Unit 4: Collecting Data

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Exploratory Data Analysis
  • As mentioned in previous units, it is important for students to first pose a research question before collecting and examining data. In this case, students may not already have data to work with, but having a big picture question in mind will help them to more effectively design a study and collect the appropriate data.
Comparing Groups
  • In this unit, students will learn how to design studies to determine the effect of a treatment variable on a response variable. Thus they must think of which treatment groups they need to compare and how to control for other factors to isolate the effect of the treatment.

  • One can analyze any data set and compare it to other data sets or compare observations within that data set. However, if one hopes to use a data set from a sample or samples to make inferences about the underlying population or populations, one must carefully design the collection of data.

  • We will return to this topic of data collection at the end of the course when students more experience measuring statistical differences between groups.