The IDEA Project
To be useful to the student, numeracy needs to be learned and used in multiple contextsin history, geography, in economics and biology, in agriculture and culinary arts. Numeracy is not just one among many subjects but an integral part of all subjects. Lynn Arthur Steen (The Case for Quantitative Literacy www.stolaf.edu/other/ql/case.html)
Welcome to the University of Denver's IDEA Project. IDEA stands for Instruction in Data Exploration and Analysis. The purpose of an IDEA lesson is to provide hands-on experience in conducting empirical research via simple data analysis. By working through an IDEA lesson, students use real data to conduct real research.
IDEA Lessons are designed to be add-on components to academic courses. When students work through an IDEA lesson, they conduct research on a substantive topic that is relevant to a course they are currently taking. As students perform data analyses, they delve into the subject matter of that course more deeply than would be possible using a traditional textbook alone. At the same time the course textbook describes the research that others have conducted, the IDEA lesson shows students how to conduct research on the topic for themselves.
The data in an IDEA lesson are accessed and analyzed on the web using a freely available and easy-to-learn computer interface called Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA). The SDA interface was created at the University of California at Berkeley. Everything a student (or instructor) needs to know to complete an IDEA lesson using the SDA interface is presented in the IDEA lessons in simple, step-by-step fashion.
A lesson is composed of several modules, each of which is designed to be completed within 20 to 40 minutes of class time (though additional time, perhaps spent outside of class, is needed to complete the assignments that accompany each module). The modules are sequential so that earlier ones need to be completed before later ones. But much can be learned even if all the later modules are not completed.
The IDEA Project was originally funded by the Marsico Initiative at the University of Denver. Please direct questions and comments to Chip Reichardt at email@example.com.