Discussion: Growth Models

The need to predict how populations will grow over time appears in a lot of different scenarios, as the readings in this section indicate. You are likely to encounter linear and exponential growth scenarios in many college classes you take, and may see it referred to on the news as well.

Locate an instance where population growth is being discussed, either for another class you’re currently taking, in an online resource, or something related to current events.

  1. Identify what the data is, and where it comes from. Include a link to the source, or copy the image directly in your discussion post.
  2. Define what type of a population growth it is, using the terminology in this section.
  3. Describe the story of what this data can tell us. What is the overall purpose of this population growth model? What is the main “takeaway” idea you get from it? What are some interesting details or examples you see in it?
  4. What action might someone take based on what they learn from this prediction (or explanation of something that’s already happened)?


After posting, respond to at least two other classmates. Add additional notes about information you learn from the data they’ve shared, or suggest other alternative “takeaway” ideas you might get from it. Compare the type of data, and the way it’s represented, from what you posted yourself or have seen in other posts in the thread.

Grading Criteria Points Possible
The data:

  • Is the source described?
  • Is a way to view the data shared (either by link or by pasting the image in the discussion)?
  • Is the data in a visual form?
The interpretation:

  • Is the type of population growth correctly identified?
  • Is the purpose of the data identified?
  • Are takeaway ideas discussed?
  • Are examples discussed?
The presentation:

  • Is the purpose of the growth model defined well?
  • Are the appropriate terms used?
Your responses:

  • Did you post at least two responses?
  • Did you add to the interpretation or analysis of the data in the growth model?
  • Did you ask questions for clarification or make suggestions on how to change or improve the original application posting or any other follow-up postings?