The Data Connections Activity in LaunchPad

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One of the forms of assessment in LaunchPad is called "Data Connections" and is built differently than some of the other measures like LearningCurve and Quizzing. Data Connections has more of an integrative and essay aspect with regard to how it presents itself to students. In this way, it creates a place where students have some free choice in what kind of content they want to look at and how they respond to the assessment prompt.

Below, I am using a Data Connections activity from the LaunchPad system on human growth and development. This one is listed as "Common Genetic Diseases and Conditions" - clicking on it will bring up a new window.


This particular Data Connections has 4 pages to it. In the screenshot below you will see how Data Connections presents an opening page that introduces the topic. 


Clicking on the "Get Started" button at the bottom brings up the interactive table that I have highlighted in yellow below. The student is able to click through the table and learn about each of these different genetic diseases and conditions.

Personally, I like having information presented in this way as it allows for the student to become more personally invested in exploring the content provided - contrast this to just reading something in a textbook. While the latter isn't non-educational, having the material appear in a way that is different, I think, helps to capture the student's attention and thereby, hopefully, fosters retention.


On the next page, in the following screenshot, the student is prompted to enter a short essay on the previous information that was just presented to them. Unique to Data Connections is how the student's response is very wide open, allowing them to select from a wide range of possibilities as to how they want to show what they learned. 

As an important note, being an instructor, you will want to be sure to go back and review the grade for this activity. Data Connections provides a tentative full-credit grade after the student has submitted an answer. As a result, a review by the instructor ensures that the student is learning the concepts and ideas that are required by the course. 


Finally, the last page of Data Connections will let the student know that their work has been submitted. It will also provide a list of references that can be referenced on a term paper or used by the student for further learning. 


Data Connections, a unique form of assessment in LaunchPad, has the benefit of providing the student with a broad range of possibilities of how to respond and demonstrate their knowledge. It does this through presenting the material interactivity and by using essay questions as a way to gauge the student's progress. Data Connections is another feature unique to the LaunchPad learning system.