1. William Finzer
  2. https://concord.org/about/staff/william-finzer
  3. Senior Scientist
  4. Common Online Data Analysis Platform (CODAP)
  5. http://concord.org/projects/codap
  6. Concord Consortium
  1. Daniel Damelin
  2. https://concord.org/about/staff/dan-damelin
  3. Technology and Curriculum Developer
  4. Common Online Data Analysis Platform (CODAP)
  5. http://concord.org/projects/codap
  6. Concord Consortium
Presenters’
Choice
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 11:03 a.m.

    Hi, I’m Bill Finzer, PI of the CODAP project. I’m very interested in your reactions to the bits of the CODAP software you can see in the video.

    Also, what do you think of this idea that CODAP is a “platform” for other projects to build on? Does it come across in the video that the success of CODAP depends on other projects making use of it for their online curriculum development?

    I’m very much looking forward to the conversations we have together this week!

  • Icon for: Elissa Milto

    Elissa Milto

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 08:02 p.m.

    Hi Bill,

    I think it’s clear that CODAP is a platform for other projects. How old are the youngest students that have used CODAP? This leads me to wonder about how easy it is to begin using it and what “instructions” you have for students and/or teachers so they can quickly access it.

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 08:13 p.m.

    Elissa, I’m glad you think the “platform” aspect of CODAP comes across!

    Middle school students have used CODAP and, in a research setting at least, have acquired amazing fluency with CODAP in 30-40 minutes. We are beginning a collaboration in which the developed materials will be used both by upper elementary and citizen scientists.

    In classroom testing situations our collaborators have developed “guides” that live in the CODAP documents, and, in one instance these guides have contained very short videos on how to use CODAP in the given context.

    We have it on our list to provide “on boarding” that collaborators can customize. I hope we get to do that!

  • Icon for: Marius Schamschula

    Marius Schamschula

    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2016 | 12:44 p.m.

    This looks like an excellent tool for data analysis…
    … and so much more!
    As CODAP goes above and beyond the proprietary tools teachers use, particularly in the physics classroom, I would like to see this used in TPACK applications.
    Good to see the use of HTML5, rather than Flash or Java!
    I plan on checking out the CODAP software for our APEX project.

  • Icon for: Daniel Damelin

    Daniel Damelin

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 10:22 p.m.

    Marius, we’d love to hear more about the APEX project and how you think CODAP might benefit/integrate with it.

  • Icon for: Arthur Camins

    Arthur Camins

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 01:46 p.m.

    If I understand correctly, CODAP is a platform the integrates a variety of data courses generated from a variety of sources so that students, teachers, and curriculum developers and use them and interact with them. Is this correct? If so, what are some of the cognitive challenges that come with data sense-making that you are trying to address?

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 02:23 p.m.

    Arthur—Excellent questions! I’ll take the “variety of sources” question first.

    CODAP does make it easy to integrate data from several sources in one document. One example of this happens in Dan Damelin’s Building Models project (that is built on CODAP) in which students generate data from models they build and then compare that data with data from other sources to see the extent to which they match.

    But most uses of CODAP involve single sources of data like a simulation, or a front end to a huge database, or a data game. And, since you can easily make documents that contain data, you don’t have to have a source.

    Now for the cognitive challenges question: This is really interesting because there is so much we don’t yet have research for about how students view data and interact with data! The CODAP project itself has a research strand focussed on students’ understanding of hierarchical data. Somewhat surprisingly we find that left to their own devices, in a rich context, students develop hierarchies on their own. And, at least with CODAP, when they have dynamic linking between representations, they are pretty adept at figuring out hierarchical structures.

    I know that’s not a complete answer to your question about cognitive challenges, but you have to start somewhere, right? ;-)

  • Icon for: Daniel Damelin

    Daniel Damelin

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 10:31 p.m.

    Arthur, one of the interesting cognitive challenges with using CODAP is also at the root of one of CODAP’s most useful features—the ease with which one can create visualizations. The quick drag-and-drop nature of setting up graphs allows students to follow their curiosity, but depending on the data-set, it may be possible to make graphs of two or more variables that are hard to interpret. However, one can experiment and easily make new graphs, following various paths through the data. Sometimes one ends in a blind alley, but one can quickly find one’s way back to productive explorations, not having expended a lot of time creating something that ended up not being helpful in making sense of the data.

  • Icon for: Sarah-Kay McDonald

    Sarah-Kay McDonald

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 08:41 p.m.

    Thank you for providing this window into CODAP – fascinating! I’d love to learn more about any evidence that may be emerging on how use of CODAP influences data literacy, interests in visualization, etc. of students using this tool to aid in data analysis. Among other things, I’m wondering if you’ve seen any interesting differences across grade levels and/or data sense-making in different disciplinary contexts… Looking forward to learning more as the Showcase conversation unfolds!

