Using a sample size calculator in the classroom is a great way to help teach your student statistics! Since learning statistics can be a confusing and hard concept to grasp -especially for younger students -using a calculator is a great way to show your students how to calculate the appropriate sample size per the entire population. Instead of doing the math on your own – using the margin of error and the confidence level percentage – you can simply plug in your variables and get started!
Let’s see the benefits of using a sample size calculator, the confidence level in the calculation, the factors that can affect confidence level, and why YOU should use a calculator for accurate results!
Considering Using A Sample Size Calculator? We Don’t Blame You! This Is The Best Statistics Learning Tool That You Can Use
First off – what is the sample size? The sample size is simply the number of respondents to your survey that you distributed. If you distributed a 10000 survey and you found that 100 people answered your survey, then your sample size is 100. The only reason that this term is called a “sample” size is that it is a smaller subgroup of the overall population that you are taking into account – you are only finding out information about a specific population or group of people who you care about. Instead of focusing on everyone and everyone, you are only spending your time and resources on those who are most influential to your business.
There are a few topics that you should know before you can fully understand a sample size calculator:
- Population size – the first term to understand is the population The population size is the number of people that you are curious about – if you want to study every single person who attends George Mason University, then this is your population size.
- The margin of error – the margin of error is the percentage of reliability in the survey – how much leeway are you going to give your survey? If you think that your survey is going to give you accurate answers almost every single time you perform the survey, then the margin of error will be lower – which is a good thing!
- Confidence level – the last term to take into consideration is the confidence level. The confidence level is how “confident” you are that the population is going to choose a specific answer or have certain results. If you think that the majority of your population is going to choose Answer A instead of Answer B, then you might be 95% confident in this survey.
- The confidence level in your sample size is going to directly relate to the z score. When you are trying to calculate the sample size on your own, you need to use different variables, such as the population size, margin of error, and z score. The z score is the number of deviations that can give you different answers from the mean answer (basically, the spread of the results). When calculating the sample size, you will find that this pre-set confidence level directly relates to the z-score – the higher the confidence level is, the higher the z-score is. For example, a 99% confidence level has a matching z-score of 2.58.
When you are calculating the sample size on your own, you need to take a few things into account. One trick to use when calculating sample size is to keep an eye on your margin of error – if you want to decrease the margin of error, you end up having a bigger sample size. In addition, if you want a higher confidence level in your sample size calculation, then you also need to increase the number of people in your sample size.
Using a sample size calculator can be more accurate than using the complicated equation because we can be assured that we took into account the proper z score, confidence level, and margin of error. When doing the question on our own, there is room for human error!
Are you trying to calculate the correct sample size for your population? If so, then using a sample size calculator is the best way that you can ensure you get accurate responses!