A103: Introducing Data Literacy

A103: Introducing Data Literacy
Date: 11 Oct - 12 Dec 2021 Venue: Online
Type: 9 week online course: 27 CPD hours Fee: Monitored - £295, Peer supported - £245

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All courses are accredited for continuing professional development (27 hours of CPD), with certification and digital badges available on successful completion.

A103: Introducing Data Literacy will guide you through the basics of using, managing and interpreting data. The course will focus on examples from education and assessment, but the learning is applicable to all contexts.

  • Participants should be numerate and comfortable using Excel. Further guidelines and learning resources are available in the course overview
  • Average 3 hours per week over nine weeks
  • Choice of delivery models:
    • Monitored - Online group course delivered over 9 weeks featuring Monitor/Educator, discussion forum and journal
    • Peer supported - Online group course delivered over 9 weeks featuring discussion forum and journal
  • Digital badges awarded and certification option for both models.

The course will cover the following:

  • What is data and where does it come from?
  • Working with data
  • Telling a story with data 
  • Further statistics 
  • How does data literacy apply to you?

Learning outcomes

  • Define data, its purposes and how it is effectively collected.
  • Understand the practicalities of working with data, its storage and management.
  • Develop strategies to present and communicate data as information using visualisations, summaries and descriptive statistics.
  • Understand, interpret and evaluate data using knowledge of its limitations and appropriateness.

Course outline

Week 1 Data in life, society and education – as well as introducing participants to the role of data in education and assessment specifically, the aim of the first week is for you to become familiar and confident with the online learning environment.
Week 2 What is data and where does it come from? – we'll explore where you encounter data in your day to day life and be introduced to different sources and types of data.
Week 3 Working with data – we'll look at good practice in storing and managing data and consider data structures and data hygiene.
Weeks 4 & 5 Turning data into information –  an introduction into ways that data can be turned into information, for example visualisations such as scatter plots and bar charts. Or simple summaries and descriptors such as frequency tables, mean, mode, median, and measures of spread.  
Week 6 Telling a story with data – by using case studies we'll explore how story is told with data.
Week 7 More about statistics - we will discuss the concept of descriptive vs. inferential statistics and look at some of knowledge needed to understand and critique statistical information encountered in professional life
Week 8 Becoming a data sceptic - we'll explore case studies that use more complex methods, thinking about where the data might have come from, whether the questions can really be answered by the data, and whether the interpretation is supported. 
Week 9 How does data literacy apply to you? – a review of all the topics covered and a reflection on what you've learned. Participants will also be required to complete the course evaluation.

Who should attend?

The course is open to anyone who wants to understand the basics of using, managing and interpreting data. As the course uses examples from education and assessment, it would be particularly useful to those working in the field of educational assessment, but the learning can be applied to all contexts.

Because the course is online, and you learn in your own time, it can be completed from anywhere in the world. 

Participants should be numerate and comfortable using Excel. Guidelines and self-test and learning resources are available in the course outline.

What you will learn

The course covers the basics of using, managing and interpreting data and aims to explain the range of purposes data can be used for, and considers the following:

  • What is data and where does it come from?
  • How to tell a story with data
  • The limitations of what data can tell us
  • How does data literacy apply to you?

How you will learn

A103 is an interactive online course, meaning that alongside weekly tasks and video content, you'll also learn through participating in forum discussions with fellow participants. 

How much does it cost?

  • Monitored - Online group course delivered over 9 weeks featuring Monitor/Educator, discussion forum and journal - £295 per person
  • Peer supported - Online group course delivered over 9 weeks featuring discussion forum and journal - £245 per person

How to enrol

Bookings are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. We will confirm your place on the course once the payment has been received. Payment can be made by a credit or debit card (not incl. American Express) or by invoice.


Is attendance on the course required 9-5pm for the full 9 weeks? Or can the course content be accessed in your own time?

This online course continues for 9 weeks, but there is no set times that you need to access the course. The weekly tasks can be completed whenever fits in with your existing schedule. We anticipate that you would need to allocate an average of 3 hours per week for study time.

What level of English do I need to be able to complete the course?

The course is delivered in English so participants are required to have sufficient competence in English to participate in the training. All participants should have English language competence comparable to Level B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). We recommend a minimum requirement of 5.5 on the International English Language Testing System. Further information may be obtained through the IELTS website.

B2 Vantage or upper intermediate

  • Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation.
  • Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
  • Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

What are the differences between the Monitored and Peer supported courses?

The Monitored course offers a dedicated, experienced assessment expert who monitors conversation, contributes to the discussion forum and offers support to individual participants where appropriate. You may prefer the Peer supported course if you would rather learn through group discussion only.

My place on the course is now confirmed, what happens next?

If you are an existing user of our VLE then you can log in with your usual username and password. If you are a new VLE user you will receive an email with joining instructions the Friday before the course starts.

Please let us know if you don’t receive this email by the Saturday prior to the course start date.

The A103 material is available from 5pm (UK time) on Fridays, but the week officially begins on Monday at 12:00 noon (UK time).

What kind of certification is available upon completion of the course?

Statement of Participation (Certificate and digital badge)

  • You must provide evidence of your learning and participation by logging into each of the week’s lessons, completing the activities, marking the activities as completed and posting weekly on the discussion forum.

Certificate of Achievement (Certificate and digital badge)

  • In addition to the above, successful completion of an optional end of course assignment will enable you to claim a Certificate of Achievement.

This course is CPD accredited and earns 27 hours of CPD when the completion criteria are fulfilled.

Both our Statement of Participation and Certificate of Achievement are awarded by Cambridge Assessment and include the CPD accreditation logo and the University of Cambridge’s Board of Executive and Professional Education logo.

Can I have some more details on the end of course assignment?

The purpose of the optional assignment is to provide you with an opportunity to reflect on all the topics covered in the course and to apply this learning to your own context. The course assignment asks you to apply your data literacy knowledge and understanding to a data analysis report. You'll need to choose a report (or presentation) about data, and write 1500-2000 words. 

Remember, the assignment is optional. However, if you want to claim a Certificate of Achievement, successfully completing the assignment is a requirement. If you choose to complete the assignment, you have four weeks to submit after the course has finished.

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Cambridge Assessment Network has been recognised as a provider of Training Excellence by the Professional Development Consortium and is a trusted source of CPD accredited learning activities.

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The course has greatly enriched my understanding and interpretation of the use of data in my life and work.

I feel I can look at data from another point of view and carefully peruse it rather than just believing the story it appears to be telling.”

Penelope Bowers

School Head, St Andrew School, St Helena

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