Data Base Activities


Questions To Consider

 

Entering Data

The nature of the data to be collected needs careful planning. Simple database programs often limit the number of letters that can be entered against each field.

Questions in a survey need short answers. Long descriptions lead to spelling mistakes.

Simple graphs require simple and clearly defined data: responses to questions can limited to one word.

Phrasing the questions carefully or providing a choice of words helps prevents problems.

 

The result of poor planning: if the choice of words is not limited (for example, sun, sunny), the graph can become repetitive.

 

 


It is essential to plan a database before creating it on a computer and collecting data. From the start, bear in mind the information that the children will need to find from the completed files.

 One record might look like this….

 

Record no. 55

 

Day

Tuesday

Date

May 4th

Weather

Cloudy, Warm

Wind

West

 

field names

child’s entry

 

Questions to consider

  • What is the file name or title of the database (for example, weather)?
  • Check: Does this need to be shortened? The number of characters allowed for the filename may be limited.
  • How many records will there be?
  • For example: one weather record for each day, multiplied by the number of days.
  • How many fields will there be?
  • Allow one or two spares just in case.
  • How will dates be written? 25th February 2009, 25/02/2009, or 25 – 2 – 09?
  • They should all be in the same style.
  • Check the number of characters allowed in each field entry. The children may think of longer answers than a teacher anticipates
  • List some questions that the children may wish to ask the database. For example: How many creatures were found under stones? Which creatures have six legs?
  • Check: Are the children collecting enough of the correct data to answer their questions?