Students are assigned to read the Introductory Essay and the Map Overview. Then, I ask them to explore the custom graph tool. Once they see how they can search the database, they use it to ask a question related to the content, such as "What proportion of slaves transported were children?" or "What was the breakdown of male versus female slaves over time?"
In some instances, students are able to have excellent discussions about the interpretation of the graphs, the limits of the sources or the surprising revelations in the graphs.