Research Question and Hypotheses
Furthermore, students are motivated to complete their school work using technology. Goertler and Bollen (2012) reported that students select a hybrid course not for their own technological savvy or their belief in the delivery format, but rather for the same logistical reasons that often prompt an institution to hybridize the curriculum: the flexibility in space and time. Today, school districts are buying hardware and software to implement into the curriculum only to find it underutilized by teachers. To increase the resources covered, reinforce their comprehension, and provide variety in delivery modes, Usova (2011) stated that the BSJ [Bibliothèque Saint-Jean] has moved from a 100% face-to-face delivery format to a mixed learning environment in which about 40% of instruction is delivered using online elements.
Perhaps a study which investigates the cost effectiveness of professional development on the use of technology in the math curriculum for increasing student academic achievement will determine if professional development on the use of technology will increase academic test scores. MLI [mobile learning intervention] students outperformed comparison students on a post intervention multiplication test controlling for several covariates, including prior achievement, home iPod touch use, and previous teacher, among others, as stated by Kiger, Herro, and Prunty (2012). The purpose of this study is to quantitatively research if professional development on the use of MOBI, CPS, and ExamView technology in a middle school will significantly raise academic scores.
Is there significant difference in formative test scores between students whose teachers participated in the professional development and the formative test scores of students whose teachers did not participate in the professional development on the combined use of MOBI, CPS, and ExamView?
The professional development training on the combined use of MOBI, CPS, and ExamView
There is not a significant difference in formative test scores over the nine weeks from students whose teachers participated in the professional development and the formative test scores of students whose teachers did not participate in the professional on the combined use of MOBI, CPS, and ExamView.
Directional alternative Hypothesis
There is a significant difference in formative test scores throughout the nine weeks from students whose teachers participated in the professional development and the formative test scores of students whose teachers did not participate in the professional development on the combined use of MOBI, CPS, and ExamView.
The proposed study will use a t-test to determine if paid professional development training for using Mobi, CPS, and ExamView is cost effective. The study will test if there is a significant difference in formative test scores over nine weeks from students whose teachers participated in the professional development and the test scores of students whose teachers did not participate in the professional development on the use of the MOBI, CPS, and ExamView.
Research Design and Approach
The proposed study will adopt a quantitative design, particularly a quasi-experimental research design. Particularly, a control group pretest-posttest quasi experimental design will be used will be used. Therefore, data for the study will be collected before and after the intervention. The intervention in the proposed study will be professional development of the teachers on the use of the MOBI, CPS, and Exam View. After a thorough literature review, a quantitative data will be collected from students to determine the effect of the professional development training for teachers. The data for will be math scores of students of the teachers who will have and who will not have participated in the professional development. Therefore, one class will be the control group and the other will be the treatment group. The control group will consist of students whose teachers did not participate in the professional development while the experimental group will consist of students whose teachers will have participated in the professional development.
Creswell (2012) explains that many experimental situations occur in which researchers need to use intact groups (p. 309). Therefore, since the two classes are intact and the teachers already teach math in those classes, the pre-post posttest with a control group design will be the most appropriate design for the study. With the classes being in same school and on the same grade, the two groups are reasonably comparable. Since students cannot have their classes changed for experiments, a quasi-experiment with existing rosters must be used. One of the teachers is already scheduled by the school administration to participate in the training that will be offered next academic/school year while the other teacher is not scheduled to participate in the professional development program next academic year. Therefore, the experimental and control groups are already in existence and the researcher will have no control over who goes to either group.
A pre-post posttest design with a control group will be preferred because it will be possible to control for the possible effect of the other factors that students and teachers might be exposed to during the intervention. Creswell (2012) warns that this approach introduces considerably more threats to internal validity than the true experiment design, such as selection factors that go uncontrolled in the experiment (p. 310). The internal threat to the mean score of each class would be if classes are tracked for proficiency. There might have been prior differences in the two classes prior to the intervention, which might affect the results of the study. Even with the validity threats, students cannot have their class changed for an experiment due to IRB guidelines.
Setting and Sample
The research will take place in two middle school math classrooms covering the same curriculum over a nine week period. The school belongs to the Green Valley School District, which is the eleventh largest school district in the US. The target population of the study is the middle school teachers and students. The sample for the study will consist of all the math in the school and the math classes they teach. The school has been chosen conveniently and because of its proximity to the researcher. The researcher has been in the school.
