Understanding Standard Deviations: A Learning Activity Using Microsoft Excel
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
In this activity, students will use Microsoft Excel to breakdown the formula for calculating the standard deviation of a data set by calculating the formula in a step-by-step manner. Students will also calculate the standard deviation using the built-in function in Excel. After all of the formulae are entered into the spreadsheet, some of the data values will be changed, and students will observe the resultant affect on the calculated standard deviation. Students will also construct Box Plots and observe how boxplots change as standard deviation changes.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Student Instructions for Standard Deviation Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 83kB Jun4 10)
Excel file for Standard Deviation Activity (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 11kB Jun4 10)