Project description

Multi-state census 2004 follows the hugely successful South Australian project of 2003 where over 21 000 students took part.

The project specifically addresses the needs of teachers and students arising from the increasing demand for our students to be statisitcally literate. It aims to provide teachers and students with a real context (of which they are a part) within which the teaching/learning of statistics can take place.

So, what do you get if you subscribe?

Professional development
Teachers within schools that register for the project will have the opportunity to attend one professional development session called - Getting the best out of SeniorSchoolCensus-online. During this session teachers will learn how the census can be used in their classrooms to provide rich learning experiences for their students. Number and placement of PD sessions will depend on the number of registered schools.

Learning Materials
Schools that subscribe will be provided with a password that will give them access to learning materials for each year level of secondary school, written specifically for the states curriculum. For example, in NSW the learning materials will adress the needs of the new 7-10 syllabus, the ICT competencies and the General Mathematics course.

Student involvement
Arguably the most important part. Feedback from the SA 2003 experience supports our belief that when a student actually completes the survey the drive they have to use the data in their learning is incredible. The ownership is so important. Read some of the testimonials.

Some more details .....

Survey design - Student and teacher consultation
The questions in the survey were largely written by students, with guidance about good question writing from the ABS. The 2004 experience has 40 questions. You can view these here.

Conducting the Census
The census is open to all students in registered schools within NT, SA, WA, Vic, NSW, ACT and Tas. Queensland schools take part in a state based census administered by the Queensland government.

Census month is May 2004.

Use of the census output in the classrooms of Australian Schools.
The data collected will be considered (for learning purposes) to be that from a population. Teachers and students will not have access to all the data from the population nor many of the population parameters that result. They will, however, have access to as many simple random samples SRS's of whatever size (up to 255) that they desire. It is this that underpins the unique learning opportunities that flow from this project. Students will use the SRS's as tools in their learning. They will be able to explore the data and make conjectures about the population, investigate the effects of sample size on confidence interval width, perform hypothesis tests and calculate confidence intervals just as real statisticians do. The one difference is that in most real situations the population data are not available. In this project we withhold information about the population data until a predetermined date (TBD), when some of the population parameters will be released for all to see. Students can then review the analysis they have performed in the light of this new knowledge. This will be a truly revolutionary learning experience, as not even the teachers will have access to the 'right' answers during the analysis stage.

Student privacy and anonymity
In conducting this census on line, it is essential that student privacy is protected, and all data is anonymous. For this reason we are very pleased to have contracted the support of goVote, who specialise in conducting Web based voting, ballots and surveys, with state of the art encryption and other security and privacy features, some of which are listed below: