Thursday, November 18, 2010 0

Following on from my last blog I would now like to focus on Data Collection and Processing, aspect 1.

When collecting data it is understood by moderators that it can be difficult to collect sufficient data (including repeats) within ones own experiment. To that end students are allowed to use class data given the proviso that:

• The student clearly presents their OWN data or alternatively clearly identifies that which is pooled.
• The student MUST plan and produce their own data table. To that end data from others could be collated via email, data on the blackboard etc.

Its regarded as breach of academic honesty / collusion if students copy tables from other students. To address this issue perhaps ensure that class data is collected in class time.

Raw quantitative data must be included in the paper in a suitable table that has a “stand alone” title. I ask my students to begin the title “Table to show…” in order to get them to address the contents and purpose of the table, explicitly  (processed data can also be included in the table).

Uncertainties should be given and subsequent data within the columns should not go beyond the uncertainty level of accuracy. (+- 0.01 means that data in the column should not go to 3 decimal places).

Students often miss the associated qualitative data. This can be frustrating but is essential. Especially for such things as ecological surveys.

##### 1 Comment

• May 30, 2012

I notice that you use this wording
“Uncertainties should be given and subsequent data within the columns should not go beyond the uncertainty level of accuracy. (+- 0.01 means that data in the column should not go to 3 decimal places)”
The IB website says
“The instrument limit of error is usually no greater than the least count and is often a fraction of the least count value. For example, a burette or a mercury thermometer is often read to half of the least count division. This would mean that a burette value of 34.1 cm3 becomes 34.10 cm3 (± 0.05 cm3). Note that the volume value is now cited to one extra decimal place so as to be consistent with the uncertainty”
It doesn’t seem logical to me to put 34.10 in this case as it was only measured to the nearest 0.1 of a cm3 – I’d be interested to have opinions on this?