Sampling in Research Lesson Plan

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has taught University level psychology and mathematics courses for over 20 years. They have a Doctorate in Education from Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Arts in Human Factors Psychology from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Flagler College.

This lesson plan presents the concept of sampling in research. Students will discuss the sampling process, work in teams to design a sampling plan for a research scenario and critique real-world sampling procedures.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define sampling as it relates to research
  • Demonstrate the five steps to sampling
  • Explain the importance of proper sampling in research


2 Hours (including student presentation time). Overall time depends on number of students in the class.

1 Hour - take home writing assignment extension.

Curriculum Standards


Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Key Terms

  • Sample
  • Sampling
  • Population
  • Sampling Frame


  • Printed transcripts of the video lesson What is Sampling in Research? - Definition, Methods & Importance and hard copies of the lesson quiz
  • Audio/Visual equipment
  • Poster board
  • Art supplies (including scissors, glue, art paper, markers)
  • Scenario worksheet giving a single research scenario. For example:
    • Dave and Jule are owners of a local gym in a small town. They want to know what types of equipment or classes will be most popular. They decide to do a survey to find out the answer to their question.


  • Ask students how they would conduct a survey. Affirm answers relate directly to designing the survey. Lead students to consider who will answer the survey. Ask:
    • Does anyone know what it is called when you ask some people, but not all people, to answer a survey?
    • Why wouldn't you ask all the people related to a survey topic to answer a survey?
    • What do you call the entire group of people that you are interested in asking questions about on a survey?
    • Does it matter which people you ask to answer your survey?
  • Tell students that today's lesson will focus on sampling in research.


  • Hand out transcripts of the video lesson What is Sampling in Research? - Definition, Methods & Importance.
  • Begin the video lesson, pausing at time marker 0:27 to discuss:
    • What do you think; who should she survey?
    • Does it matter?
  • Continue the video pausing at time marker 3:52. Ask:
    • So, what was the first step in the process?
    • When might you be able to use the entire population for a study? {When the research is related directly to only a small group.}
    • Which is better, random sampling or non-random sampling?
    • What are the two sides of the coin for sample size? {The bigger the sample size, the more accurate the results; the smaller the sample size, the more manageable the research.}
    • When would it be mandatory to have very large sample sizes and when would small sample sizes be okay?
  • Finish the video. Discuss:
    • Why was the mental health office an inappropriate place for Brooke to survey students about their stress levels due to exams?
    • Are there any other areas that might skew Brooke's results?
    • What would be a better area? Why?
  • Hand out the lesson quiz. Go over each question and answer with the class after they have finished it.

Research Scenario Presentation - Group Assignment


  • The purpose of this activity is to allow your students to develop their own ideas about sampling and follow those through the process presented in the lesson.


  • Poster board
  • Art supplies
  • Scenario worksheet

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