Our World in Data for teaching – what we are learning from your feedback

At Our World in Data we recently opened a public survey to understand how people use our work for teaching. To date, 92 educators based at institutions across the world have taken our survey. In this short blog post we want to share with you what we've learned so far from this exercise, and what we plan to do to improve.

What we seem to be doing right

It is exciting to see that the list of institutions where our work is being used for teaching is long and varied. The spectrum spans primary and secondary schools through to higher education institutions across the world, including Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, and Berkeley, and many more in Europe, Oceania, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.1

In terms of courses, our work is used in a similarly wide range of fields. Educators use our work to teach many different courses, from physics, medicine, psychology and biology; to sustainable development, economics, politics and public policy.

In the chart here we provide an overview of how this diverse group of educators is using our work.

Here are some highlights:

In the survey we ask educators why they prefer using our work over alternative sources. The answers here are also very encouraging: Many of you wrote that you find our charts simple and effective; while you find that our articles explaining the patterns in the data are well-documented and easy to understand.

What we can do to improve

Many educators have given us great ideas to develop new material and improve our resources. Some suggestions are very specific and straightforward, and we are working on these. For example, we will provide support on some aspects that still seem confusing, such as the fact that all our page links are permanent and stable (which is already the case!), so they can be used for citing in academic documents.

Some other suggestions are more ambitious and general. One particular such request that has come up often, is that we should provide teaching plans, exercises and sample lecture notes, in order to make it easier for students and teachers to navigate the by now quite large content of Our World in Data. This seems like a great idea and I got to work on this right away. In a couple of weeks we expect to be launching a 'teaching hub' – a page where we will collect resources (from us and from others) for teaching and learning about global development. For updates on this, subscribe to our newsletter here.


  1. Here is the full list of institutions, as provided by survey respondents: University of Oxford (UK); Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel); Tribhuvan University (Nepal); University of Zurich (Switzerland); University of Massachusetts Boston (USA); Grand Valley State University (USA); Queen Mary University of London (UK); University of California, Berkeley (USA); Touro University California (USA); Adlai E. Stevenson High School (USA); Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de Mèxico (Mexico); Rugby School (UK); IES Corona de Aragón (Spain); Northern Illinois University (USA); Monroe One Board of Cooperative Education Services (USA); Mount Saint Mary Academy (USA); Washington State University (USA); Universidad Católica Santiago de Guayaquil (Ecuador); Stanford University (USA); Harvard University (USA); Texas A&M University (USA); EM Lyon Business School (France); Danville Park Girls' High School (South Africa); American University (USA); Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (USA); Rotterdam Business School (Netherlands); University of Salamanca (Spain); Ohlone College (USA); St. George’s School (UK); Ernst-Reuter-Schule (Germany); Overnewton College (Australia); Seattle University (USA); Olin College (USA); American Community School of Abu Dhabi (UAE); Glenforest Secondary School (Canada); Pennsylvania State University (USA); Associazione Sulleregole (Italy); Wingate University (USA); University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy); University of Chicago (USA); Iowa State University (USA); University of Queensland (Australia).

Cite this work

Our articles and data visualizations rely on work from many different people and organizations. When citing this article, please also cite the underlying data sources. This article can be cited as:

Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2018) - “Our World in Data for teaching – what we are learning from your feedback” Published online at Retrieved from: '' [Online Resource]

BibTeX citation

    author = {Esteban Ortiz-Ospina},
    title = {Our World in Data for teaching – what we are learning from your feedback},
    journal = {Our World in Data},
    year = {2018},
    note = {}
Our World in Data logo

Reuse this work freely

All visualizations, data, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.

The data produced by third parties and made available by Our World in Data is subject to the license terms from the original third-party authors. We will always indicate the original source of the data in our documentation, so you should always check the license of any such third-party data before use and redistribution.

All of our charts can be embedded in any site.