Uploaded by Jenny McIlwain

Computer Practical Week 1

Computer Practical – Week 1
Learning outcomes
Understand data types and use Excel to manipulate data
Identify and describe data types
Discuss data collection methods
Consider how data is organised appropriately in Excel
Practise how to write research questions
Topics to be covered
Types of data
Population and samples
Data collection methods
Data organisation
Pre-class work
Watch the following 5 minute Youtube video on types of data and sampling techniques
Now have a look at this paper (look for it in your Paper folder in Resources on Blackboard), see if you can
identify the different types of data and sampling technique used
Browne NK (2012) Spatial and temporal variations in coral growth on an inshore turbid reef subjected to
multiple disturbance events. Marine Environmental Research 77:71-83
Class activity on data organisation
You will be provided to a complex data set. Please familiarise yourself with the data and make sure you
understand what the different columns stand for, why they are organised like this and which represent
dependent and independent variables. Making sure you understand this is critical for this unit, but also for all
research and statistical analysis.
Once you have happy with how the data is laid out, I want you to come up with three research questions that
as a coral researcher you might ask of the data. Your research question should meet the following criteria:
1) Be short and concise – one sentence long
2) Contain at least one dependent and independent variable
3) Indicate an ‘effect’ or even the expected direction of effect
Discuss with your class mates to help you put these questions together, and then we will discuss as a class,
and decide on what the three best research questions are, and start to think about how we can ‘pull’ out the
data required to answer each of these questions.
Once as a class we have decided what our 3 best research questions are, consider how we start to address
them. In class, we will go through one example together. Have a go at going through the remaining 2
research questions. We will compare answers at the end!