## 03 March 2015

### Median - The Resistant Little Bugger

One of my most favorite things to discuss in a stats lesson about measures of central tendency is the value or situational advantages of uses mean or median to tell the story YOU want to tell when analyzing data.

While preparing a different post about Google Classroom and Edmodo, I dredged up this old assignment from my Edmodo archives and was smitten by my own work. LOL

Median was described in class as being resistant to change from outliers.  Find a news or blog article online discussing "average" (mean or median) and

1.  Give the url of your article.
2.  Summarize the article - include the variables being discussed
3.  Determine if the article is using median or mean for "average".
4.  Was the article's use of median or mean correct?  Why or why not?

Places to find links with statistics in them:
http://www.freakonomics.com
http://www.census.gov
http://www.espn.com
http://fedstats.sites.usa.gov/
http://www.baseball-reference.com
http://fivethirtyeight.com/

OR - you could Google "average _______", anything really, and get a news article about it.  "Average salary" gave a lot of hits.

To give you more info on the way I graded this assignment, I was looking for some understanding of how students might pick out the difference in use between the two. (Whether or not the article actually said average or middle, using an actual data set to pick that out, searching for clues in the context, i.e. an article discussing how athletes are overpaid would probably use a mean.)

I used this assignment more to generate discussion and thought than as an assessment, but I suppose if you were confident that your students would be successful at this, I don't know why it couldn't be the basis of a performance event or graded writing prompt.

Do you think there are any consistent sources of "stats" articles that I've left off?