Collaborative Laboratory for Quantitative Data Analysis


  • Adam James Bridgeman
  • Siegbert Schmid


In this project, students share experimental results to perform data analysis and to develop an appreciation of precision, accuracy and reliability of experimental data and of the scientific method. The number of students taking Junior Chemistry means that the data sets are large and naturally contain random, systematic, and even deliberate errors. By forcing students to work with a wide range of measurements including their own, students develop an appreciation of the importance of the role of human error in the physical sciences. In doing so and in using spreadsheet software, key generic attributes including quantitative, problem solving and inquiry skills are developed and deficiencies in the computer skills are addressed. The project has led to real improvements in the development of generic attributes in our courses, at minimal expense.