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 16, 2016 | 08:49 p.m.

    Sarah-Kay, Thanks for your comment!
    We’re doing some research using CODAP. Did a presentation at AERA but just checked and the online repository for the meeting isn’t up yet. Too bad.

    But there is so much to investigate. Do you think CODAP could serve as a platform for data science education research?

  • Icon for: Sarah-Kay McDonald

    Sarah-Kay McDonald

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2016 | 02:45 p.m.

    Based just on what I’ve gleaned from the video this seems a real possibility—I’m definitely going to be looking at CODAP more closely, am very interested in thinking through what might be possible in that regard…Hope you won’t mind if I get back in touch after the Showcase ends (if not before!) to follow-up. Best, Sarah-Kay

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 03:18 p.m.

    Sarah-Kay, I look forward to it!

  • Icon for: May Jadallah

    May Jadallah

    Associate Professor
    May 18, 2016 | 04:33 p.m.

    What a fascinating project. Certainly worth checking CODAP out. I wanted to read the abstract of the presentation you gave at AERA, however the link is broken! It will be wonderful to see what kind of results you were able to obtain with CODAP.

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 04:45 p.m.

    Hi May, I guess I obtained the link while logged in as a presenter. The page for the meeting <http://www.aera.net/EventsMeetings/AnnualMeetin... says the online repository is not up yet. Sigh. Write to me and I can email you the stuff we wrote.

  • Small default profile

    David Strasburger

    Guest
    May 17, 2016 | 12:28 p.m.

    As a science teacher my big question is: when can I play with it?

    My department just came out of a meeting in which we talked about common tools across a program grade 7-12 and the big question for us has to do with adaptability — is there one platform that could work for many different purposes and contexts, and CODAP looks promising.

    Can you say more about how you see sensor integration?

    Also: was that a NetLogo module I saw running there with wolf/sheep? Love the idea of integrating simulations, hands-on measurements, and modeling and analysis.

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 04:22 p.m.

    Hi David. It’s great to know you think CODAP looks promising across 7-12. We are certainly designing it with that in mind!

    Sensor integration has already been achieved by the InquirySpace project’s integration with CODAP. (https://authoring.concord.org/activities/698)

    Yes, that was a NetLogo model integrated with CODAP! You can try out a number of NetLogo+CODAP examples at (http://concord-consortium.github.io/codap-data-...).

    You, your co-teachers, and your students can play with CODAP now by going to (https://concord.org/projects/codap).

  • Icon for: Daniel Damelin

    Daniel Damelin

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 05:27 p.m.

    David, if you want to try the sensor activity Bill linked to above, make sure to install the Sensor Connector app found here: http://sensorconnector.concord.org

    There is a link to it on the front page of that activity, but it may not be obvious. Our sensor connector app works with many USB connected probes from Vernier and Pasco.

  • Small default profile

    Vishakha Parvate

    Guest
    May 17, 2016 | 05:21 p.m.

    Can someone please fund the creation of CODAP as a data analysis too for the masses? It is still the easiest tool to quickly create a scatterplot and filter it by a single bar in a related bar chart – 5 clicks and you are done!

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 05:29 p.m.

    Vishakha, thanks for the endorsement! I know you have been using CODAP in your work where its limitations don’t get in your way.

    More funding would help, of course. But we’re also hopeful that the growing community of developers making use of CODAP will add capabilities such as those you desire.

  • Small default profile

    Gregory Louie

    Guest
    May 17, 2016 | 06:48 p.m.

    Hi Dr. Finzer,

    I’m a fan of Both Concord Consortium and Fathom Data Explorer and Visualization tool. These are all very powerful. I applaud your work.

    My experience with some teachers is that they need side-by-side mentoring and/or step-by-step procedures to become comfortable with using these new tools.

    I recall that the Fathom user community developed a rich data sets to explore. The Modeling instruction community also has a rich set of activities for newbies to try.

    I’m sure you’ve thought of this… creating a robust community of mentors and teacher-trainer-users together with an online resource database of activities is a must for impact. I’m hoping the NSF continues to not only fund the development of software, but continue to fund the critical infrastructure…the “humanware”
    ? needed for success.

    I wish you all the best and will be spreading the word among teachers I know.

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 07:01 p.m.

    Hi Gregory,
    Yes, mentoring, tutorials, courses, PD, etc. are important pieces of the puzzle with respect to getting more students and teachers in more classrooms having more experiences working with data. I hate to say it, but developing the software is the easy part!

    CODAP is different than Fathom in that it isn’t itself a product aimed at classroom use. What we’re hoping for is that other projects make use of CODAP for data analysis in their development of online curriculum materials. We think that by building on CODAP such projects will get a leg up on the technology that allows them to devote more resources to such things as professional development and teacher community building. Thanks for your comment!

