Session S59a (Wednesday, 9:30am, Wartik 106)

P654: Seeing chemistry through the eyes of the blind: A case study following one blind student through the math and concepts of gas laws

Jordan Harshman, Stacey Lowery Bretz, Ellen Yezierski (Miami University, USA)

Adequately accommodating blind or low vision (BLV) students in the sciences has been a focus of recent research, but much of this research pertains to laboratory as opposed to a lecture setting. This case study seeks to identify instructional techniques that support or impede the representation of information in the context of a typical gas laws unit in a college chemistry course for science majors. A female blind student participated in five interviews of various length and structure to provide insights on how information and ideas were communicated and interpreted. These interviews, which were naturalistic tutoring sessions, were taped and transcribed verbatim so the researcher could identify major themes and code them according to what was effective or ineffective. The themes identified pertain to three communication modalities of interest: verbal, written, and tactile representations of information to aid learning. Results generated practical insights about teaching and learning chemistry in the form of recommendations for faculty, teaching assistants, and university administration.


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