We will talk more about the big picture in magnitude and trend questions later but today I want to discuss the third major type of mathematics Task 1 – COMPARISON TASKS.
These tasks, often presented as bar graphs or a table, have the distinctive feature that they compare two things e.g. male and female performance in exams; participation by boys and girls in a range of sports, popularity of different kinds of foods with males and females; popularity of various websites with men and women, percentages of students attending primary school compared to the percentage going to secondary school to mention just a few possible examples.
In the case we will look at today, the graph shows the attitudes to the use of Information Technology (computers and the Internet) in education.
1. GROUPING THE DATA
Notice that no years are available in this data and there is no other item in which we can find a trend. So the strategy here will be to look at where do a higher percentage of girls hold an opinion and then look at where do a higher percentage of boys hold an opinion and finally we will look where do about the same percentages of boys and girls hold an opinion.
GIRLS HIGHER THAN BOYS
BOYS HIGHER THAN GIRLS
BOYS AND GIRLS ABOUT EQUAL
Easy library access
2 MAGNITUDE OF OPINION
Notice that some opinions are more popular than others. For example , boys and girls think that access to IT is easy in the library while only half this percentage think that IT is able to link people socially. This is a detail and would not be mentioned in the “OVERVIEW STATEMENT”, it would be mentioned in the “DETAILS” paragraph.
“Overall, a higher proportion of girls thought that IT access improved learning while a higher percentage of boys than girls believed that IT improved productivity and attracted students. In addition, the data also reveals that equal proportions of boys and girls believed there was easy access to IT in the library with an equal although much lower percentage who believed it aided social links.”
Another, very simple, way to report that there was no difference between boys and girls on the other issues would be:
“In addition, the data also reveals that in their views on other issues, gender differences were not apparent.”
In this case the information about the higher popularity of the view about the library and the much less popular view about IT assisting social links would be left to the “Details” part of the essay.
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(Data source: http://firstmonday.org/article/viewArticle/1023/944 )