  • Icon for: Emily Grossnickle

    Emily Grossnickle

    Post-doctoral scientist
    May 18, 2016 | 02:18 p.m.

    This is definitely a tool I will keep in mind for future teaching. One challenge I’ve experienced with high school and college students using data is the difficulty of interpreting causal vs. correlational relations. Do you see this with the students using CODAP, and do you have suggestions for how a program like CODAP might be used not only for exploring and visualizing data, but also for drawing conclusions, learning basic statistics, etc.?

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 03:23 p.m.

    Hi Emily, I agree with you that differentiating between causal and correlational is an important, conceptually difficult skill—much subtler than we might think!

    We haven’t tackled statistics education with CODAP yet, but HollyLynne Stohl-Lee at NCSU has an NSF proposal named ESTEEM in the questions phase that, assuming it’s funded will be using CODAP as a platform for pre-service stats ed materials development. I’m very much looking forward to working with her and her team on issues like the one you raise.

  • Icon for: David Oonk

    David Oonk

    May 18, 2016 | 03:11 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing. The platform is very compelling and something I would love to use in future projects. I’m interested in how the CODAP platform could be used to connect students with their immediate environment. Say, analyzing citizen science data collected in their own community. For instance, I would love to know more about how you can connect/display collected data over GIS maps.

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 03:33 p.m.

    Hi David. Thanks for your interest! Regarding connecting students to their immediate environments:
    • There’s a conversation above about using CODAP with sensors
    • We’ve just begun working with the StudentsDiscover project at NCSU on ways to use CODAP in citizen science contexts.

    • Displaying data on maps is straightforward. If you have attributes with ‘latitude" and ’longitude’ (and a few other ad hoc spellings), points will automatically display in a map for each case.
    • If you have an attribute ‘boundary’ whose values are geojson, these will display as boundaries on a map.

    There are lots of limitations currently, but if you include us in a project we can work together on extending the GIS capabilities to meet your needs!

  • Small default profile

    Kim Kastens

    Guest
    May 19, 2016 | 04:26 p.m.

    Hi Bill, What map projection(s) are you using? And is there a choice of projections?

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 04:45 p.m.

    We rely on Leaflet for maps. Currently you get whatever is Leaflet’s default. We don’t provide an interface for the user to change the projection, but there’s no reason we couldn’t (aside from UI clutter). Why do you ask?

  • Small default profile

    Kim Kastens

    Guest
    May 19, 2016 | 05:07 p.m.

    Different map projections are useful for different purposes. For analyses that pertain to how large a region is, or how densely spaced a phenomenon is, you’d want to be using an equal-area map projection. The Mercator projections, the default in many school rooms, is optimized for ship navigation, because it shows compass courses accurately, but is quite distorted as to area. The reason I asked is because many common projections (Mercator, for example) deteriorate severely as you get close to the poles, and with so much attention on high latitude processes under conditions of global climate change, it seems to me important to be able to show high latitudes well on your maps.

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 07:50 p.m.

    Hi Kim! As someone thinking about a platform that can be adapted to many different projects, your comments about projections make me realize that to be adaptable we will need to make it easy for one project to add UI for something like map projection seamlessly. Thanks.

  • Icon for: Arthur Camins

    Arthur Camins

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2016 | 03:17 p.m.

    Helping teachers help students to represent and make sense of data has been a persistent challenge, but of course, vital. Your contributions to this have great promise. Can you share any lessons learned about PD for teachers to use your tools for both early adopters and maybe those not already oriented to using such tools in day-to-day teaching?

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 03:44 p.m.

    Hi Arthur,
    In the 20 years prior to CODAP I worked on developing the desktop application Fathom. Part of that was professional development for teachers, mostly mathematics and statistics teachers. An important realization from that work is that few of us have “data immersion” experience and that making it possible for teachers to have such experience and to emerge loving data is the most important beginning point. Is that just too obvious?

  • Small default profile

    Gregory Louie

    Guest
    May 18, 2016 | 08:53 p.m.

    Hi William,

    Gotta say, I loved Fathom! Thank you for developing such a powerful and intuitive tool. I wish you great success with building a community of developers and users of CODAP.

    I was introduced to Fathom when I collaborated with a Math teacher to use the Modeling Instruction methods to have students create hypotheses on pendulums, collect, analyze and interpret their data in Fathom.

    We continued to use the program to look at data on CO2 readings from Mauna Kea and global temperatures. So I was very sad when it was bought out from Key Curriculum and then dropped by the new publisher.

    Due to the crunch of time in the life of a busy teacher, I tried unsuccessfully to use Fathom to explore datasets found on the Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET).

    If you aren’t familiar with SERC’s EET, I highly recommend that you look at what they have attempted to do to inject guided inquiry into science classrooms using real-world earth science datasets…

    http://serc.carleton.edu/eet/index.html

    The last time I looked (over 5 years ago) they were mostly written for instructors and students to use Excel.

