Compiling Student Data

Excel file for compiling student data

In my years as a chemistry teacher, I did a water of hydration lab like the one described in about his hydrate lab experience. To assist in grading the lab results for this and other quantitative labs that we did, I created Excel spreadsheets where the students’ results could be entered. The spreadsheet then did all the required calculations and compared the students’ results to the theoretical value. This made grading the lab reports much quicker and more accurate, flagged incorrect student calculations, allowed a much more complete discussion of the lab results and permitted “what if” questions to be discussed.

In my class, the students did not see the spreadsheet results until after their lab reports were turned in. Once the reports were turned in, all students received a print-out of the class results. In the case of the water of hydration lab, the spreadsheet also calculated class average values and we discussed how results are more reliable when based on repeated determinations of experimental results rather than on just one. Because the classes were quite large, there was not time for the students to enter their own data into the spreadsheet, so they wrote the data on a form I prepared and I typed the data in myself. A sample spreadsheet for the experiment is attached. The names of the students have been blanked out. The spreadsheet template, of course, can be used year after year by blanking out the data.

Updated 5/8/17. Having been asked for other examples of the spreadsheets I have used, I have added many others I have used. You might erase the data that is included and enter your own class results. 

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Comments 2

Robert Peters | Fri, 05/05/2017 - 10:27

Hi John,

I really like the approach of student's being able to look at data from other groups to try to recognize patterns.  I would be very interested in spreadsheets from other experiments as well.  Thank you!!

Best regards,

Rob Peters


Deanna Cullen's picture
Deanna Cullen | Mon, 05/08/2017 - 17:46

Hello Robert! 

Thanks for the encouragement. John shared several other excel files and data sets for you to check out. We will be interested to find out if and how you use them.