Teaching Statistics Through Data Investigations

Our world is rich with data sources, and technology makes data more accessible than ever before! To help ensure students are future ready to use data for making informed decisions, many countries around the world have increased the emphasis on statistics and data analysis in school curriculum–from elementary/primary grades through college. This course allows you to learn, along with colleagues from other schools, an investigation cycle to teach statistics and to help students explore data to make evidence-based claims. To learn more about engaging learners in making inferences and claims supported by data and how to emphasize inferential reasoning in teaching statistics through posing different types of investigative questions, enroll in Teaching Statistics through Inferential Reasoning.

Who Should Take This Course?

Teaching Statistics Through Data Investigations is applicable to anyone interested in strengthening their approaches to teaching statistics through data investigations. The statistical content and strategies are appropriate for implementation with middle school through early college learners. Thus, teachers of statistics in grades 6–12 and in post-secondary contexts are the primary audience. This course may also be of interest to elementary teachers, teacher educators, and teachers of other disciplines that use data-based explorations extensively to make claims and inferences (e.g., science, social science). There is no cost for participating in Teaching Statistics Through Data Investigations.

Course Objectives

  • Strengthen your understanding of how to engage students in a statistical investigation process;
  • Explore a framework for guiding your teaching of statistical investigations to promote deeper data explorations for your students;
  • Use rich data sources and dynamic graphing tools to support investigations of questions that are of interest to you and your students;
  • Examine the ways students reason with data to make evidence-based claims;
  • Personalize applications of statistical investigations to your students;
  • Collaborate with colleagues near and far to gain different perspectives on data investigations and to build a library of teaching resources.
3,284 educators from 50 states and 84 countries have previously participated in the Teaching Statistics through Data Investigations course

Learn More

Unit 1: Considering the Possibilities of Teaching Statistics with Data
This unit focuses on what statistics is and why it is taught in schools. This unit explores the possibilities of students engaging with real data and cool tools and of teaching statistics with data. You can engage with exciting readings and videos, use a web-based tool for exploring data, and engage with conceptual assessment items that may help you consider how students can be expected to reason with statistics.

Unit 2: Engaging in Statistics
This unit takes a careful look at what it means to engage in statistics. This includes examining the difference between mathematics and statistics, learning the statistical investigation cycle, and considering habits of mind when working with data, and watching as a teacher engages students in a statistical investigation. You will analyze mathematical and statistical tasks, explore additional web-based tools for data exploration, and extend your learning with online resources for data sets and lesson plans.

Unit 3: Introducing Levels of Statistical Sophistication
This unit explores a framework for supporting growth in students' statistical sophistication and digs deeper into statistical habits of mind. You will learn about a statistical task framework to design, adapt, and analyze instructional tasks and explore students' levels of statistical sophistication. We will offer some additional tools for data exploration and resources assisting in the teaching of statistics.

Unit 4: Delving Deeper into the Investigation Cycle
This unit provides teaching and learning materials to assist you in understanding the different components of a statistical investigation, including several resources that can be used directly with students. You will use data from the Census at School project using your favorite data tool and investigate students’ reasoning.

Unit 5: Putting It All Together
This unit considers how to change teaching practices that can really engage students in doing statistics with real data. You will reflect on, assess, and share what you have learned throughout the course, provide feedback for the work posted by colleagues, and contribute ideas for improving the MOOC-Ed.

Obtaining a Certificate of Completion

20 hours

A certificate of completion for 20 hours of professional development will be provided to participants who do the following in each unit:

  • Access and engage with all materials on the Engage with Essentials page.
  • Complete the Investigate and Discuss; this includes engaging in activities and participating in the discussion forum.
  • Post at least one discussion or comment in the Discuss Learning and Practices.
  • Complete the end-of-course survey.

You can submit the certificate to your local agency with a request for Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Granting of CEUs will be subject to the policies and procedures of your state and local agency.

There are also opportunities to participate in performance assessments to demonstrate your competency with ideas presented in the course and apply them to your educational practices. These performance assessments, called micro-credentials, can allow you to earn additional CEUs. Our Teaching Statistics micro-credentials are portable and stackable. Once you demonstrate a competency and earn a micro-credential, you will receive a certificate and a virtual badge recognizing your accomplishment. We have created two stacks of micro-credentials that are purposefully stacked to help support you as you deepen your knowledge and competence in specific areas of teaching statistics. Each micro-credential can help you earn 0.5-0.75 CEUs. Note that you can earn CEUs by successfully completing any of the six Teaching Statistics micro-credentials, even if you choose to not complete the requirements for the 20-hour certificate.

Friday Institute Online Professional Learning Courses provide a scalable, accessible, and flexible approach that is aligned with the principles of effective professional learning. Our approach is grounded in authentic, active, and collaborative professional learning activities. The approach builds upon the following key design principles: 

  • Self-directed learning, through personalizing your experience by identifying your own goals, selecting among a rich array of resources, and deciding whether, when, and how to engage in discussions and activities to further your own learning and meet your goals. 
  • Peer-supported learning, through engaging in online discussions, reviewing your colleagues' projects, rating posted ideas, recommending resources, crowdsourcing lessons learned, and participating in twitter chats and other exchanges appropriate to the individual course. 
  • Job-embedded learning, through the use of case studies, classroom and school related projects; developing action plans; and other activities that center your work on critical problems of practice and data-informed decision-making in your own classrooms, schools or districts. 
  • Multiple voices, through learning about the perspectives of other teachers and administrators along with those of students, researchers and experts in the field. Our courses are purposefully not designed around one or two experts who present online lectures. They provide exposure to a rich set of perspectives presented within the context of course elements that reflect these core principles.

You will see these design principles implemented in our courses through the following instructional elements:

  • Conceptual Frameworks
  • Resource Collections
  • Asynchronous Discussions and Twitter Chats
  • Student Scenarios
  • Expert Panels
  • Participant Projects and Peer Feedback
  • Crowd-sourcing
  • Professional Learning Community (PLC) Guides

Duration 5 units
Cost Free
Primary Audience Grade 6-12 Teachers
Post-Secondary Teachers
Facilitators Hollylynne Lee, Ph.D.
Gemma Mojica, Ph.D.
Certificate Available Yes
Certificate Hours 20
Related Courses Teaching Statistics Through Inferential Reasoning

Previous Courses

Fall 2018
Fall 2017
Spring 2017
Fall 2016
Summer 2016
Spring 2016
Fall 2015