The website provides global data on social progress. The site includes measurements examining basic human needs, well being, and opportunity of countries throughout the world. Users are able to assess social progress by individual country or in regional groups. Results are available in a variety of formats including maps, charts, tables, and written narrative.
In-class discussion, homework, individual assignment, team assignment, lecture.
Browser, Document viewer (viewing and downloading reports, Flash player or plugin for video viewing (embedded video discussing the Social Progress Index).
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Major goals are to present a way to measure quality of life broken down into various components (e.g., health and wellness) and to build a network of organizations that use the data to improve quality of life.
Target Student Population:
Introductory and advanced college-level courses.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic understanding of research design and particularly measurement.
This website provides a wealth of information on the components of quality of life. Terms are defined and there is a methodological report detailing the data sources and measurement procedures. It looks at quality of life broken down by its various components and by country. Information is current. There are also short videos that can be used in class.
Lacks step-by step instructions on how to use and clear data overlay functions in the Social Progress Index. Firmly rooted in Western worldview.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The outstanding feature is the wealth of information provided. The information is arranged into charts, tables and maps. This would be particularly useful for any course that wanted to focus on measurement. But it’s more than a source of methodological information. It also focuses on using the data to improve quality of life and looking at variation in quality of life by country.
Students must have basic knowledge on how to read and interpret data maps, tables, and charts to ensure progression and efficiency of learning. There is so much information here that it’s easy to get lost. An instructor would need to help the students access the information on the site. Clear directions should be given as to what to look at first, second and so on.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Data maps, charts, and tables provide valid and reliable statistical measures on social progress.
Learners would benefit from instructions on selecting and using measurements. Social Progress Index Methodology sections do not include links to original data sources or studies (found in Social Progress Index Definitions tab) used to determine and validate social progress index. Students could get lost when accessing the information on the site but clearer instructions could solve this problem.
Other Issues and Comments:
Site provides information on quality of life by its various components and by country. Also focuses on using the data to improve quality of life.
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