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ERIC Number: EJ826596
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Using Pooled Data and Data Visualization to Introduce Statistical Concepts in the General Chemistry Laboratory
Olsen, Robert J.
Journal of Chemical Education, v85 n4 p544-545 Apr 2008
I describe how data pooling and data visualization can be employed in the first-semester general chemistry laboratory to introduce core statistical concepts such as central tendency and dispersion of a data set. The pooled data are plotted as a 1-D scatterplot, a purpose-designed number line through which statistical features of the data are encoded by choice of plotting symbols and inclusion of reference lines. The approach is illustrated for an experiment in which the empirical formula of magnesium oxide is determined; it is readily adapted to other experiments generating univariate data by appropriate customization of the scatterplot. Prior to pooling the class data, each student uses the customized number line to identify the empirical formula that agrees most closely with his or her individual data, thus minimizing confusion over the extent to which an experimentally determined mole ratio can be rounded when finding an empirical formula. Because of their familiarity with number lines and innate abilities for pattern recognition, students are led to develop an intuitive understanding of the statistical concepts illustrated by the scatterplot. (Contains 2 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A