IA - Teacher Support - Data Presentation


This pages provides a step by step guideline for teachers to use in the classroom in preparing the students for their internal assessment. The guideline contains a useful checklist for the students as well as exemplary material and model features.


Introducing Presentation Techniques

The following examples are all taken from successful internal assessments written by students at my school. You could present these ideas to the students and for each one discuss the successes and limitations for showing the data effectively.

A Location map of the River Lesse, showing both the location of survey sites and characteristics of the drainage basin

A Choropleth Map showing Environmental Quality

Choropleth uses colour to represent  a range of data

It provides the important spatial element to the investigation

It allows easy comparison of zones.

The range needs to be chosen carefully

A Cluster Map Showing Location of Low Order Cultural Services and High Order Shops


Cluster maps are effective layers of data and can also be used as an overlay with a choropleth map.

Clusters show general trends of spatial patterns

Cluster maps complement the statistical technique, nearest neighbour.

An Urban Transect showing Ground floor Land use

Transect use choropleth to distinguish ground floor land use

They are drawn to scale and show the spatial trend

Link well with a chosen sample method

Can be be combined with pie chart as well as annotated

A Composite Bar Graph Showing Environmental Quality at Different Sites

Composite bar graphs show comparison across a broad range of data

They present data effectively and are eay to read

A Composite Bar Graph on Environmental Quality Along a Transect

In this case the composite graph is comparing the CB with an area of the inner city

A Radar Chart comparing Environmental Quality in Two Zones

Radar charts are impressive to look at and effective for showing a range of scores.

They can be used to show congestion at different times of the day as well

Good for comparing different sets of data

A Radar Chart Based on a Survey

In this case the radar chart is used to present the results of  population survey where a numerical scoring system has been used

Line Graphs to Show Bipolar Survey

A simple line depicts a bipolar survey based around the perception of place in this case.

It's easy to read and ane effective technique

Cross Sectional Graphs of a River with Velocity

Cross sectional graphs show channel width, depth, cross sectional area and velocity in one technique

Excellent for comparing changing patterns across sites

Good when combined with annotated photographs of sites

Long Profile (30 meters) Choropleth to Show Surface Velocity

This technique shows a a 30 meter long profile collected at one site with three working groups.

It's good to show how channel characteristics change at a local scale

When combined with annotation and/or a photograph it's an excellent technique for explaining local channel factors

this graph can also be used an overlay on Google Earth

Line Graph to Show Hydraulic Radius

Simple graph, effective and easy to read

Line Graph to Show Average Velocity with Trend Line

Trend lines are useful when the line graph pattern shows significant variation

Annotated Photograph of a Survey Site

Annotated photographs and field sketches are very useful for setting the geographic context and interpreting how local factors have a influence

Criterion C - Quality and treatment of information (presentation) (1350)

  • Criterion C is integrated with Criterion D in the written report

Assessment Criteria

To achieve 6/6 Students should meet the following assessment criteria:

The information collected is directly relevant to the fieldwork question and is sufficient in quantity and quality to allow for in‑depth analysis. The most appropriate techniques have been used effectively for both the treatment and display of information collected.

Students should include the following:

Display of information (6-10 examples)

Students should treat and display the information collected using the most appropriate  and effective techniques. This may include tables of data, graphs, diagrams, maps, annotated photographs and images, matrices and field sketches and statistical tests (including confidence limits).

Full attention should be given to the accuracy of display, with titles, axis titles and integration

How to Structure the Data Presentation

This is an important stage of the written report as it forms the basis of the analysis and is essential to the student's interpretation of information and argument. It is integrated with the analysis section of the report.

Students should consider a variety of effective techniques including graphs, tables, maps, sketch photographs and field sketches. The report is best structured in the same order as the hypotheses or subaims were stated in the introduction.

Students should use the hypotheses or subaims as subheadings within the report to inform the reader of how the presentation and analysis relates to the main fieldwork question.

Students should begin by providing the data in simple tables and graphs. Where appropriate the display of data can then become more precise and sophisticated.

For example, a student might first present a simple set of data on average channel depth in a table or graph. But this can then be followed up  with a series of cross profile diagrams that show how depth varies across the channel. An annotated photograph or sketch diagram then shows the true nature of the river channel in terms of the influencing human and physical factors at the survey site.

The hypotheses may increase in complexity as the investigation continues. It is a good idea that the last hypothesis integrates more of the data so students can develop the connections across their data.

Returning to the river study the final hypothesis might refer to the changing discharge down stream as this factors connects channel depth, width, velocity and channel shape and roughness. In this way many connections and relationships can be interpreted.

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