I just finished collecting my data today. It was a pretty amazing few weeks. The craziness that is my life has really made the finishing of my data collection so much more of a cause for celebration. I did a case study with three fifth graders. Since I am a PE teacher and reading intervention specialist, I was unable to do my data collection during the normal school day. Instead, I had the three students meet me in the computer lab after school for half an hour over 10 days. I introduced the computer simulation and had them explore the site for 15 minutes. While observing and after the observations I collected data by asking questions.
After collecting all of the data I discovered that the students felt that science-based computer simulations are helpful in teaching students about science equipment and facts. The use of these simulations were thought to be fun, entertaining, but not a replacement for actual lab work. They felt that these simulations could be used as an introduction to a lab or as a safe way to do experiments before actually trying it in real life.
I took observations and did surveys, asked questions and gave a post simulation survey. In the end how do I explain my data? I gathered this information from what they said and how they reacted when participating in the simulations. By asking them questions both during and after simulations I got their thoughts on each simulation and the reason why they would or wouldn’t use that simulation again in the future. By compiling all of this data I was able to get the above general statements which is supported by their responses and observed interactions.