Public Lab Research note

This is part of a series on student-community-science.

Data Collection Resources

by mimiss , purl | June 14, 2019 13:27 14 Jun 13:27 | #19699 | #19699

In Phase 3 of the Student-led Community Science Curriculum, students focus in on project implementation and data collection. Examples of data collection might include site surveys, collecting information from monitoring devices they have placed in the field, retrieving memory cards for time lapse photographs, and interviewing local residents. Here, you'll find resources to help you get started, organize your tasks, and compile your data.

Preparing to Collect Data

Dividing up tasks

Before beginning your project, it’s important that your team’s work is divided fairly. A great way to do this is to assign clear roles for your team members. Then, you can make a list of all the tasks your project requires and assign tasks based on each person’s specific function, position, and strengths.

For educators looking for ways to arrange students for group work, check out these resources:

Creating a Checklist

Having a checklist can help ensure that your team is on the same page and that no task is forgotten. You can also use notes on your checklist to help standardize the data you collect, by ensuring that you gather data from the same locations at the same time. Here is a template to get you started.

Data Collection Tips

Use the same format for your data sheet each day. Check out these data pages or make your own!

Resource: Learning to Make Data Tables

If you’ll have different students collecting data each day, be sure there are clear instructions to help standardize the data they produce.

  • Have instructions for the angle to take a photo from.
  • Use tape or chalk to mark the place to be measured.
  • Agree beforehand on the units and number of decimal places you’ll measure to.
  • Store your data in a place that’s accessible to all, such as an online collaborative document like a Google Doc or Sheet.

Data Logging

Thinking about using a data logger? Check out this collection of resources from Public Lab contributors.

You can also build this Nano Data Logger, avail for purchase from the Public Lab Store

Get Help

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