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College Students

PBL: Survey your shoolmates!


  • The objective of this group project is for students to develop their understanding of descriptive statistics and data analysis by conducting a survey on campus to gather data on student preferences.

  • Students will use appropriate statistical measures and visual representations to analyze the data and draw meaningful conclusions.

  • Students will also develop collaboration skills, a sense of responsibility, and a growth mindset during the project.

Grade level

This project is designed for students in grade 10.


By finishing the project, the students will be able to:

Statistical sampling

  • [Understand and use the terms ‘population’ and ‘sample’]

  • [Use samples to make informal inferences about the population]

  • [Understand and use sampling techniques, including simple random sampling and opportunity sampling]

  • [Select or critique sampling techniques in the context of solving a statistical problem, including understanding that different samples can lead to different conclusions about the population]

Data presentation and interpretation

  • [Interpret diagrams for single-variable data, including understanding that area in a histogram represents frequency]

  • [Interpret scatter diagrams and regression lines for bivariate data, including recognition of scatter diagrams which include distinct sections of the population (calculations involving regression lines are excluded)]

  • [Interpret measures of central tendency and variation, extending to standard deviation]

  • [Be able to calculate standard deviation, including from summary statistics]

  • [Recognize and interpret possible outliers in data sets and statistical diagrams]

  • [Select or critique data presentation techniques in the context of a statistical problem]

  • [Be able to clean data, including dealing with missing data, errors and outliers]

Project Steps:

  1. Introduction to Descriptive Statistics: Begin the project by providing an overview of descriptive statistics, including measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode) and measures of dispersion (range, standard deviation). Explain the importance of data collection and analysis in drawing conclusions.

  2. Selecting the Survey Topic: Discuss with the student’s various potential survey topics that are relevant to their lives as students on campus. For example, it could be about favorite extracurricular activities, food preferences, study habits, or opinions on school policies. Have the students brainstorm and vote on a topic of interest.

  3. Designing the Survey: Instruct the students on how to design an effective survey. Discuss the importance of unbiased questions, appropriate response options, and sample size. Guide them in creating clear and concise questions for their chosen topic. Ensure that the survey can be completed within a reasonable time frame.

  4. Collecting Data: Allow students to distribute their surveys to fellow students and collect the responses. Encourage them to gather a representative sample by surveying students from different grades, genders, and backgrounds. Provide guidance on ethical considerations, such as obtaining informed consent and ensuring anonymity.

  5. Data Entry and Cleaning: Teach students how to enter the collected data into a spreadsheet or statistical software. Help them clean the data by identifying and correcting any errors or inconsistencies. Emphasize the importance of data integrity and accuracy.

  6. Descriptive Analysis: Instruct students on how to calculate and interpret various descriptive statistics using the collected data. Guide them in using appropriate measures of central tendency and dispersion. Discuss the concept of outliers and how they can affect the analysis. Encourage students to think critically about the implications of the statistical results.

  7. Visual Representations: Introduce students to different types of visual representations, such as bar graphs, pie charts, histograms, and box plots. Teach them how to select an appropriate visualization method based on the nature of the data and the research question. Assist them in creating visually appealing and informative graphs or charts to represent their findings.

  8. Drawing Conclusions: Guide students in analyzing their descriptive statistics and visual representations to draw meaningful conclusions about the survey topic. Encourage them to identify patterns, trends, and relationships within the data. Discuss possible limitations and sources of bias in their study.

  9. Presentation and Reflection: Allocate time for students to present their findings to the class. Each group can share their survey topic, methodology, data analysis, and conclusions. Encourage a discussion where students can provide feedback and ask questions. Finally, have students reflect on the project, discussing what they learned, challenges faced, and potential improvements for future surveys.


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