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Summer school 2020 – Follow-up report
DaLiCo Team draws positive conclusion of the first Summer School “Doing Cool Things with Open Government Data”
Within the framework of the three-year university project “Data Literacy in Context” (DaLiCo), the first Summer School took place in the last week of September with PhD, Bachelor and Master students from the partner universities of the project, organized by the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg (HAW Hamburg) in the team of Prof. Christine Gläser, project coordinator.
During the English Summer School, four international teams dealt with the topic of Open (Governmental) Data. They developed their own data stories to complement and deepen the data of the World Happiness Report and put their outcome in relation to the topics of gender equality, crime and unemployment as well as geographical and national influences. The teams developed their own research questions based on the general question “what makes us happy”.
Overall, the concept of closely linking normative and ethical aspects of data literacy with aspects of data management in the data life cycle and statistical literacy has been successful. All teams have incorporated the suggestions from the input of Andrea Conchado Peiro (statistician at the Unsiversitat Politècnica de València, Spain) into their data project to focus on the bias that lies in the data itself.
Dr. Marlies van Steenbergen and Cathelijn Timmers (Hogeschool Utrecht, The Netherlands) particularly raised awareness of ethical issues. They demonstrated tools and techniques that sharpen the view on controversial backgrounds when dealing with data and help to include basic ethical questions in the planning and design of data projects.
The successful composition of the teams further promoted competencies and enabled mutual learning. The decision to dispense with web tools for data manipulation and simple statistics, which hide the actual processes of data manipulation, proved to be exactly right with regard to the goal of promoting data competence and critical thinking.
On the other hand, the provision of Excel templates (e.g. for the creation of a new index) has taken away the fears of individual participants about statistics. Some teams focused on data research in their projects and used the templates for analysis. More ambitious teams have used other methods based on this template (nearest neighbour).
More difficult than expected has been the acquisition of the participants themselves. The DaLiCo team had assumed that they would have more applicants than places at a workshop with proven experts and coaching in small groups, which was free of charge for the participants. In fact, with the switch to the virtual environment and postponing into the fall, neither the university in Debrecen (Hungary) nor in Hamburg were able to find interested PhD students for the Summer School. In Hamburg, it was the university-wide distribution of the call that generated a broad echo and interest, especially among the group of international students. The other students – according to a preliminary interpretation – are obviously too involved in their respective courses of study, so that the benefits of extracurricular activities are not immediately apparent or the time available simply does not allow it.
Ultimately, a central goal of the DaLiCo project is to strengthen data literacy at the partner universities as a whole and to network activities. The results and experiences from the Summer School will be useful for future project activities. The HAW Hamburg team will also approach individual colleagues as well as faculties and departments in the coming weeks. We are looking forward to your experiences and ideas on this topic.
The data stories developed during the Summer School can be read on the project website at projects.dalico.info
For members of HAW Hamburg the lectures and materials are accessible via an EMIL room. Interested parties* please contact email@example.com