ work. We recommend you either: write one or two questions on each student’s work, or give each student a printed version of your list of questions and highlight the questions for each individual student. If you do not have time to do this, you could select a few questions that will be of help to the majority of students and write these on the board when you return the work to the students at the beginning of the lesson.
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Teacher guide Interpreting Data: Muddying the Waters T-4 Common issues: Suggested questions and prompts: Does not understand that there are alternative interpretations of data and statistics, some of which may be biased. For example: The student copies or paraphrases the Riverside Manager’s interpretations. What does the chart show? What does the Riverside Manager say the chart shows? Is there a difference? In what ways is what the Riverside Manager said misleading? Does not recognize that things can happen together without one causing the other For example: The student does not contradict the causal claim made about the scatter plot. If two things happen at the same time, does that mean one made the other happen? Write down another reason that there might be a correlation. What other interpretations of the correlation can you find? Does not understand that survey questions may push respondents towards a particular response For example: The student does not recognize that the phrasing of the statement biases respondents towards thinking of the river as polluted and smelly. Does the way this question is asked make a ‘yes’ response more likely than ‘no’ or ‘maybe’? Why do you think that? Does it matter? Try writing this question in a way that doesn’t push the respondent towards a particular answer. Does not recognize that statistics may be compiled in ways that push readers towards a biased interpretation For example: The student does not recognize that on the scatter plot, starting the ‘number of visitors’ scale at 122 (rather than 0) distorts perceptions of the proportional change in the number of visitors. Or: The student does not recognize that it is inappropriate to draw conclusions about the whole population from such a small sample size. Notice that the scale on this graph starts at 122. How different would the graph look if you drew the axis showing the whole range? How might that affect your interpretation? How many visitors were there overall?
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