LDS - Repeated Sampling


This is a trial resource for the Large Data Set project for the new AS and A level in Mathematics.


Alison Palmer
Alison ...
Posts: 6


Feedback LDS trial




We conducted the trial with both activities for one and a half hours. Each student stayed for the maximum of one hour. Some completed one activity and others completed both.


There were five students and three teachers at the trial. All students were at least A grade students.




Terry (Hong Kong) – A* in maths and due to complete all 18 modules this summer. He will have maths, further maths and additional further maths when finished.


Amanda (Vietnam) – taking maths and further maths A Levels. Has already sat 7 modules with average UMS of 98.7.


Sherry (China) – internal foundation student sitting maths and further maths.


Lee (China)  – internal foundation student sitting maths and further maths.


Daniel (Hong Kong) – internal foundation student sitting maths.








Myself – Alison


Dr Jennifer Walters – head of maths and PhD Physics


Dr Peter Kolinsky – PhD Physics




All of us as teachers felt that we needed more training in Excel. We felt that a fairly comprehensive list of useful functions for the two year period would be really useful for teachers to begin to prepare themselves for the LDS workshops. Additional training would be necessary.


The students also felt that they did not have enough experience of Excel. The Vietnamese girl Amanda said that she had had Excel lessons in Vietnam when she was roughly 12/13 years old. She is now 17. She said that each week they learned three or four new functions and if you included practice time in the lesson then they had a 90 minute lesson for this work each week. All students felt that a month of Excel lessons (50 mins or 1hr) per week would be useful before beginning LDS exercises. All of these students are smart but they were using google or asking for help with using Excel. The hints were useful but not enough. I also had to research VLOOKUP because the hint helped but was not quite enough. Most students and all teachers had an issue with this particular function. In general they needed more computing/Excel information; more hints; more advice and some concrete lessons before starting any activities.


We began with the Statistical Calculations activity. Although it looked fairly easy to do everyone felt that an easier introductory activity would be necessary.


With each activity the students wanted further instructions. Should they save the LDS to their documents or memory drive? Where should their results be recorded? They asked for one or more of the following:


  • A worksheet with answer boxes so that each result could be entered on the worksheet.

  • Clear instructions as to where the mean etc should be placed on their spreadsheet, also with instructions to label their sheet.

  • A project book to record results about the LDS.




Feedback Statistical Calculations activity




Did you enjoy this activity?  4/5 YES       1/5  YES but quite time consuming




Did you find it useful?   4/5 YES     1/5  NO




What was easy?   SUM/MEAN  - but generally not found to be easy




Most students found using Excel without training quite difficult.




Two students enjoyed learning Excel and computer skills. One enjoyed finding the error.




We had very limited time for the trial, which I think, in addition to lack of training in Excel, made the tasks less enjoyable. It was felt that this one sheet could be a project over perhaps one month of 50 minute workshops x 1 per week.






Repeated Sampling activity




Only two students had time to work on the second activity. Terry and Amanda.




They found it less enjoyable – possibly because of the time constraints and lack of preparation with Excel. Although they both thought it useful. Using VLOOKUP was problematic when moving between the different Excel sheets (tabs). Excel training definitely requested.