Have your students use a computer spreadsheet to do the calculations for this activity.
- Have your students debate which is the best measure—mean, median or mode.
- Discuss with your students limitations of sample sizes and data collection.
- Ask your students what can be said about each of the measures of central tendency in a normal distribution.
- Have your students write a newspaper article on the size of Canadian households.
- Discuss with your students possible biases in the term ‘Canadian household.’
Possible responses for Question 2:
|Mean||– gives an overall description of the data
– isn’t affected by sample size as much as the other measures of central tendency
|– does not provide any information regarding the distribution of the data or frequency of responses|
|Median||– tells you what the halfway point is in the data (you know that half of the data is larger than this value and half is smaller)||– does not give any information about how much larger or smaller the values are on either side of the median, the frequency of responses or the difference between them|
|Mode||– tells you what the most common response is||– in a small sample size, this measure can be misleading
– does not provide any information about the distribution of the data
- determine, from a set of data, the mean, range, median and mode
- recognize that the data collected are affected by sample size
- determine and use the most appropriate measure of central tendency in a given context .