Matching Items (13)

156877-Thumbnail Image.png

Professional development in early childhood education: effects of a virtual community of practice on implementing best practices

Description

This mixed methods study examined whether participation in a virtual community of practice (vCoP) could impact the implementation of new skills learned in a professional development session and help to

This mixed methods study examined whether participation in a virtual community of practice (vCoP) could impact the implementation of new skills learned in a professional development session and help to close the research to implementation gap.

Six participants attended a common professional development session and completed pre- , mid- , and post-intervention surveys regarding their implementation of social emotional teaching strategies as well as face-to-face interviews.

Both quantitative and qualitative data was examined to determine if participation in the vCoP impacted implementation of skills learned in the PD session. Quantitative data was inconclusive but qualitative data showed an appreciation for participation in the vCoP and access to the resources shared by the participants. Limitations and implications for future cycles of research are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

155268-Thumbnail Image.png

Supporting K-12 online learners: developing a mentorship program

Description

Online education is unique in part for the relatively high degrees of autonomy afforded learners. Self-direction and self-regulation, along with support, are essential for students to succeed. The site of

Online education is unique in part for the relatively high degrees of autonomy afforded learners. Self-direction and self-regulation, along with support, are essential for students to succeed. The site of this action research project was a new, small online public charter school for middle and high school students, Foothills Academy Connected (FAC). The purpose of this action research project was to develop an online learner support system that was built around mentorship and based on the four areas identified by the Educational Success Prediction Instrument (ESPRI) (Roblyer & Davis, 2008); thoroughly document the process; and examine its influence on students and the researcher. This study was focused on: (a) identifying students’ main challenges with online learning, (b) identifying students’ perceptions about additional supports that would improve their schooling experience, and (c) examining the process of engaging in mentorship by the emerging mentor, herself.

The study employed a mixed methods research design. Research instruments included a questionnaire adapted from the ESPRI that marked the start of the study period, visual autoethnographies, interviews, extensive research journaling to document interactions with students and parents/guardians, and a second questionnaire. The research results showed that the “emerging mentorship approach” was a worthwhile innovation for augmenting the FAC online learner student support system. In particular, developing individual student profiles based on this varied data and responding to those students’ needs were accompanied by detailed documentation to develop a mentoring approach that could be used subsequently. A finding of the research was that the ESPRI would not have been effective alone in determining a student profile and responding only on that basis. The ESPRI areas of inquiry were helpful when used in conjunction with the other data to frame students’ needs and formulate personalized plans to support struggling online learners. Online learner support literature provided scant detail on the personal experience of the individual adopting the mentor role. In this study, it was determined that the process of becoming a mentor was uncomfortable and nonlinear, and it challenged the self-directedness and boldness of the action researcher as she worked in this new role as mentor.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

153083-Thumbnail Image.png

Ownschooling: the use of technology in 10 unschooling families

Description

Unschooling is a child-centered educational philosophy that eschews teachers,

schools, curricula, grades and tests. Unschool practitioners have complete freedom to choose what they want to learn, when, to what level,

Unschooling is a child-centered educational philosophy that eschews teachers,

schools, curricula, grades and tests. Unschool practitioners have complete freedom to choose what they want to learn, when, to what level, and for how long. Unschooling families use the World Wide Web to provide a bespoke academic experience at home. This study compares qualitative data collected from questionnaires and semi-structured interviews conducted with 10 unschooling families with quantitative data collected from 5 children within these families using a tracking and monitoring software. The software captured the duration of use, keystrokes, mouseclicks, and screenshots for all programs and websites for 14 days. Children stated they used technology less than 6 hours a day, and parents stated children used them less than 8 hours a day. Quantitative data shows the children use technology at least 10 hours a day, suggesting usage self-reports may not be reliable. The study revealed hardware form factor was the number one determinate of application use. Almost exclusively social media was used on smartphones, internet browsing on tablets, and creative endeavors such as modding, hacking, fan fiction writing, and video game level building all took place exclusively on laptops and desktops. Concurrent use of differing hardware form factors was the norm observed. Participants stated YouTube, Wikipedia and Khan Academy were the websites most used for knowledge gathering. The tracking software verified YouTube and Wikipedia were the most used websites, however when accessed on the PC, those sites were used almost exclusively for video game related purposes. Over 90% of the total PC use was spent on video games. More traditional educational activities were done primarily on tablets and on parent smartphones with parental engagement. Khan Academy was not used by the

participants in the 14 day monitoring period. 90 day web browser logs indicated Khan Academy was used by individuals no more than 3 times in a 90 day period,

demonstrating the inherent risks in relying upon internet usage self-reports without

quantitative software for verification. Unschooling children spent between 30 and 60 hours a week using technology.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

