Tips for Teachers

Privacy Considerations:

Latitude/Longitude inclusion on data sheets

We require the latitude/longitude in each data form as site identifiers. The data will not be shared beyond educators in the project, but we understand the security concern of students submitting data with pinpointed locations near where they live, so we encourage instructors to talk with students about the extent of participation.

Emails vs usernames on forms

The Site Data Forms require an email address while all other data forms only need a consistent username. We ask for an email address only so we can contact specific users if glaring issues with their data emerge. Emails will never be shared publicly.

Students uploading videos of data gathering

We urge instructors to be clear with students the types of photos and videos they should be taking in the field. This includes, but is not limited to, not showing faces or saying names and personal locations in media that will be uploaded to widely accessible public forums, like YouTube.

Data Reliability:

Repeat measurements

To ensure more reliable data, we suggest having multiple students measure each plant. This also creates an easier way for instructors to check if students know how to fill out the data sheets by cross checking with replicant data.

Hardcopy datasheets

Although not required, we highly recommend printing out each data sheet to bring into the field and fill out by hand. This information can then be directly transferred to its respective google form along with a high quality picture or scan of the hardcopy. Including a copy of the original datasheet makes locating errors much easier when analysing the data.

Error correction form

If you spot error with your data after submitting, you can fill out a Data Correction form at the bottom of the Data Submission page. Your help allows us to pinpoint the error and correct them more quickly.

Data Accessibility:

Class Code option

Creating a Class Code to use in the data submission forms will make isolating your class’s data much easier, should you ask for access to it (see the tip below).

Contact to request data access for teaching purposes

Our goal for instructors is the use of their own class’s data in classroom analysis. While not fully operational yet, we are planning to have a password protected spreadsheet where instructors can access their class’s data. To gain access, instructors must first email Emily Mohl ( to get their marenweb permissions upgraded. This data may be used solely for classroom analysis in accordance with our Terms and Policies.


Distance Learning:

How does the video data collection process work?

If your students can’t access a variety of milkweed in your area or your class is limited to distance learning, but you still want to use this project curriculum for its concepts and data analysis objectives, there is still a way to bring this project to your classroom! After becoming familiar with the protocols, instructors can go into the field and take videos of each plant for students to later watch and write down virtually collected data to then analyze with the instructor.

We have tested this method’s use in filling out data sheets accurately and found it in large part successful! The key is how the videos are recorded. We have plenty of examples of good recordings in this list of videos, so if this option appeals to your instruction, then we urge you to try it and give us more feedback!

If you have additional questions, visit our FAQ page

or contact Emily Mohl at