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Using Data to Answer Questions

To enhance the connection between course material and real life, and students' sense of engagement with the learning process.


Students draw on their own interests to choose and design research questions that they then spend the term answering using survey data from Statistics Canada. 

The project is divided into several parts that build on each other. Assignment spacing is designed to give students at least one week with instructor feedback from the previous assignment



Students are invested in doing the work well because they care about getting valid answers to questions they consider important. Students feel empowered in their learning experience when they are able to submit smaller portions of the assignment while gaining feedback from the instructor. As they progress, they have opportunities to learn from and correct mistakes from previous work.


These activities were done in a Quantitative Methods course and can be adapted to other disciplines and teaching platforms.