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

Web Quests




Students will continue their work with data collection and graphing, focusing on the role of the Internet in data collection. Students will be expected to interpret and display survey results found on the Internet, as well as draw conclusions regarding the usefulness of the Internet as a tool for data collection.  



7m81 systematically [collect,] organize, and analyze data

7m82 recognize the different levels of data collection

7m83 use computer applications to examine and interpret data in a variety of ways (optional)

7m87 evaluate data and make conclusions from the analysis of data

7m90 understand the impact that statistical methods have on decision making

7m98 use conventional symbols, titles, and labels when displaying data

7m99 analyze bias in data-collection methods

7m100 read and report information about data presented on bar graphs, pictographs, and circle graphs [and use the information to solve problems]

7m102 display data on bar graphs, pictographs, and circle graphs, with and without the help of technology

7m103 make inferences and convincing arguments that are based on data analysis



paper and pencil


computer graphing program (optional)

spreadsheet program (optional)





Read the Introduction as a group. As a review, have students list ways of collecting data. For example:

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 on-line 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?


This Web Quest is designed to be done in pairs to allow discussion about bias and other conclusions, but it could be done individually.

Have students read the Task section before beginning to ensure that they are clear on what is expected of them.

For extra support, allow students who have difficulty expressing themselves in writing to explain their steps orally in an interview format.

For extra challenge, have pairs conduct the same survey in the classroom and compare their data to those of the online survey.   



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 students to a Web page that is part of the Fact Monster Web site. Students will be able to browse a list of polls that are being conducted on the Web site. Explain to students 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 students are working, observe and/or interview them to see how they are interpreting and carrying out the task.

Sample questions:

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

"What population is this survey is a sample of?"

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.



Question 2 may require a quick review of ratio and percent from Chapter 2 (lessons 2, 5, and 6).


For more practice with spreadsheets, you may want to suggest that your students enter the information into a spreadsheet instead of a table.

Encourage students to use their calculators only when they do not think they could calculate the answer otherwise.



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, rabbits 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 animal 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.



For question 3, you may prefer that students use a graphing program instead of creating the graphs 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.


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








Understanding of Concepts

•  makes very simple observations about the survey and the Internet as a tool for data collection


•demonstrates a superficial or inaccurate understanding of bias in data collection

•  makes simple observations about the survey and the Internet as a tool for data collection


•demonstrates a partial understanding of bias in data collection (i.e., provides incomplete explanations of thinking)

•  makes grade- appropriate observations about the survey and the Internet as a tool for data collection

•demonstrates grade-appropriate understanding of bias in data collection (i.e., provides appropriate and complete explanations of thinking)

•    makes insightful observations about the survey and the Internet as a tool for data collection


•demonstrates in-depth understanding of bias in data collection (i.e., provides clear, complete, and logical explanations)

Application of Procedures

•  makes major errors and/or omissions when creating graph  

•  makes several errors and/or omissions when creating graph

•  makes only a few minor errors and/or omissions when creating graph


•  makes almost no errors and/or omissions when creating graph

Problem Solving

•  reasoning is evident but lacks consistency


• conclusions are somewhat connected with work shown but not supported by evidence

•  reasoning is evident and logical in parts



• conclusions are consistent with work shown but not fully supported by evidence

•  reasoning is logical and consistent within context


• conclusions are consistent with work shown, are supported by evidence, and integrate aspects of the problem


•  reasoning is logical and shows in-depth understanding of material

•  conclusions are supported by evidence, integrate all aspects of the problem, and are convincing


•  provides incomplete or inaccurate explanations and draws few conclusions that lack clarity or logical thought


•  uses very little mathematical vocabulary

•  provides partial explanations and draws conclusions that show logical thought and some clarity



•  uses some mathematical conventions, words, or symbols used correctly

•  provides complete, clear, and logical explanations and draws conclusions to present information



•  uses most mathematical conventions, words, and symbols correctly


•  provides thorough, clear, and insightful explanations and draws conclusions that reflect an excellent understanding of material

•  uses mathematical conventions, words, and symbols correctly