Therefore, there will be no random assignment of the classes to the experimental and control group. In other words, the researcher will have no control over which teacher goes to the control group and who goes to experimental group. This is an administrative issue in which the teachers are already scheduled to receive the training. The teacher who will be receiving training will be the experimental teacher and their class becomes the experimental class while the teacher who will not be scheduled to receive training next school year will be the control group.
Each teacher will administer a pretest to all the students on their roster. The two teachers will then proceed to teach the curriculum either with or without the combined use of MOBI, CPS, and ExamView. The experimental class will use MOBI, CPS, and Exam View while the control class will be taught without these. At the end of the chapter, the two teachers will give chapter/unit tests, which will act as posttest scores. The scores between the two classes will be analyzed to determine if the treatment group had a significant difference in scores from the pretest to posttest compared to the scores in the control group from pretest to posttest. The instructor without the training will be designated as the control group and the instructor of the class with the training will be the experimental group.
Instrumentation and Materials
The dependent variable will be student math achievement scores. The data for the dependent variable will be collected using school-based math end of chapter/unit tests. In the school where the study will be conducted, school-based math achievement tests are normally done after every chapter is completed. The formative tests are meant to assess the performance of students in such chapters, with a view determining how well the students understood the chapters. Since the purpose of the study is to determine if professional teacher development using technology affects student achievement in math, those tests will act as measures for collecting student math scores from the two classes. The test scores will be continuous in nature. The scores of each of the students in the tests will be obtained.
The independent variable for the proposed study will be professional development, which is categorical. There will be two categories, experimental group which wil consist of teachers attended professional development for using technology in the math classroom and control group, which will consist of teachers who will not have attended professional development for using technology in the math classroom. The independent variable will be the intervention for the study, and will be accomplished through training teachers for a period of nine weeks. The variable will be categorical in nature, and therefore the data will be categorical. The major covariates affecting the limits of this study are the student population of each class, and teachers’ and students’ prior experience with technology.
Data Collection and Analysis
At the end of the intervention, teachers will be asked to administer the same school-based end of chapter/unit math test to the two classes. The tests will be administered at the same time. There will be different teachers to act as invigilators for the tests. The researcher intends to have the invigilators trained to administer the tests to students. The duration for the tests will be the same for the two classes. After the tests are completed, they will be collected and for scoring/marking. There will be an agreed marking scheme/rubric for guiding the teachers who will score the tests. Teachers who will have taught the students will not be the ones to mark student tests for their classes. Test scores will be continuous data.
Finally, the measure taken for protection of participants’ rights, including issues of confidentiality, informed consent, and protection from harm will conform to Human Research Protections from either the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI). The researcher will inform the teachers about the study, including its purpose, procedures, and what they will be expected to do. There are no foreseen harms to the participants. Teachers will be given consent forms to sign after all their concerns are addressed. Permission will also be obtained from the school to conduct the study there and to use student scores. For confidentiality and privacy purposes, the identity of the school, the teachers, and the schools will remain anonymous. The researcher will not use any identifying information in the reporting of the study results. The study will have to receive IRB approval from the university before it is conducted.
Data Presentation Strategy
In the proposed study, descriptive and inferential statistics will be used. Descriptive statistics will be used to describe the teachers and students who will participate in the study. Demographic data such as age of the teachers, gender, experience in the profession, and qualifications will be provided through descriptive statistics. Information on the number of students per class and their gender will be provided in the descriptive section of the results. Moreover, information on the mean, the standard deviation, and number of students in each class will be provided. Furthermore, inferential statistics that will be obtained after conducting t-tests will be reported. Specifically, information on the t-test for equality of means and the p-value will be provided. The information will be interpreted to determine whether student math scores differed statistically significantly on the basis of whether the teacher received training or not.
The visual aids that will be used to present the results are charts and tables. The type of chart that will be used is the histogram with a superimposed normal curve to show whether the data will have met the assumption of normality for each of the groups of the independent variable. This chart is preferred because it shows the distribution of scores against the normal curve, making it easy to determine if the distribution is normal or not. Tables will be used for presenting the demographic information and the results of the t-tests. They were chosen because they are able to summarize results on different groups or categories in a clear and comprehensible manner that will be easier to read and interpret.
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