The Science of Healthy Behaviors
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The Science of Healthy Behaviors

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Teacher's Guide

Lesson 3—Explore/Explain

Tools and Social and Behavioral Science: The Survey (Page 2 of 2)

Procedure

Activity 3: Getting More out of Surveys

Web activity icon

For classrooms using the Web version of this activity:

  1. Divide the class into groups of three or four again, and have the groups proceed to the computers.

Remind students that the goals of the survey they took are to examine physical activity behaviors in middle school students and to evaluate some influences on those behaviors.

  1. Ask students if the summary data that they reviewed in Activity 2 is all the information they could get from the surveys.

Accept a couple of responses quickly. Students may believe that each question stands alone and the only information that can be obtained from the survey relates to data for each question individually.

  1. Ask students to suggest ways to get more information about physical activity behaviors and influences from the survey.

Accept all student responses. Do this quickly.

  1. Give students an example of how to get more information from the survey results. For example, scientists could ask, Do males play an active sport more times per week than females do?

A large number of questions can be asked. Students could compare males and females for each behavior. For example, Do males watch TV or play video games more than females do? Students can phrase a question that relates any of the behaviors to any of the influences besides male and female. For example, Do middle school students who have a physical fitness or recreational center in their neighborhood exercise more times per week than students who don’t? Asking questions such as these allows us to learn about relationships that exist between influences and behaviors.

  1. Have students proceed to the URL http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/healthy/student and click on the link to Activity 3—Getting More out of Surveys.
  1. Using the transparency of Master 3.5, Analysis Guide, lead students through the following example before they work on their own. Ask each group to select “Active work around the house, such as cleaning, laundry, or yardwork” from “Behaviors” and “Male” from “Influences.”

On the transparency of Master 3.5, write active work around the house as the behavior being studied. Then write gender as the influence being studied. Doing a comparison of female versus male results requires that two reports be generated, one for males and one for females. Behaviors are from Questions 2 to 7 of the survey the students took. Influences are from Questions 1 and 8 to 12 of the survey.

  1. Have the students type in the research question, Do males or females do more active work around the house? Have students click the “Generate Report” button.

Write the research question on the transparency. Write the results in the table at the top of page 2 of Master 3.5.

  1. Tell students to click the “Back” button on the browser. They should select “Active work around the house” as the behavior and “Female” as the influence. (If the research question box is blank, they will have to reenter the question.) Finish by clicking the “Generate Report” button.

Enter the data that appear in the table at the bottom of Master 3.5, page 1. The following table shows the results for this research question:

Influence: Gender Behavior: active work around the house
Not at all 1 or 2 times 3 or 4 times 5 or more times                   
Male 5.1% 30.5% 31.7% 32.8%  
Female 2.9% 23.9% 30.5% 42.8%  

In this table, the rows add up to 100%, representing either 100% of the males who responded to this question or 100% of the females who responded. The columns indicate percentage of respondents in these two groups who selected each of the frequencies for “During the past week, how many times did you do active work around the house, such as cleaning, laundry, or yardwork?” For example, 5.1% of males responding indicated that they did no work around the house during the past week. Overall, the results indicate that about 43% fewer females than males did no housework (5.1 – 2.9 = 2.2; 2.2/5.1 = 43%), while about 30% more females than males did housework 5 or more times during the past week (42.8 – 32.8 = 10; 10/32.8 = 30%).

  1. Ask students for responses to Question 1 on the second page of Master 3.5, Analysis Guide.

Students should recognize that gender (that is, male or female) does appear to influence the frequency with which middle school students do work around the house. However, the answer to the research question is not a simple, “Males [or females] do work around the house more times per week.” The data show that more males than females either did no housework or did housework 1 or 2 times per week. An approximately equal number of males and females did housework 3 or 4 times per week. Additionally, about 30% more females than males did housework 5 or more times per week.

tip iconTip from the field test: You can discuss with students whether gender is the only influence involved in this example. For example, are there other external influences? Do parents ask female children to help with housework more than they ask male children to help? If they do, could this be the result of cultural influences? Do females expect to do more housework just because they are females? Are females’ beliefs influenced not only by parents, other siblings, and culture but also by media (TV shows and literature that depict or describe female behaviors, for example)? What information would students need to answer these questions? This is a good time to discuss the nature of science and how science is done. Students should become aware that the results of one investigation raise questions for other investigations, and that science is an ongoing process.

Students will answer Question 2 on page 2 of Master 3.5 when they complete their own analysis (Step 11).

  1. Give each student a copy of Master 3.5, Analysis Guide. Instruct students to do their own analysis. They should choose a behavior and an influence. They should then write the research question they are investigating and click “Generate Report.”

