Unit 6 Activities

Time Advisory

Completing this unit should take approximately 5 hours and 40 minutes.

  • Subunit 6.1: 3 hours and 10 minutes
  • Subunit 6.2: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate between a census and a survey or sample.
  • Distinguish between sampling error and bias.
  • Identify and name potential sources of bias from both real and hypothetical sampling situations.
  • Identify and name four sampling methodologies.
  • Identify the important characteristics of an experiment.
  • Distinguish between confounding and lurking variables.
  • Use a random number generator to randomly assign experimental units to treatment groups.
  • Identify experimental situations in which blocking is necessary or appropriate and create a blocking scheme for such experiments.
  • Identify experimental situations in which a matched pairs design is necessary or appropriate and explain how such a design could be implemented.
  • Identify the reasons for and the advantages of blind experiments.
  • Distinguish between correlation and causation.

Standards Addressed (Common Core and AP):

6.1 Surveys and Sampling

There is a lot of vocabulary in this section and in the next one. It is important to know characteristics of the different types of sampling techniques. It might be helpful to keep a list of each technique and jot notes as you read the text and watch the videos.

Explanation: Saylor Academy's Flexbook: Jill Schmidlkofer's Advanced Probability and Statistics: "Section 6.1: Surveys and Sampling”; partially adapted from David Lane's Online Statistics Education: A Multimedia Course of Study and CK-12: Advanced Probability and Statistics (PDF)

Instructions: Read Section 6.1. Knowledge and understanding of the vocabulary in this section is important. When you take notes, make sure to keep a running list of the vocabulary words and their meanings.

Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.

Standards Addressed (Common Core and AP):

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is adapted from works attributed to David Lane and CK-12, which can be found here and here.


Web Media: YouTube: Steve Mays's "Observational Study versus Experiment” (YouTube)

Instructions: Watch the video. This is an introduction to the differences between a study and an experiment. Knowing these differences will help you to better comprehend a concept that you will learn later, which is often paraphrased, as "correlation does not imply causation.”

Watching this lecture should take approximately 5 minutes.

Standards Addressed (Common Core and AP):

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above. 


Web Media: SOPHIA: Ryan Backman's "Simple Random Samples” (HTML5)

Instructions: Watch the video. Refer to Section 6.1 of the textbook, under the heading "Reducing Bias by Using Appropriate Sampling Techniques.” Review the text material discussing a simple random sample before and after viewing this video, making sure that you really know the definition of an SRS: "a selection of subjects such that every sample of size n has an equal probability of being chosen.” Pay close attention to the presenter's use of the random numbers table in selecting his random sample; you will see this later in the review problems.

Watching this lecture should take approximately 10 minutes.

Standards Addressed (Common Core and AP):

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported.


Web Media: Prezi: Steve Mays's "1.3 Sampling Techniques” (Flash)

Instructions: Watch the series of mini-videos. Each of the five videos addresses one of the five types of sampling: simple random sampling, stratified sampling, cluster sampling, systematic sampling, and convenience sampling. To begin, click on the right arrow located in the black box at the bottom of the video viewing screen. At the end of each video, click twice to start the next video.

Watching this series of lectures should take approximately 25 minutes.

Standards Addressed (Common Core and AP):

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is adapted from works attributed to David Lane and CK-12, which can be found here and here.


Reading: Saylor Academy's "The Literary Digest Poll of 1936” (PDF)

Instructions: Read a summary of one of the most famous examples of large-scale convenience sampling. Then answer each question. Feel free to research more about this topic. The Literary Digest failure gave impetus to statisticians to improve sampling techniques when studying public opinion. George Gallup, creator of the well-known Gallup Poll, became a public figure when, by use of appropriate sampling methods, he was able to correctly predict the election outcome. He used a significantly smaller but more statistically representative sample for his predictions. Many of his political polling methods are still in use today.

Reading the lesson and answering the questions should take approximately 30 minutes.

Standards Addressed (Common Core and AP):


Checkpoint: Saylor Academy's Flexbook: Jill Schmidlkofer's Advanced Probability and Statistics: "Section 6.1: Surveys and Sampling”; partially adapted from David Lane's Online Statistics Education: A Multimedia Course of Study and CK-12: Advanced Probability and Statistics (PDF)

Instructions: Work on the review questions at the end of Section 6.1. Use your list of vocabulary words from the text to help you answer the questions. A short answer key is provided at the end of the problem set. For a detailed solution, click here.

Completing the review questions should take approximately 1 hour.

Standards Addressed (Common Core and AP):

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is adapted from works attributed to David Lane and CK-12, which can be found here and here.


6.2 Experimental Design

An experimental design is the "big picture” of deciding how to conduct an experiment or a study. One part of the design involves the use of the appropriate sampling technique, which you already have learned about in Subunit 6.1. Again, there are many vocabulary words and phrases, but they introduce you to critically important activities that researchers and statisticians perform on a daily basis.

Checkpoint: Saylor Academy's Flexbook: Jill Schmidlkofer's Advanced Probability and Statistics: "Section 6.2: Experimental Design”; partially adapted from David Lane's Online Statistics Education: A Multimedia Course of Study and CK-12: Advanced Probability and Statistics (PDF)

Instructions: Work on the review questions at the end of Section 6.2. Use your notes for assistance. If you have difficulty with Problem 3.b., review the SOPHIA video in Subunit 6.1 entitled "Simple Random Samples.”  A short answer key is provided at the end of the problem set. For a detailed solution, click here.

Completing the review questions should take approximately 1 hour.

Standards Addressed (Common Core and AP):

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is adapted from works attributed to David Lane and CK-12, which can be found here and here.


Explanation: Saylor Academy's Flexbook: Jill Schmidlkofer's Advanced Probability and Statistics: "Section 6.2: Experimental Design”; partially adapted from David Lane's Online Statistics Education: A Multimedia Course of Study and CK-12: Advanced Probability and Statistics (PDF)

Instructions: Read Section 6.2. Take notes on the new vocabulary. Make sure you know the three characteristics of an experiment.

Reading the section and taking notes should take approximately 1 hour.

Standards Addressed (Common Core and AP):

Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is adapted from works attributed to David Lane and CK-12, which can be found here and here.


Web Media: Prezi: Steve Mays's "Experiments & Observational Studies” (Flash)

Instructions: Click on the link above and review the 38 slides and 4 mini-videos. This series provides you with a review of the vocabulary and concepts of experimental design. Of special interest is the short video about the amazing effects of the placebo.

To begin the slide presentation, click on the right arrow in the black box at the bottom of the video viewing screen. Press it each time you move from one slide to the next and from one video to the next.

Watching the slide show and videos should take approximately 30 minutes.

Standards Addressed (Common Core and AP):

  • AP II.C.1
  • AP II.C.2
  • AP II.C.3
  • AP II.C.4
  • AP II.C.5

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

Last modified: Monday, March 2, 2015, 12:53 PM