To teach students with visual impairments to differentiate between qualitative and quantitative observations and to practice data collection
Students often have a difficult time differentiating between the types of data or observations asked for in a question. Quantitative data is expressed in numbers and comes from measuring or counting. The data is recorded using scientific measuring units such as grams, centimeters, millimeters, or degrees Celsius. In this activity the two types of quantitative data collected are mass and length or dimensions.
Qualitative data is descriptive and involves data that usually cannot be counted or quantified. Qualitative data is observed using the senses. With practice students with limited vision can make valuable observations using their tactile, kinesthetic, auditory, and olfactory senses. See the list of descriptive adjectives below. Students with low vision can be encouraged to use these senses more, as in science it is frequently unsafe to get very close to an item to make observations. Magnifiers and Closed circuit televisions (CCTV) can enhance visual observations.
If working with a group of students some with vision and some without vision, giving the sighted students the items in a closed box with access only for their hands to enter, encourages those students to use their other senses.