Remind students that some analyses require generating more than one report. Comparisons of female and male behaviors, as in the example you have just completed, require two separate reports, one with males selected as the influence and one with females selected. Additionally, three of the remaining influences can be grouped as family (parents let you decide about TV, played a sport with father, and played a sport with mother) and two as environment (recreation center in neighborhood and feeling safe in neighborhood). These influences can be studied individually, in which case only one report is required. Alternatively, they may be studied as a group, in which case multiple reports are required.

National Science Education Standards icon
Content Standard B:
Asking questions and querying other scientists’ explanations is part of scientific inquiry.

Assessment icon
Assessment:
This analysis can be turned in at the end of the class and used as a formal assessment of student understanding.
  1. Instruct students to write the results of their investigation on Master 3.5, Analysis Guide, and to answer the two questions on page 2 of the master.
  1. If time allows, ask groups to present their research question to the class. They should explain which behavior and influence they were investigating and briefly explain their results.

Students may require guidance in interpreting their results.

  1. Ask students,
  • “Which influences seem to have an impact on behaviors?”
  • “Do you see any difference in the results for males compared with females?”
  • “Which influences can an individual modify?”
  • “Which can an individual not modify (or modify with difficulty)?”
  1. Point out to students that social and behavioral scientists would use a survey in exactly the same way. They would develop research questions, collect and analyze data to answer them, draw conclusions, and decide on the next steps in the research plan or on how to apply the information.

print activity iconFor classes using the print version of this activity:

  1. Ask students if the summary data that they saw in Activity 2 is all the information they could get from the surveys.

Accept a couple of responses quickly. Students may believe that each question stands alone and the only information that can be obtained from the survey relates to data for each question individually.

  1. Ask students to suggest ways to get more information about physical activity behaviors and influences from the survey.

Accept all student responses. Do this quickly.

  1. Give students an example of how to get more information from the survey results. For example, scientists could ask, Do males play an active sport more times per week than females do?

A large number of questions can be asked. Students could compare males and females for each behavior. For example, Do males watch TV or play video games more than females do? Students can phrase a question that relates any of the behaviors to any of the influences besides male and female. For example, Do middle school students who have a physical fitness or recreational center in their neighborhood exercise more times per week than students who don’t? Asking questions such as these allows us to learn about relationships that exist between influences and behaviors.

  1. Display a transparency of Master 3.6, Influences on Physical Activity Behaviors. Explain the data to students.

Master 3.6, Influences on Physical Activity Behaviors, provides data comparing males with females for the behaviors asked about on the survey. Several other examples relating an influence to a physical activity behavior are also provided.

  1. Using the transparency of Master 3.5, Analysis Guide, lead students through the following example before they work on their own. Select “active work around the house” from “Behavior” and “Male” (a gender influence).

On the transparency of Master 3.5, write active work around the house as the behavior being studied. Then write gender as the influence being studied. Doing a comparison of female versus male results requires that two reports be generated, one for males and one for females. Behaviors are from Questions 2 to 7 of the survey the students took. Influences are from Questions 1 and 8 to 12 of the survey.

  1. On the transparency, write the research question, Do males or females do more active work around the house?
  1. Transfer the appropriate data for the selected behavior for both males and females to the table at the top of page 2 of Master 3.5.

The following table shows the results for this research question:

Influence: Gender Behavior: active work around the house
Not at all 1 or 2 times 3 or 4 times 5 or more times                   
Male 5.1% 30.5% 31.7% 32.8%  
Female 2.9% 23.9% 30.5% 42.8%  

In this table, the rows add up to 100%, representing either 100% of the males who responded to this question or 100% of the females who responded. The columns indicate percentage of respondents in these two groups who selected each of the frequencies for “During the past week, how many times did you do active work around the house, such as cleaning, laundry, or yardwork?” For example, 5.1% of males responding indicated that they did no work around the house during the past week. Overall, the results indicate that about 43% fewer females than males did no housework, while about 30% more females than males did housework 5 or more times during the past week.

  1. Ask students for responses to Question 1 on the second page of Master 3.5, Analysis Guide.

Students should see that gender (that is, male or female) does appear to influence the frequency with which middle school students do work around the house. However, the answer to the research question is not a simple, “Males [or females] do work around the house more times per week.” The data show that more males than females either did no housework or did housework 1 or 2 times per week. An approximately equal number of males and females did housework 3 or 4 times per week. Additionally, about 30% more females than males did housework 5 or more times per week.

tip iconTip from the field test: You can discuss with students whether gender is the only influence involved in this example. For example, are there other external influences? Do parents ask female children to help with housework more than they ask male children to help? If they do, could this be the result of cultural influences? Do females expect to do more housework just because they are females? Are females’ beliefs influenced not only by parents, other siblings, and culture but also by media (TV shows and literature that depict or describe female behaviors, for example)? What information would students need to answer these questions? This is a good time to discuss the nature of science and how science is done. Students should become aware that the results of one investigation raise questions for other investigations, and that science is an ongoing process.