153254-Thumbnail Image.png

Informal social learning: an examination of teaching and social presence on a Photoshop® for beginners internet discussion forum

Description

The overall purpose of this study was to explore the dynamics of teaching and learning in the context of an informal, online discussion forum. This investigation utilized the Community of

The overall purpose of this study was to explore the dynamics of teaching and learning in the context of an informal, online discussion forum. This investigation utilized the Community of Inquiry (CoI) elements of Teaching Presence and Social Presence along with the construct of Learning Presence to examine Adobe® Forums, Photoshop® for Beginners Forum (PfBF) an internet discussion forum designed to provide support for beginning users of Adobe Photoshop. The researcher collected four days of discussion post data comprising 62 discussion threads for a total of 202 discussion posts. During this initial pilot analysis, the discussion threads were divided into posts created by members who were deemed to be acting as teachers and posts written by members acting as learners. Three analyses were conducted. First, a pilot analysis was conducted where the researcher divided the data in half and coded 31 discussion threads and a total of 142 discussion posts with the Teaching Presence, Social Presence and Learning Presence coding schemes. Second, a reliability analysis was conducted to determine the interrater reliability of the coding schemes. For this analysis two additional coders were recruited, trained and coded a small subsample of data (4 discussion threads for a total of 29 discussion posts) using the same three coding schemes. Third, a final analysis was conducted where the researcher coded and analyzed 134 discussion posts created by 24 teachers using the Teaching Presence coding scheme. At the conclusion of the final analysis, it was determined that eighteen percent (18%) of the data could not be coded using the Teaching Presence coding scheme. However, this data were observed to contain behavioral indicators of Social Presence. Consequently, the Social Presence coding scheme was used to code and analyze the remaining data. The results of this study revealed that forum members who interact on PfBF do indeed exhibit Teaching Presence behaviors. Direct Instruction was the largest category of Teaching Presence behaviors exhibited, over and above Facilitating Discussion and Design and Organization. It was also observed that forum members serving in the role of teachers exhibit behaviors of Social Presence alongside Teaching Presence behaviors.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

155316-Thumbnail Image.png

Retaining out-of-state freshmen at ASU

Description

College completion has become a national priority in the United States. Before students can graduate from a college or university, however, they must survive their first year in higher education.

College completion has become a national priority in the United States. Before students can graduate from a college or university, however, they must survive their first year in higher education. The retention of out-of-state freshmen is a major piece of the larger college student retention puzzle due to recent national enrollment trends and the financial implications of out-of-state student enrollment. With public universities nationwide receiving less financial support from state governments, many of these institutions have used a strategy of aggressively recruiting and increasingly enrolling out-of-state students because the higher tuition these students pay can help offset the loss of state funding. Despite the importance of out-of-state students to the national higher education landscape, little research has been conducted on out-of-state student retention.

This study examined the relation between a resource website and the engagement, sense of belonging, homesickness, and retention of out-of-state freshmen at Arizona State University (ASU). Mixed methods of inquiry were utilized; data sources included a pre- and post-intervention student survey, student interviews, student essay artifacts, website utilization records, and university retention reports.

This study demonstrated that freshmen coming to ASU from another state experienced four main challenges related to being an out-of-state student. Those challenges were homesickness, adjusting to living in Arizona, managing finances, and making friends at ASU. Out-of-state students therefore needed extra support for their transition. The study found that an out-of-state student resource website had a positive association with co-curricular engagement and homesickness frequency reduction. Moreover, the site provided useful information on the challenges experienced by out-of-state freshmen. Discussion includes possible explanations for the findings and implications for practice and research.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

155784-Thumbnail Image.png

What counts as writing?: an examination of students' use of social media platforms as alternative authoring paths

Description

In this article-style dissertation, I explore how students used digital technologies, specifically three social media platforms, as multimodal writing platforms while creating a digital portfolio in a senior English class.

