Week 10: How do I explain my data? What did I learn from my data?

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.

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