Students will answer Question 2 on page 2 of the master when they complete their own analysis (Step 10).

  1. Give each student a copy of Master 3.5, Analysis Guide, and give each team a copy of Master 3.6, Influences on Physical Activity Behaviors.
  1. Instruct students to do their own analysis. They should choose a behavior and an influence. They should then write the research question they are investigating and transfer the correct data from Master 3.6 to the table on Master 3.5.
National Science Education Standards icon
Content Standard B:
Asking questions and querying other scientists’ explanations is part of scientific inquiry.

Assessment icon
Assessment:
This analysis can be turned in at the end of the class and used as a formal assessment of student understanding.

Master 3.5, Analysis Guide, will provide students with prompts for their analysis. Remind students that some analyses require generating more than one report. Comparisons of female and male behaviors, as in the example you have just completed, require two separate reports, one with males selected as the influence and one with females selected.

  1. Ask students to briefly explain their results as they refer to their completed Master 3.5, Analysis Guide.

Students may require guidance in interpreting their results.

  1. Ask students,
  1. Point out to students that social and behavioral scientists would use a survey in exactly the same way. They would develop research questions, collect and analyze data to answer them, draw conclusions, and decide on the next steps in the research plan or on how to apply the information.
Web activity icon Lesson 3 Organizer: Web Version
Activity 1: Physical Activity Survey (Or, What Do You Do?)
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Instruct students to raise their hands if they have ever participated in a survey. Ask students for their definition of a survey.

Step 1

On the board, write the question, Do you play a sport?

  • Ask two or three students to respond.
  • Write their answers on the board.
Step 2

Explain that they will study physical activity patterns among students.

  • Ask students to revise the question on the board or ask a new one.
  • Write new questions and their answers on the board.

Step 3

Select answers from a single student. Ask the class,

  • “Does everyone agree with these answers?”
  • “How many students must answer a question to represent how all (or most) students would respond?”
  • “Would the answers represent how all (or most) students in the school would respond?”
  • “Would the answers represent how middle school students at other schools in the city, state, or country would respond?”
  • “Would the answers represent how students in lower or higher grades would respond?”

Step 4

Give each student one copy of Master 3.1, Survey. Explain to students that they will participate in a survey of physical activity behaviors of middle school students.

master iconStep 5
Activity 2: Analyzing the Physical Activity Survey Results (Or, Who Else Does That?)
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Have students log onto the Web site and click on “Lesson 3—Activity 2: Data Entry.”

  • Students first enter their unique class code.
  • Students enter their responses to the 12 questions provided.
Web activity iconStep 1

After data entry, divide the class into groups of two to four students.

  • Give each student one copy of Master 3.2, Comparison Guide.
  • Instruct students to click on “Lesson 3—Activity 2: Analyzing the Survey Results.”
master iconStep 2

Explain that each group will compare their class’s responses for two questions with those from all classes in the database and with data from the Add Health study.

Step 3

Instruct the groups to use the number of respondents in their class for each answer to calculate the percentage responses. Tell students to graph their results on Master 3.2, Comparison Guide.

Step 4

Reconvene the class. Ask students if they observed response differences between their class, all classes in the database, and participants of the Add Health study. Ask,

  • “Between which data sources did you see the greatest differences? Why?”
  • “Which data set is the most accurate?”
  • “Sometimes, small and large data sets show similar percentages for responses to the same question. Why?”
Steps 5 and 6
Activity 3: Getting More out of Surveys
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Divide the class into groups of three or four students.

  • Ask students, “Do the summary data from the previous activity contain all the information that can be obtained from the survey?”
  • Suggest ways to get more information about physical activity behaviors and influences from the survey.
  • Give students an example of a question that can elicit more information from the survey data.
Steps 1–4

Have students log onto the Web site and click on “Lesson 3—Activity 3, Getting More out of Surveys.”

Web activity iconStep 5

Display a transparency of Master 3.5 Analysis Guide, and lead students through a sample analysis.

  • From “Behavior,” select “Active work around the house such as cleaning, laundry, or yardwork.”
  • From “Influences,” select “Male.”
transparency iconStep 6

Instruct students to type in the research question, Do males or females do more active work around the house?

  • Have students click the “Generate Report” button.
  • Write the research question and the results on the transparency.
Step 7

Instruct students to click on the “Back” button.

  • From “Behavior,” have students select “Active work around the house such as cleaning laundry or yardwork.”
  • From “Influence,” have students select “Female.”
  • If necessary, have students reenter the research question.
  • Have students click the “Generate Report” button.
Step 8

Ask students to answer the research question posed earlier and provide evidence for their responses.

