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# Statistical investigations

Students gain a better understanding of the statistical investigative process when they initiate, design and undertake entire investigations of their own. In the first instance, this is best undertaken in groups.

A statistical investigation involves:

• choosing a context, and then the specific aspects that interest each group
• identifying the variables and the subjects of the investigation
• planning and carrying out the procedures for data collection to obtain random, fair and representative data
• exploring, summarising and representing the data
• analysing, making inferences based on the data, and preparing a report.

Depending on how familiar you or your class are with conducting statistical investigations, you might choose to:

• model an investigation
This is a highly structured approach that provides students with an example of the features and purpose of the steps involved.
• provide a task that is a semi-structured investigation
The basic outline of the investigation is determined by the task but students are required to make some choices relevant to the context.
• allow students to initiate, design and undertake investigations that interest them.

Examples of student data investigations can be found in the TIMES module, Data Investigation and Interpretation 10.

## Modelling statistical investigations

Model the steps of a statistical investigation by using a highly structured approach.

## Semi-structured statistical investigations

Using semi-structured tasks can scaffold the development of students unfamiliar with the statistical investigative process.

## Undertaking statistical investigations

Students gain a better understanding of the statistical investigative process and are more engaged when they undertake investigations of their own.