In this article-style dissertation, I explore how students used digital technologies, specifically three social media platforms, as multimodal writing platforms while creating a digital portfolio in a senior English class. These platforms are 1) Weebly pages: a website building platform, 2) Weebly Blogs: a feature of Weebly, and 3) Instagram: a photo/video sharing application. Under a multiliteracies lens, I examine the changing nature of literacies and the educational practices surrounding learning literacies when mediated through social media.

First, I conducted an analysis of how the students in this class designed their portfolios. This is done through an examination of each students’ Weebly homepage as well as an in-depth analysis two focal students across each of the social media platforms as illustrative cases. Findings show the students designed complex multimodal compositions that would have otherwise not been possible with the more formal, rigid forms of writing typical to this classroom. Implications for this study include embracing alternative authoring paths in classrooms beyond traditional forms of text-based writing to allow for students’ interests to be included through their designs.

I also examined how students used each of the platforms and the pedagogical implications for those uses. I found that students used Instagram to write multimodally, which allowed them to express ideas in non-traditional ways that are often not present in classrooms. Students used Weebly pages to publically showcase their writing, which afforded them an opportunity to extend their writing to a larger audience. Students used Weebly Blogs to communicate informally, which allowed them to reflect on connections to the text. I offer implications for how teachers can use social media in the classroom.

Finally, I outline how Ms. Lee and her students oriented to the value of writing in this unit. Findings indicate that Ms. Lee, like many others, privileged print-based forms of writing, even in a more expansive project like the portfolio unit. The students oriented to this value by predominantly making meaning through textual modes throughout their portfolios. Implications extend to teachers expanding their classroom practices beyond the traditional forms of literacy for which they are trained.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

151579-Thumbnail Image.png

Examining the effects of blended learning for ninth grade students who struggle with math

Description

Many students in the United States are graduating from high school without the math skills they need to be considered college ready. For many of these graduates, who find themselves

Many students in the United States are graduating from high school without the math skills they need to be considered college ready. For many of these graduates, who find themselves starting their higher education at a community college, remedial math can become an insurmountable barrier that ends their aspirations for a degree or certificate. Some students must take as many as four remedial courses before they are considered college ready. Studies report that between 60% and 70% of students placed into remedial math classes either do not successfully complete the sequence of required courses or avoid taking math altogether and therefore never graduate (Bailey, Jeong, & Cho, 2010). This study compared three low-level freshman math classes in one Arizona high school. The purpose of this study was to implement an innovative learning intervention to find out if there was a causal relationship between the addition of technology with instruction in a blended learning environment and performance in math. The intervention measured growth (pre- and posttest) and grade-level achievement (district-provided benchmark test) in three Foundations of Algebra classes. The three classes ranged on a continuum with the use of technology and personalized instruction. Additionally, focus groups were conducted to better understand the challenges this population of students face when learning math. The changes in classroom practices showed no statistical significance on the student outcomes achieved. Students in a blended online environment learned the Foundations of Algebra concepts similarly to their counterparts in a traditional, face-to-face learning environment.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

152228-Thumbnail Image.png

Student interactions in Edmodo versus Facebook

Description

ABSTRACT This study describes student interactions in the academic social network site Edmodo versus student interactions in Facebook. This qualitative case study relies upon four high school juniors enrolled in

