People are always complaining about how much gasoline costs. This is particularly true of people in Decatur where it seems the gas is always higher than in the surrounding areas. This semester we will collect data on gasoline prices, analyze it, and make inferences based on our data.
There is an Internet site at www.gaspricewatch.com dedicated to monitoring gasoline prices. This site allows users to enter gasoline prices and search for the lowest gasoline prices in their area by zip code.
Here are some of the questions we'd like to answer.
The instructor will divide the class into groups of about five students each based on criteria such as availability and computer expertise. Most of the computer work can be done in class, but there may be some times that the groups will have to meet outside of class.
One member of each group will be selected by the members of that group to be a delegate to a steering committee. The steering committee will work with the instructor during Phase I, collect data with their groups for Phase II, and then work together with the combined classroom data for Phase III and Phase IV. For most of the project, the steering committee will work together, leaving the other groups with four people each.
Use the worksheet provided with this handout to decide what information needs to be collected to answer the questions above. Each person except for the steering committee delegate should complete their sheet and then as a group discuss the responses and collaboratively complete the sheet of the steering committee delegate. The steering committee member will then bring the groups responses to the meeting with the other committee members and the instructor to combine the results into a consistent format for the class to use.
After the steering committee has met with the instructor, data collection sheets will be prepared for Phase II of the project.
Students are then encouraged to collect as much data as they can and this process will continue until we're ready to start analyzing the data in the second half of the course. More specific instructions will be provided when Phase II is ready to begin.
Each group will enter their data into a separate file and the instructor will combine the information into a single file for the steering committee to use in the next phases of the project.
Use the data that your group has collected to answer the following questions. The steering committee will use the combined class data.
Answer the following questions. For all questions except 5, select the cases where the octane rating is regular gasoline. For each question, type the original question as the heading, include the output from SPSS used to determine the answer, and give a conclusion that references the appropriate values from the output. Clean up the output by removing unnecessary information (case processing summaries and confidence intervals) and setting wide tables to print to fit.
Be sure to answer the questions above, but feel free to address any other questions.
Project Evaluation (10 points)
As a group, comment on the entire project. Address questions like
This should be typed and only one document per group submitted. The steering committee should work together.
Individual Evaluations (10 points)
As an individual, evaluate each member of your group including yourself. Comment on how much they contributed to the group. Did they show up for all the meetings, did they participate when they showed up, did they pull their weight or did they not do anything.
In addition to a paragraph describing each person, assign them a score between 0 and 10 points for their effort in the group. Remember you are evaluating yourself, also.
* The score that you receive for this part of the project will be the mean scores given to you by each person in your group.
This may be handwritten and there should be one document per person. The steering committee should evaluate the other members of the steering committee, not the members of their original group.
Determine what information will be needed to answer each of the following questions.
Each piece of information that needs collected will have to be assigned to a variable. Variables names must begin with a letter, be eight letters or less, and cannot contain spaces or punctuation. Describe the variable and identify the level of measurement (Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, or Ratio) for each variable.
List the gasoline stations that the members of your group pass by on a semi-regular basis that you would be able to collect data from.