3. Assessing understanding

This final part is on analysis and interpretation of data once it has been displayed. It will enable you to assess the success of your teaching. Using information from the science teacher or another subject teacher shows that data collection and analysis is important across the curriculum; it also allows you to collaborate with other subject teachers and gain support. The activity and case study show how your pupils can use new data as a way to assess their understanding.

You may decide to use a structured question approach (see Resource 4: Structured questions) for your assessment, so that you can find out exactly how much each of your pupils has learned.

Case Study 3: Assessing understanding of data handling

Mr Sule wanted to make sure his pupils were confident at handling and interpreting data. He also wanted to show them what information they could get from their charts.

He asked the science teacher to provide him with data on rainfall for the area for the last year and asked his pupils to use this to draw a chart that showed the data well. He asked pupils to work in pairs to help each other with this task. Each pair had to agree on the best kind of chart to use.

Mr Sule asked them to note the title, the units used, the scales, what the axes represent, the highest and lowest points and any patterns in the chart, and to write a few sentences to explain what the chart showed them.

Mr Sule was pleased with their response and felt that his lesson had been successful. He displayed the pupil’s charts on the classroom wall.

Key Activity: Assessing data analysis and interpretation

To assess your pupils ability to analyse and interpret data, you can use a structured question approach which has gradually harder questions - easy ones that all pupils can answer, middle ones which can be answered by the majority of the pupils and a last one which can be answered only by the more able pupils.

  • Write the data on the board or on a piece of newsprint (some example data is given in Resource 5: Kano's rainfall.
  • Write the questions on a separate sheet of paper.
  • Show the chart and questions to the class and explain they are to work on their own and to draw a chart using the data and then answer as many questions as they can.
  • Give the class a lesson to do the activity.
  • Collect and mark their work.

Next lesson give feedback to the class about what they did well and where they need support and say how you will do this.

2. Interpreting and creating charts in groups

Resource 1: Tally chart