ABSTRACT This study describes student interactions in the academic social network site Edmodo versus student interactions in Facebook. This qualitative case study relies upon four high school juniors enrolled in Advanced Placement Language and Composition who use Edmodo to complete assignments for their English class. Their experiences were gathered in an attempt to describe specific experiences in a complex system. Students were selected using an Internet Connectedness Index survey. Using a Virtual Community of Practice framework, students were asked about their experiences in Edmodo. This study concludes that Edmodo and Facebook can be compared in three categories: accessibility, functionality, and environment. Unlike Facebook, which students access regularly, students access Edmodo only to fulfill the teacher's participation expectations for the specific grade they wish to receive. Additionally, students appreciated the convenience of using Edmodo to complete assignments. The functionality of Edmodo is quite similar in layout and appearance to Facebook, yet students were unaware of the media sharing capability, wished for private messaging options, and desired the ability to tag peers for direct comment using the @ sign, all options that are available in Facebook. Students felt the environment in Edmodo could best be characterized as intellectual and academic, which some mentioned might best be used with honors or AP students. A surprising benefit of Edmodo is the lack of social cues enable students to feel free of judgment when composing writing. Some felt this allowed students to know their classmates better and share their true personae free from judgment of classmates. As a result of the case studies of four students, this study seeks to illustrate how students interact in Edmodo versus Facebook to provide a robust image of the academic social network site for teachers seeking to implement educational technology in their classes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

151628-Thumbnail Image.png

YouTube instruction on ceramic techniques in the middle school art classroom

Description

ABSTRACT Art educators use a variety of teaching and demonstration methods to convey information to students. With the emergence of digital technology, the standard methods of demonstration are changing. Art

ABSTRACT Art educators use a variety of teaching and demonstration methods to convey information to students. With the emergence of digital technology, the standard methods of demonstration are changing. Art demonstrations are now being recorded and shared via the internet through video sharing websites such as YouTube. Little research has been conducted on the effectiveness of video demonstration versus the standard teacher-centered demonstration. This study focused on two different demonstration methods for the same clay sculpture project, with two separate groups of students. The control group received regular teacher-centered demonstration for instruction. The experimental group received a series of YouTube videos for demonstration. Quantitative data include scores of clay sculptures using a four-point scale in three separate categories based on construction abilities. Qualitative data include responses to pre and post-questionnaires along with classroom observations. The data is analyzed to look at the difference, if any, between YouTube instruction and regular teacher-centered instruction on middle school students' ceramic construction abilities. Findings suggest that while the YouTube video method of demonstration appeared to have a slightly greater effect on student construction abilities. Although, both instruction methods proved to be beneficial.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

153124-Thumbnail Image.png

Improving adolescent writing quality and motivation with Sparkfolio, a social media based writing tool

Description

Writing instruction poses both cognitive and affective challenges, particularly for adolescents. American teens not only fall short of national writing standards, but also tend to lack motivation for school writing,

Writing instruction poses both cognitive and affective challenges, particularly for adolescents. American teens not only fall short of national writing standards, but also tend to lack motivation for school writing, claiming it is too challenging and that they have nothing interesting to write about. Yet, teens enthusiastically immerse themselves in informal writing via text messaging, email, and social media, regularly sharing their thoughts and experiences with a real audience. While these activities are, in fact, writing, research indicates that teens instead view them as simply "communication" or "being social." Accordingly, the aim of this work was to infuse formal classroom writing with naturally engaging elements of informal social media writing to positively impact writing quality and the motivation to write, resulting in the development and implementation of Sparkfolio, an online prewriting tool that: a) addresses affective challenges by allowing students to choose personally relevant topics using their own social media data; and b) provides cognitive support with a planner that helps develop and organize ideas in preparation for writing a first draft. This tool was evaluated in a study involving 46 eleventh-grade English students writing three personal narratives each, and including three experimental conditions: a) using self-authored social media post data while planning with Sparkfolio; b) using only data from posts authored by one's friends while planning with Sparkfolio; and c) a control group that did not use Sparkfolio. The dependent variables were the change in writing motivation and the change in writing quality that occurred before and after the intervention. A scaled pre/posttest measured writing motivation, and the first and third narratives were used as writing quality pre/posttests. A usability scale, logged Sparkfolio data, and qualitative measures were also analyzed. Results indicated that participants who used Sparkfolio had statistically significantly higher gains in writing quality than the control group, validating Sparkfolio as effective. Additionally, while nonsignificant, results suggested that planning with self-authored data provided more writing quality and motivational benefits than data authored by others. This work provides initial empirical evidence that leveraging students' own social media data (securely) holds potential in fostering meaningful personalized learning.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014