Sensor data collection for class projects


Collect data with sensors for classroom exploration.

Involving students in the first step of the data collection process promotes engagement and interest.

It’s hard to collect accurate data in the real world. Students must learn to be aware of different variables that impact readings and to harness their critical thinking skills to troubleshoot often.

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi is a small, microcomputer processor with an average cost of $25-$35. This simplistic device can be outfitted with different sensors, including those that measure temperature, moisture, humidity, and so much more.

Without a keyboard or monitor, the Raspberry Pi can be set up in any location in a classroom and take measurements of sensor data at requested intervals.

Once collected, data can be downloaded and used for analysis.

Hawkes is using these devices to set up several experiments to provide a live data feed for free use, and you can too!

Here are 3 ideas for experiments that we have in the works using Raspberry Pi:

1. Bamboo growth
Follow how quickly different bamboo plants are growing and what impacts their growth. You can also check out the cool sensor data PiPlanter is collecting, including soil humidity and ambient light, to create a clever irrigation device!

2. Air quality control
Track carbon monoxide emissions and see how the readings change as distance to humans varies.

3. Temperature
Assess temperature in different locations of the room. Watch out for variables such as air conditioning drafts, sunlight, and proximity to people and computers.



The impact of sensors and data collection in today’s world is covered in the NEW Discovering Statistics and Data text.

Get your free exam copy today!

Stop Cheating on Calculus Homework

Cheating Image

2 Advantages of Homework Software

Learning math requires the repetition of solving problems until the concept is learned.

Consider two advantages of software over a traditional paper-and-pencil approach:

  1. Eliminate cheating by copying out of the back of the book.
    Software has the ability to provide students with their own unique homework assignments with algorithmically generated questions. This will completely eliminate the former methods of cheating on homework by copying out of the book or copying a neighbor’s paper.
  2. Provide unlimited practice for students.
    Software can give students unlimited practice problems and even practice testing options, whereas a textbook only contains a finite number of exercises and examples. Practice makes permanent.

Calc Book and ComputerHawkes Learning’s NEW Calculus with Early Transcendentals courseware provides learning modules with unlimited practice opportunities & unique, algorithmically generated questions.

Explore the learning modules for free today!

Ensuring students are college-ready

Students at university amphitheatre.

In education, little is more important than advocating for students. The demands of gateway, curriculum-level courses—coupled with the newness of college—can often enlarge barriers for underprepared students.

There has been a lot a buzz about corequisite and accelerated learning programs as a way to help the incoming student population.

Here are five reasons we’ve heard why this kind of course is worth consideration:

1. Decrease Debt 
College is expensive. Coreq and accelerated learning courses reduce tuition and other costs associated with prerequisite classes.

2. Lose the Stigma 
Anyone can get buried under the weight of negative associations. Boost morale and raise expectations by helping students get rid of the mentality that they are not college material.

3. Encourage Progress 
As an educator, you value the time and energy students put into your courses. Giving students the opportunity to earn college credit within their first year helps them see how their effort progresses them toward their end goal.

4. Limit Pressure
Students know that passing first-year courses is key to their college success. Decrease the pressure of gateway courses by ensuring students know that if support is needed, it will be there and aligned with curriculum-level content.

5. Increase Retention 
Ideally, all students who begin college get to end it with a degree. Corequisite and accelerated learning models help reduce time to the finish line as well as attrition between terms.

Research is influencing college remediation (including Coreqs)

[Originally published on Brookings]

Judith Scott-Clayton, an Associate Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, writes about the lack of evidence surrounding the effectiveness of traditional remedial placement and delivery practices in “Evidence-based reforms in college remediation are gaining steam – and so far living up to the hype.” She describes the calls for less collegiate remediation, the reforms that have occurred, and how those reforms are working.

Scott-Clayton has conducted research showing that “misplacement into remediation was far more common than misplacement into college-level courses.” She documents questions surrounding the quality and validity of entrance exams to determine placement. Additionally, her research indicates that an estimated “one-quarter to one-third of students assigned to remediation could have earned a B or better in college-level coursework, had they been given the chance.”

Scott-Clayton goes on to detail specific, state-level reforms that have been instituted because of research on remedial placement. She ends by describing ongoing research that, so far, has largely indicated the benefits of co-requisite support as opposed to the traditional pre-requisite model of remediation.

Read this article on Brookings

Scott-Clayton, Judith. “Evidence-based reforms in college remediation are gaining steam – and so far living up to the hype.” Brookings, Brookings, 29 March 2018, Accessed 29 August 2018.

Evidence continues to show corequisite effectiveness

[Originally published on Inside Higher Ed]

Alexandra Logue, a research professor at the Center for Advanced Study in Education at the City University of New York Graduate Center, describes an effective implementation of the corequisite model at City University of New York. This study adds to the growing body of research on the benefits of corequisite remediation.

According to Logue, “Currently, around 68 percent of new college freshmen in public community colleges and 40 percent in public four-year colleges take at least one remedial course in reading, writing or mathematics (somewhat more often in math), but most students assigned to remediation either never take a course or don’t complete it.” She cites several other studies that have shown higher course pass rates in corequisite remedial courses than in traditional remedial courses and argues that the educational community has a responsibility to look seriously at corequisite classes.

At City University of New York in a randomized controlled trial, students benefited from corequisite remediation over traditional remediation. Logue suggests some possible explanations, “including the incorrect assignment of some students to remediation, the demotivating effect of being assigned to traditional remediation, the extra time and cost to students if they must take traditional remedial courses, the greater number of potential exit points from traditional remediation course sequences, and so on.”

Read this article on Inside Higher Ed.

Logue, Alexandra W. “The Extensive Evidence of Co-Requisite Remediation’s Effectiveness.” Inside Higher Ed, Inside Higher Ed, 17 July 2018, Accessed 20 August 2018.

Creating your corequisite course: Who should get involved?

Building a corequisite course takes time and effort. And when it comes to building a successful coreq course, it takes a village.

Identifying leadership for the group decisions surrounding this kind of course is important, so who should become involved?

Some ideas of groups and organizations include the following:

  • Administration – Of course, you’ll need the help of administrative offices. Bringing together the provost, department head, Office of Institutional Support, and more will help get everyone on the same page and chart a course for success.
  • Advising – Getting the help and opinions of advisors will help make the advising period more fruitful for students, especially if they need remediation. If students don’t know about the corequisite offerings, they won’t be able to enroll in those courses.
  • Financial Aid – One of the goals of corequisite education is to provide students with an accelerated learning sequence to save them both time and money. The Financial Aid Office has great resources to utilize in the shared pursuit of providing students an affordable education.
  • Grants Office – Find out if there are any grants to which you can apply to help fund your corequisite initiatives!
  • Office of the Registrar – Scheduling coreq classes might be new to everyone at your institution, so it’s imperative to have the registrar’s help with registration and enrollment. Since there are different structures to choose from, this office’s expertise will shed light on what kind of schedule is best.
  • Other Academic Departments – Have departments outside of yours started using a corequisite structure? If so, learn from their experience!
  • Student Government and Alumni Associations – See what students have to say! What are their hopes and concerns regarding the new course? What do they need from it in order to graduate and be successful post-graduation?
  • Tutoring Center – If your campus offers tutoring services, consider asking the staff members to get involved with your coreq class. They’ll know first-hand what kinds of remedial skills students need extra help with.
  • Your Publisher  – Keep your publisher in the loop regarding what kinds of materials and tools you’ll need for this new course structure.

As this is an ongoing conversation, we’ll continue adding ideas here on our blog. If you have recommendations regarding who should get involved with planning your corequisite course, let us know in the comments!