Step 9

Give each student one copy of Master 3.5, Analysis Guide. Instruct students to perform their own survey analysis. Groups should

  • Choose a behavior and an influence.
  • Write their research question.
  • Click the “Generate Report” button.
  • Record their results on Master 3.5 and answer the questions on the second page of the master.
master iconSteps 10 and 11

If time permits, ask student volunteers to report their research questions and the results of their analyses.

Step 12

Ask students,

  • “Which influences seem to have an impact on behaviors?”
  • “Do you see any difference in the results for males compared with females?”
  • “Which influences can an individual modify?”
  • “Which influences can an individual not modify (or modify with difficulty)?”
Step 13

Explain that social and behavioral scientists use surveys in the same way. They develop research questions, collect and analyze data, draw conclusions, and decide how to continue their investigation.

Step 14
master icon= Involves copying a master.
transparency icon= Involves making a transparency.
Web activity icon= Involves using the Internet.

print activity iconLesson 3 Organizer: Print Version
Activity 1: Physical Activity Survey (Or, What Do You Do?)
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Instruct students to raise their hands if they have ever participated in a survey. Ask students for their definition of a survey.

Step 1

On the board, write the question, Do you play a sport?

  • Ask two or three students to respond.
  • Write their answers on the board.
Step 2

Explain that they will study physical activity patterns among students.

  • Ask students to revise the question on the board or ask a new one.
  • Write new questions and their answers on the board.

Step 3

Select answers from a single student. Ask the class,

  • “Does everyone agree with these answers?”
  • “How many students must answer a question to represent how all (or most) students would respond?”
  • “Would the answers represent how all (or most) students in the school would respond?”
  • “Would the answers represent how middle school students at other schools in the city, state, or country would respond?”
  • “Would the answers represent how students in lower or higher grades would respond?”

Step 4

Give each student one copy of Master 3.1, Survey. Explain to students that they will participate in a survey of physical activity behaviors of middle school students.

master iconStep 5
Activity 2: Analyzing the Physical Activity Survey Results (Or, Who Else Does That?)
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Display a transparency of Master 3.1, Survey. Tally the class data from the individual student surveys.

transparency iconStep 1

Divide the class into groups of two to four students.

  • Give each student one copy of Master 3.3, Add Health Study Data.
  • Give each student one copy of Master 3.4, Class and Add Health Study Comparison.
master iconStep 2

Explain that each group will compare their class’s responses for two questions with those from all classes in the database and with data from the Add Health study.

Step 3

Instruct the groups to copy the Add Health data into the tables on Master 3.4, Class and Add Health Study Comparison.

  • Students should graph the percentages on Master 3.4.
Step 4

Reconvene the class. Ask students if they observed response differences between their class and participants of the Add Health study, and if so, why? Ask,

  • “Which data set is the most accurate?”
  • “Sometimes, small and large data sets show similar percentages for responses to the same question. Why?”
Steps 5 and 6
Activity 3: Getting More out of Surveys
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Ask students, “Do the summary data from the previous activity contain all the information that can be obtained from the survey?” Suggest ways to get more information about physical activity behaviors and influences from the survey. Provide students with an example of a question that can elicit more information from the survey data.

Steps 1–3

Display a transparency of Master 3.6, Influences on Physical Activity. Explain the data to students.

transparency iconStep 4

Display a transparency of Master 3.5 Analysis Guide, and lead students through a sample analysis.

  • From “Behavior,” on Master 2.6, select “active work around the house such as cleaning, laundry, or yardwork.”
  • Select “Male” as the influence.
  • On the transparency, write the research question, Do males or females do more active work around the house?
transparency iconSteps 5 and 6

Transfer the appropriate data for males and females to the transparency of Master 3.5, Analysis Guide.

Step 7

Ask students to answer the research question posed earlier and provide evidence for their responses.

Step 8

Give each student one copy of Master 3.5, Analysis Guide, and give each group one copy of Master 3.6, Influences on Physical Activity Behaviors.

master iconStep 9

Instruct students to perform their own survey analysis. Groups should

  • Choose a behavior and an influence.
  • Write their research question
  • Transfer the appropriate data from Master 3.6 to the table on Master 3.5.
Step 10

If time permits, ask student volunteers to report their research questions and the results of their analyses.

Step 11

Ask students,

  • “Which influences seem to have an impact on behaviors?”
  • “Do you see any difference in the results for males compared with females?”
  • “Which influences can an individual modify?”
  • “Which influences can an individual not modify (or modify with difficulty)?”
Step 12

Explain that social and behavioral scientists use surveys in the same way. They develop research questions, collect and analyze data, draw conclusions, and decide how to continue their investigation.

Step 13
master icon= Involves copying a master.
transparency icon= Involves making a transparency.

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