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Designing Web-Based Training: How to Teach Anyone Anything Anywhere Anytime by William Horton

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6.8. Guided analysis

Guided analysis steps learners through the process of analyzing data. Guided analysis answers one of the most important questions ever asked: "So what?" Guided analysis helps learners to separate useful from useless information and to infer general principles and conclusions from separate, confusing, concrete instances. It teaches learners how to turn data into information and even knowledge.

6.8.1. When to use guided analysis

You can use guided analysis activities in two ways. The primary use is in teaching formalanalysis techniques. The technique may involve calculating or estimating mathematical values. Or it may involve sorting, classifying, or ranking items according to defined procedures.

A secondary use is teaching principles revealed by the analysis of data. In this case, the guided analysis is just a means to the end. Guided analysis exposes a trend or pattern that the learner might not otherwise notice or believe.

6.8.2. How guided analysis works

In guided analysis, the learner follows the procedure specified by the instructor to gather and analyze data. After several cycles of gathering and analyzing, the learner abstracts a principle revealed by the analysis and tests it by analyzing new data. The learner may have to revise the principle until it reliably predicts results. Once the principle is successfully formulated, the learner summarizes what he or she has learned.

6.8.3. Example of guided analysis

This example guides forestry professionals ...

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