Since there is some confusion as to the difference between qualitative and quantitative data in assessing student learning, I thought I would ask an expert: Chat GTP. Full disclosure, everything below comes from what the AI told me. Actually, I think Chat GPT did a pretty good job, but if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Data according to Chat GPT: Retrieved 1/28/2023
“Qualitative data is descriptive and deals with non-numerical information, such as opinions, observations, or open-ended responses. It is often used to understand attitudes, behaviors, and motivations. Examples include interview transcripts, written comments, and video recordings.
Quantitative data is numerical and deals with measurement and counts. It is often used to test hypotheses and make statistical inferences. Examples include numerical survey responses, test scores, and counts of things such as number of customers in a store.
When measuring student learning outcomes, qualitative and quantitative data can provide different types of information.
Quantitative data, such as test scores and grades, can provide a numerical measure of a student’s knowledge or proficiency in a specific subject. It can be used to compare students to one another, as well as to track progress over time. It is particularly useful for measuring knowledge in subjects that have clear and objective answers, such as math and science.
Qualitative data, such as observations, interviews, and open-ended questions, can provide a deeper understanding of a student’s thought process, motivation, and engagement. It can be used to understand student’s learning process and evaluate the effectiveness of teaching methods. It is particularly useful for measuring skills that are not easily quantifiable, such as critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity.
Both types of data can be used together to get a more complete picture of student learning outcomes. Quantitative data provides a snapshot of student performance, while qualitative data provides a more nuanced understanding of how and why students are performing a certain way.