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Everyone in the Pool! Collaborative Data Analysis in the Science Classroom

Norman Herr

In two to five years, most states will be implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for the teaching of science in primary and secondary schools. NGSS presents a paradigm shift in the way science is to be taught and learned at the K-12 level, with an increased emphasis on understanding scientific processes and interpreting and evaluating scientific evidence. Computer Supported Collaborative Science (CSCS) addresses three teaching methodologies that directly address these NGSS goals: (1) collaborative (pooled) data analysis, (2) real-time formative assessment, and (3) collaborative resource development. This mini-course focuses on the first component: collaborative (pooled) data analysis. Participants will learn about the collection, analysis, and interpretation of individual data in the context of whole-class data sets. CSCS fosters scientific inquiry by using collaborative online resources to assess prior knowledge, collecting and analyzing student ideas, data, and comments, and providing educators with the opportunity to perform continuous formative assessments to inform and reform their own instruction. Turn hands-on classroom activities into more authentic scientific experiences, shifting the focus of science instruction from cookbook data collection to thoughtful data analysis required by the NGSS.

Mini-Course and Registration Schedule

This mini-course is self-paced and can be started upon enrollment.

Experience with spreadsheets and in-depth data analysis
Techniques for Analyzing Data with Spreadsheets and Databases - Learn how to use cloud-based databases and spreadsheets to engage students in inquiry-based science. Watch a series of short videos that demonstrate how to use these tools to engage learners in the analysis of scientific data. Submit documents that illustrate mastery of specific techniques.
Collaborative Analysis of Pooled Data - Learn how to collect and analyze data from an entire science class in real-time. Watch a series of short videos that show how students contribute their findings and analyze their own data in the context of a larger pool. Contribute text, graphic, and multimedia data to a common database. Submit your analyses of this pooled data on a collaborative report that is coedited by your colleagues.
Developing and Hosting Collaborative Investigations - Preview a series of pre-made web-based CSCS activities relevant to your teaching interests. Replicate one of these activities in your own cloud-based account. Set the permissions so others can submit and analyze data.
Developing and Hosting Collaborative Investigations - Preview a series of pre-made web-based CSCS activities relevant to your teaching interests. Replicate one of these activities in your own cloud-based account. Set the permissions so others can submit and analyze data.

About California State University, Northridge

California State University, Northridge is one of the largest teacher training intuitions in California and the United States. The colleges of Education and Science & Mathematics have collaborated on numerous STEM education professional development programs for more than two decades and are in the process of forming a region STEM education institute.

About Norman Herr

Norman Herr (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles) is Professor of Science and Computer Education at California State University, Northridge, and a former high school science department chair. He has also worked as a chemist, college science instructor, and consultant for the College Board’s Advanced Placement biology program. He has developed and directed credential, certificate, and masters degree programs in science education and instructional technology and advises doctoral students. 
Dr. Herr has published numerous articles on his research in advanced science instruction in American high schools, and has co-authored the Physical Science Curriculum Library (1999, Prentice-Hall), a 1300-page resource for secondary school science teachers that includes Hands-On Chemistry Activities with Real-Life Applications and Hands-On Physics Activities with Real-Life Applications. Dr. Herr is the author or co-author of more than sixty grants in science and computer education. He has developed numerous websites for science and technology education that receive more than a million visitors each year, and is the author of The Sourcebook for Teaching Science, a 600 page resource for beginning and experienced science educators. Dr. Herr teaches science and technology education courses as hybrids in which synchronous and asynchronous online sessions complement face-to-face sessions.