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Educational research in the United States: a survey of pre-K-12 teachers' perceptions regarding the purpose, conceptions, use, impact, and dissemination

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The purpose of this survey study was to collect data from pre-K-12 educators in the U.S. regarding their perceptions of the purpose, conceptions, use, impact, and results of educational research. The survey tool was based on existing questionnaires and case

The purpose of this survey study was to collect data from pre-K-12 educators in the U.S. regarding their perceptions of the purpose, conceptions, use, impact, and results of educational research. The survey tool was based on existing questionnaires and case studies in the literature, as well as newly developed items. 3,908 educators in a database developed over 10+ years at the world's largest education company were sent a recruiting email; 400 elementary and secondary teachers in the final sample completed the online survey containing 48 questions over a three-week deployment period in the spring of 2013. Results indicated that overall teachers believe educational research is important, that the most important purpose of research is to increase effectiveness of classroom practice, yet research is not frequently sought out during the course of practice. Teachers perceive results in research journals as the most trustworthy yet also perceive research journals the most difficult to access (relying second-most often for research via in-service trainings). These findings have implications for teachers, administrators, policy-makers, and researchers. Educational researchers should seek to address both the theoretical and the applied aspects of learning. Professional development must make explicit links between research findings and classroom strategies and tactics, and research must be made more readily available to those who are not currently seeking additional credentialing, and therefore do not individually have access to scholarly literature. Further research is needed to expand the survey sample and refine the survey instrument. Similar research with administrators in pre-K-20 settings as well as in-depth interviews would serve to investigate the "why" of many findings.

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2013

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Bridging cyber and physical programming classes: an application of semantic visual analytics for programming exams

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With the advent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) educators have the opportunity to collect data from students and use it to derive insightful information about the students. Specifically, for programming based courses the ability to identify the specific areas

With the advent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) educators have the opportunity to collect data from students and use it to derive insightful information about the students. Specifically, for programming based courses the ability to identify the specific areas or topics that need more attention from the students can be of immense help. But the majority of traditional, non-virtual classes lack the ability to uncover such information that can serve as a feedback to the effectiveness of teaching. In majority of the schools paper exams and assignments provide the only form of assessment to measure the success of the students in achieving the course objectives. The overall grade obtained in paper exams and assignments need not present a complete picture of a student’s strengths and weaknesses. In part, this can be addressed by incorporating research-based technology into the classrooms to obtain real-time updates on students' progress. But introducing technology to provide real-time, class-wide engagement involves a considerable investment both academically and financially. This prevents the adoption of such technology thereby preventing the ideal, technology-enabled classrooms. With increasing class sizes, it is becoming impossible for teachers to keep a persistent track of their students progress and to provide personalized feedback. What if we can we provide technology support without adding more burden to the existing pedagogical approach? How can we enable semantic enrichment of exams that can translate to students' understanding of the topics taught in the class? Can we provide feedback to students that goes beyond only numbers and reveal areas that need their focus. In this research I focus on bringing the capability of conducting insightful analysis to paper exams with a less intrusive learning analytics approach that taps into the generic classrooms with minimum technology introduction. Specifically, the work focuses on automatic indexing of programming exam questions with ontological semantics. The thesis also focuses on designing and evaluating a novel semantic visual analytics suite for in-depth course monitoring. By visualizing the semantic information to illustrate the areas that need a student’s focus and enable teachers to visualize class level progress, the system provides a richer feedback to both sides for improvement.

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Date Created
2016

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Web-Based Programming Grading Assistant: An Investigation of the Role of Students Reviewing Behavior

Description

Paper assessment remains to be an essential formal assessment method in today's classes. However, it is difficult to track student learning behavior on physical papers. This thesis presents a new educational technology—Web Programming Grading Assistant (WPGA). WPGA not only serves

Paper assessment remains to be an essential formal assessment method in today's classes. However, it is difficult to track student learning behavior on physical papers. This thesis presents a new educational technology—Web Programming Grading Assistant (WPGA). WPGA not only serves as a grading system but also a feedback delivery tool that connects paper-based assessments to digital space. I designed a classroom study and collected data from ASU computer science classes. I tracked and modeled students' reviewing and reflecting behaviors based on the use of WPGA. I analyzed students' reviewing efforts, in terms of frequency, timing, and the associations with their academic performances. Results showed that students put extra emphasis in reviewing prior to the exams and the efforts demonstrated the desire to review formal assessments regardless of if they were graded for academic performance or for attendance. In addition, all students paid more attention on reviewing quizzes and exams toward the end of semester.

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Date Created
2017