PhD Theses

PhD theses from CMI

Promoting data science in schools: Facilitating the use of open data and sensors in secondary education

Muhashrah Saddiqa

The dissertation explores how open data and sensor data can help younger students (aged 11–15 years, in fifth through ninth grade) learn digital and data skills and how to develop an educational design for open data platform to facilitate secondary school education. The dissertation examines the use of open data and sensor data in education from the perspective of teachers, and how the digital divide in education can be bridged by utilizing educationally relevant open data platforms and sensors.

An enormous amount of data is generated every day through the use of digital technology. As a result of digitalization, open data — data that is publicly available for anyone to use, reuse, and redistribute — has been used and studied to foster economic development, facilitate transparent governance, and empower people around the world. The digital and data shift can potentially be used to transform conventional teaching methods and to find new strategies and practices for teaching the skills that are necessary to survive and thrive in the modern era.

In the first part of the dissertation, qualitative and quantitative research methods are used to investigate teachers’ perspectives on open data literacy and the potential effects on students, as well as how open data can be used to improve digital and data literacy skills among secondary school students. Various challenges are identified that currently hinder the use of educational open data sets in school education.

In the second part of the dissertation, an “enterprise architecture-oriented requirements engineering” (EAORE) approach is proposed to identify teachers’ requirements and needs for using open data as an educational resource in Danish public schools. Using this approach, a design for an open data interface (ODI) is developed to help schools integrate open data into their lesson plans. The usability of the ODI is evaluated with school teachers and students through usability tests in various scenarios.

The use of sensor technology, which also plays an important role in data-collection activities, provides students with hands-on experience in how data is collected and used to make decisions. We proposed a set of criteria for assessing the degree to which sensors are compatible with a given curriculum. Requirements models for curricula-compatible sensor classes that meet the criteria are also developed using requirements-engineering techniques.

The findings indicate that the use of open data and sensor data in education has the potential to advance the digital and data skills of future generations, as well as help them understand their surroundings by incorporating real data sets into their subjects. The findings also show that the ODI assists educators in utilizing open educational data sets in schools and bridging the digital divide in education by integrating educational open data sets into school subjects. Furthermore, sensor integration in schools can enhance students’ digital and data skills, and the use of requirements models for curricula-compatible sensors can assist in the development or transformation of existing sensors into curricula-compatible sensors.

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PhD theses