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Mathematical Thinking CATs || Fault Finding and Fixing || Plausible Estimation
Creating Measures || Convincing and Proving || Reasoning from Evidence

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Classroom Assessment Techniques
'Reasoning from Evidence' Tasks

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'Reasoning from Evidence' tasks consist of questions asking students to organize and represent a collection of unsorted data, and to draw sensible conclusions.

For example, students are given a collection of data concerning male and female opinions of two deodorants. The experiment has been designed to test two variables; the deodorant name/ packaging and the fragrance. Both forms of packaging are tested with both forms of fragrance. Data consist of responses from males and females on a five point scale (from 'Love it' to 'Hate it') to each combination of packaging and fragrance. The data are presented to students as an unsorted collection of responses from 40 people that they have to organize. They may begin, for example, by dividing the data into two piles, male and female. They may then allocate numerical values to the data and calculate mean ratings, draw graphs and so on. This should enable them to draw simple conclusions. The demand here is not so much in the performance of technical skills as in the mathematical processes of organization, representation and interpretation.

Assessment Purposes

As these tasks involve a considerable amount of organization and reasoning, the output of students will be difficult to assess rapidly. Little mathematical knowledge is assumed apart from fundamental statistical ideas of chance and proportion. Of course, more advanced students may be able to implement more sophisticated ideas, such as tests of significance, but these are not essential.

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Mathematical Thinking CATs || Fault Finding and Fixing || Plausible Estimation
Creating Measures || Convincing and Proving || Reasoning from Evidence

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