As I mentioned in a previous post, Statistics & Probability is one of my favorite units to teach during the school year. One of the reasons is due to the Statistical Research Project that my students complete each year. In this activity, students are tasked with creating a survey question and surveying 50-100 students on campus. Students will gather and organize their data, then they will use this data to determine the measures of central tendency, create graphs, and analyze their data. Since students are creating their own questions, they have immediate buy-in to this project. The students have created their own question and they want to gather data to see if their hypothesis about their question was correct.
Although I have been using this project in my classroom for several years, I have revamped it each year based upon the experiences of the students in the previous year, as well as ideas I have picked up on Twitter or at conferences. This year, the project underwent a major revamp due to the use of HyperDocs and Smashboard. HyperDocs, which was created by Lisa Highfill, Sarah Landis, and Kelly Hilton, is a transformative, interactive Google Doc that supports significant lesson redesign and the blended learning classroom. While modifying this project, I realized that it was lacking an engage, share, and extension activity. So, I added in a YouTube video to initially engage the students in the upcoming project, as well as an extension activity. The extension activity is something that I am really excited about but did not have the time to complete this year. In this activity, students would be paired with students from another school and would create a question, poll their school site, and compare the results between the two sites. Although I did not have the opportunity to do this part of the project this year, it is definitely something that will be a part of our project next year.
Next, my project went under some significant redesign due to the smashboard concept that was created by Dee Lanier. A smashboard is “a Hyperdoc that leads students through the design-thinking process, involves app-smashing, collaborative goal-setting, and iteration. The main objective is for learners to create a unique product that solves a real-world problem.” While I was redesigning this project, Dee gave some great advice on designing the gameboard to create a board that would be appealing to students. Honestly, I have a tendency to be a bit “wordy” sometimes. (Can’t you tell by my blog? ha!) He encouraged me to use icons to represent tasks that student need to complete and now I love the look of the gameboard! In addition to this, I also incorporated the app-smashing dice to encourage and challenge students to find new ways to showcase their projects. As I revisit the definition of a smashboard, I think that the idea of having them solve a real-world problem is lacking from this project but could be easily incorporated. When I revamp the project again next year, I want to look into some ways to incorporate solving a real-world problem into their question development.
The Statistical Research Project
Objective: Students will create a survey question, survey students on campus, and analyze the results of their survey.
- Students will be able to determine the population and sample of the data set.
- Students will be able to organize information into a frequency table to create a bar chart and pie chart.
- Students will be able to calculate the measures of central tendency and create a box-whisker plot
- Students will be able to calculate the probability of events occurring in their data set.
Extension: Students will have the opportunity to develop a question with students at another school site, preferably in another part of the country or world. They will go through the same steps of the project but will compare the survey results of the two sites throughout the project.
End Results: Students will have an analysis of their data and will display that information in a creative and visual manner. Students can use the “app-smashing” dice that is located on the gameboard to discover online applications that they can use to create this visual.
- Students must create a question that produces a numerical number. Such as, “How many times per week do Cedar Middle School students visit Starbucks in a week?” Without the numerical value, students will not be able to calculate the measures of central tendency and create the box-whisker chart.
- The gameboard guides them the project and gives them videos resources. However, most of the work will be done on the Google Doc found under “Create”.
- Students can use Google Sheets to compile data quickly – it’s a great resource!
- Google Drawings can be used as a way to create the box-whisker plot.
- If doing the extension activity, try to find a teacher that has the same number of students as you and/or multiple teachers.
- Give the students deadlines for each step of their project. There are quite a few pieces to the project and deadlines will help keep them on task.
- This is very similar to a project-based learning activity (PBL) so should be completed throughout the entire unit.
To access the project, click HERE or on the images above.
Three Things to Do Next Time
1.) Extension Activity – Collaborating with Another School
The extension activity is my big “must do” on this project next year. I was really disappointed that I didn’t have the opportunity to do this part of the project this year but it would have been rushed if I had attempted to do it. I have a couple of teachers that are interested in participating in this project with my students, so I think it should be very feasible to have students collaborate with students from other schools next year.
2.) Real-World Problem Solving
The smashboard idea had me thinking…Could the students create a question that points out a real-world problem? As they survey the students on campus, could this guide them towards creating a solution to the problem? I think that this could be a possibility but I would need to find a way to embed more time into the project to truly allow them the opportunity to solve the problem.
3.) Small Groups
This project is one of the only projects that I have students complete individually. Mostly, I think it allows the students to be creative with their questions and cater it towards something that they truly find interesting. However, I always think it is better to have students collaborating. In particular, if I am going to add pieces to this project such as the extension and real-world problem solving, then the students will find more success when they are able to discuss and collaborate with other students.
I hope you enjoy this activity and feel free to ask questions and offer feedback in the comment section below!