Mathematics 7
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Nelson Education > School > Mathematics K-8 > Mathematics 7 > Parent Centre > Web Quests > Chapter 3

Web Quests




In this Web Quest, your child will be continuing his or her work with data collection and analysis, focusing on using the Internet to collect data. Working with online survey results, your child will graph and analyze data. Your child will also reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of using the Internet as a tool for collecting data.  



  • display data on bar graphs, pictographs, or circle graphs, with or without the help of technology
  • understand and analyze information presented in a graph
  • analyze bias involved in different ways of collecting data
  • make inferences and convincing arguments that are based on data analysis




paper and pencil


computer graphing program (optional)

spreadsheet program (optional)



Your child should be familiar with the following vocabulary:

primary data - information that is collected directly

secondary data - information that is collected by someone else

sample - a part of a population that is used to make predictions about the whole population

population - the total number of individuals or items

census - the counting of an entire population

biased results - when the results of a survey of one group are not likely to apply to another group selected from the same population





Review the vocabulary introduced in this chapter with your child.

Read the Introduction with your child. As a review, have your child list different ways of collecting data.  

Primary data collection: survey, census, experiment, questionnaire, interview, etc.   

Secondary data collection: atlas, encyclopedia, almanac, etc.  

We can use the Internet to:

•  access secondary data sources, such as online atlases, encyclopedias, etc.

•  conduct surveys, questionnaires, and interviews by e-mail, instant messaging, on Web sites, etc.




What are some ways to collect data? How can the Internet be used to collect primary and secondary data?



Together, read the Task section to ensure that your child is clear on what is expected of him or her.


If your child has difficulty expressing himself or herself in writing, allow him or her to explain steps orally.   




Kids from different places all over the world use the Internet to get help with their school work, to talk to friends, to look up information, and to share ideas. Go to a Web site designed for kids, which has collected data on kids' opinions and tastes, to find out what kids are saying online.


  1. Click on this link: Fact Monster: Online Almanac, Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and Homework Help


This link takes you to a Web page that is part of the Fact Monster Web site. Your child will be able to browse a list of polls that are being conducted on the Web site. Explain to your child that people frequently use the words "poll" and "survey" interchangeably. For the purpose of consistency with class material, polls are referred to as "surveys" throughout the Web Quest.

    1. Browse the list of surveys (called "polls" on the Web site) that have been conducted. To find out more about a survey, click on the survey's question. To see the results of the survey, click the "see results" link under the VOTE button.
    2. Choose a survey that you find interesting.


While your child is working, you may want to ask the following questions:

"Is this survey an example of primary or secondary data?"

"This survey is a sample of what population?"

Sample answer:

It is a sample of the kid population (who use the Internet and visit this Web site).


  1. The results of each survey are represented as percentages. The Web site also provides the total number of people who voted. For the survey that you chose, calculate the number of votes each choice received and display this information in a table. Explain your steps.


Encourage your child to use a calculator only when numbers are especially high or to check his or her final answers.




Survey question chosen:

"What is your favourite class pet?"


rabbit           37%

hamster        30%

guinea pig     18%

fish               15%                   


I created a proportion. I wrote the first ratio, which is the number of people out of a hundred that voted for rabbits. In the second ratio I used ___ to represent the number of votes that rabbits got out of the total number of votes.


37/100 = _____ /7068


I divided 7068 by 100 to determine the scale factor.


7068 / 100 = 70.68


I used the scale factor (70.68) to calculate the missing term.


37 x 70.68 = 2615.16


I rounded the missing term to 2615. So, the rabbit received approximately 2615 votes.


I then took the percentage for the number of votes for each choice and multiplied each one by 70.68 to get the total number of votes each choice received. I multiplied by 70.68 because the scale factor is the same for each ratio because each percent is always out of 100 and the total number of votes stays at 7068.  



Favourite Class Pet

Number of Votes (out of 7068)





guinea pig





  1. Graph the results of the survey. Choose the most appropriate type of graph for the data.
  1. What conclusions can you draw from the information displayed in your graph?
  2. Describe a situation in which you think this information would be useful.


If you have a graphing program on your computer, you may want to suggest that your child use the graphing program instead of creating the graph by hand.


Sample questions:

"How did you decide which type of graph to use to display your results?"

"What information must you always include in a _______ graph?"




a) The most popular class pet is a rabbit. The second most popular is a hamster. The least popular is a fish. Rabbits are more popular than fish and guinea pigs combined. More than twice as many kids prefer rabbits to fish.

b) The data collected in this survey might be useful for teachers or principals who are trying to decide on a pet for the classroom.



     4.     a.    Do you think the survey was biased in favour of 

one group? If so, do you think this bias affected the survey results? Explain your answer.

   b.   Give an example of when using the Internet

to collect primary data would create bias that would affect the results of a survey.


The concept of bias can cause students difficulty. To help your child understand the concept, give him or her examples of biased situations and work together to establish who the bias is in favour of or against. Discuss possible ways to remove the bias in the data collection.

Sample situations:

•  Surveying a group of 100 teenagers to find out if parents are too strict.

•  Asking every 10th person coming out of the public pool "Can you swim?"

•  A door-to-door survey is conducted on Mercy Street. The question is "Should trucks not be allowed to drive along Mercy Street?"



a) This survey shows a bias in favour of kids who have access to the Internet. If you can't surf the Internet, then you could not be part of this survey. It is also biased in favour of kids who visit the Fact Monster Web site.

I don't think the results of the survey would be different if you asked kids who didn't have computers because I don't think your taste in animals is different whether or not you have access to the Internet.


b) If your Internet survey question was "How important is the Internet in your daily life?", your results would be very biased towards Internet users and against people who don't use the Internet. People who are using the Internet would be more likely to say that the Internet was important than people who don't use it. The group you would reach using the Internet for data collection would not be a good sample of the entire population.  


  1. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of conducting a survey using the Internet? Explain your thinking.



1) Speed - an e-mail arrives much faster than regular mail

2) You can reach people who live far away who would be hard to reach when conducting a survey in person 

3) Less expensive than other types of surveys - you don't need people to collect and organize the data, the computer does it for you  



1) You don't know who is answering the questions

2) You might not be reaching the sample population you want

3) People may answer more than once

4) You need a computer to complete the survey so the survey will always be biased in favour of Internet users