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Tutorial Combination and Assessment

Author(s): Cheryl Squair

University of Hawaii at Manoa

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The tutorial adaptation specifically addresses data types (i.e., numeric versus categorical variables) and the types of graphs that are used to summarize the different data types.

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0.0 - published on 17 Jan 2018 doi:10.25334/Q48T03 - cite this

Adapted from: Spreadsheet Data Analysis Tutorial Series v 1.0


The module was implemented at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa by Cheryl Squair.

  • Course: Biology 171L - Introduction to Biology 1 Lab
  • Course Level: Lower division biology majors
  • Instructional Setting: Lab
  • Implementation Timeframe: The tutorials were used to introduce students to spreadsheet skills, prior to our lab on data analysis, in the third week of the semester. All four tutorials were assigned to students as homework one week prior to the lab.


I implemented Tutorials 1, 2 and 3 with no changes. Students in our course do not cover any statistics beyond mean, median, mode and standard deviation. Consequently, I excluded the tutorials on t-test and regression. Many students appear to have a fuzzy or incomplete understanding of different types of data. To address this, I developed an additional tutorial to explicitly cover different data types and how those data are graphed. I typically only generate scatter plots, line and bar graphs. I did not cover histograms in our course, primarily because of the challenges associated with generating them in spreadsheet programs such as MS Excel. In the past, the students spent so much time trying to construct bins, that they forgot the purpose of binning.

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