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 09:27 p.m.

    Gregory,
    Thanks for the pointer to EET. I took a quick look and could see why Fathom might not have been terribly useful in such an image-centric, GIS-oriented context. CODAP already has some GIS capabilities but not yet easy handling of the tiffs I saw on the EET site. But if the right partner comes along, we’re able to work with them to integrate such data analysis with the graphs and maps already present in CODAP.

    Regarding Fathom, did you know that Concord Consortium now publishes it? See https://fathom.concord.org

  • Icon for: Joel Studebaker

    Joel Studebaker

    Project Manager
    May 19, 2016 | 01:38 p.m.

    This is really a fascinating tool. After playing with some of the examples I can’t stop thinking about all of the possible applications for classroom use. I’m really curious about what kind of instructional supports you offer students in the first session.

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 02:02 p.m.

    Hi Joel,
    Regarding instructional supports for the first session, I think there are two approaches: 1) Provide some generic introduction; 2) Make the first activity require little or no instructional support, e.g. just base it on selecting points. Different collaborators will take different approaches.

    We talk about, but haven’t yet provided, a customizable on-boarding framework so that a collaborator could make an introduction that is context specific and brings up hints at appropriate times and places.

    If you were working with CODAP what would you want?

  • Icon for: Daniel Damelin

    Daniel Damelin

    Co-Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 02:06 p.m.

    Joel,
    Our goal is to have impact through the projects we partner with. Several projects have developed introductions to CODAP customized to their particular topic area and method of integrating CODAP into their curriculum and/or existing tools.

    We do plan to build out the CODAP help system and develop onboarding technology to help both new users who find CODAP outside of a partner project, and for our partners to more easily get their own users fully engaged with the range of features CODAP makes possible.

  • Icon for: Joel Studebaker

    Joel Studebaker

    Project Manager
    May 19, 2016 | 02:26 p.m.

    That would certainly be a great addition. It seems that the InquirySpace activities provide a good tutorial for teachers to explore, and an activity they could use to scaffold skills before more in-depth explorations. Outside of the partner projects you’ve worked with, have there been many teachers to independently use CODAP in their classrooms?

  • Small default profile

    Robert Gould

    Guest
    May 19, 2016 | 03:37 p.m.

    What a wonderful project! I’m intrigued by the phrase “intuitions about data”, particularly as a an important learning goal. Can you say more about what you mean by “intuitions about data”?

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 04:38 p.m.

    Hi Rob! I suppose I mean something similar to that other vague phrase “data habits of mind.” Intuitions about data help with data sleuthing and problem solving. “Why are all the points scrunched up? Oh, it must be because of this one outlier.” “Why has my computer become so slow? This must be a huge data set.” “Maybe instead of a continuous color gradation I could see things better with discrete boundaries.” “Data can feel like a fluid as it flows from one container to another.” “I bet if I zoom in here, I’ll see there is actually some structure and pattern.” Ooh, it’s fun to make up these kinds of statements and questions. What would you add?

  • Small default profile

    Rob Gould

    Guest
    May 19, 2016 | 05:38 p.m.

    Hi Bill! I used the phrase “Habits of mind” the other day, and someone wrote back to me: “You must mean ‘attitudes’. Why don’t you just say ‘attitudes’”. But I think this notion is very different. I guess the primary habit of mind I want to establish is the gut-reaction “What do the data say?”

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 07:45 p.m.

    Interesting to think that a habit of mind could be gastrointestinal. But I’m with you.

  • Icon for: Roger Taylor

    Roger Taylor

    Assistant Professor
    May 20, 2016 | 07:14 p.m.

    Kudos on this excellent project! I sometimes use a GUI when creating my own data visualizations but other times I prefer to create it using syntax. Is there something equivalent that teachers or advanced users could use with CODAP?

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 20, 2016 | 09:13 p.m.

    Roger, thanks for the kudos.
    Actually, we are doing our utmost to resist the temptation to add advanced features, even when they can be provided in ways that might not get in the way of ordinary users. We have limited resources, and putting them into such features makes it harder to get things right.

    It’s often a tough call, of course. Sometimes we ourselves are dying for the advanced feature! And we recognize that getting advanced users to love CODAP and to make use of it routinely can help spread it. In the end we hope that the KISS principle will serve novices and experts alike.

  • Small default profile

    Prof. I.I.T.Bombay

    Guest
    May 22, 2016 | 12:42 a.m.

    I wish we can bring in teachers and students from India in the project,

  • Icon for: William Finzer

    William Finzer

    Presenter
    May 22, 2016 | 11:48 a.m.

    Hello Professor Bombay,
    What do you anticipate would be the difficulties in doing so?

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.