Applications of Instructional Technology

Tiana C. Tibbs

215 Oxford Lane Warner Robins, GA 31088

Article Summaries Submitted to: Dr. Kenneth Clark of Georgia Southern University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for FRIT 8530 – Y02

Fall 2010 Friday, September 24, 2010 Statesboro, Georgia

Citation Fengfeng, K., & Grabowski, B. (2007). Gameplaying for maths learning: cooperative or not?. British Journal of Educational Technology, 38(2), 249-259. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2006.00593.x. Identification Research Article Summary This article is about if game playing can an effect a student’s math performance and attitude. There is a problem of low achievement in education dealing with math for many years. Some propositions to increasing math achievement were using computer games. Past research reported that computer games were used in support of learning the basic arithmetic and problem-solving skills. In this article, there was a study done with fifth graders who were either assigned to a cooperative Teams-GamesTournament (TGT) or with no game playing condition. A math exam with state-standards based questions and an inventory on attitudes toward math were used as a pre and post test. The results indicated after the study was that game playing was more effective than drills in promoting math performance and cooperative game playing was most effective in promoting positive math attitudes. Critique I like that this article used a pre and post test to compare their results. I feel that it is important to get a true accurate account on whether if the game playing was effective or not. However, even though they reported that they used an exam with state-standards based questions, I was curious to know if the students were able to score high on the real state test. Students can do really well after a particular time period of learning certain material but when it comes to the end of the year and taking that state

test, usually many students forget about some of those topics. I wished the article would have looked at how it affected their actual scores on the state test compared to previous years.

Citation Ke, F. (2008). Computer games application within alternative classroom goal structures: cognitive, metacognitive, and affective evaluation. Educational Technology Research & Development, 56(5/6), 539-556. doi:10.1007/s11423-008-9086-5. Identification Research Article Summary This article is about if educational computer games have an effect on learning based on different classroom situations. They focused on math learning to see if computer games were more effective than the traditional paper-and-pencil drills. There was skepticism about using computer games for learning because of the classroom and lesson time. There were concerns that the learning does not demand knowledge of a particular subject area and lacked connection to curriculum in school. However, after this study, they found that computer games were more effective in promoting learning motivation but not significantly different in facilitating cognitive math test performance and metacognitive awareness. They also looked at whether alternative classroom goal structures would enhance or reduce due to the effects of the computer games. It was found that the alternative classroom goal structures mediated the effects of computer games on math learning outcomes. Also, cooperative goal structure enhanced the effects of computer games on attitudes toward math learning.

Critique They mentioned in this article that the web-based educational game, ASTRA EAGLE was used to reinforce academic math standards. I think this was a good article to see how computer games affect the student’s learning but I think they should have looked at what kind of affect it had on certain math standards. Was there an increase in just the number sense standards? Was there little or no change before and after the implementation of the computer game with a certain standard? I think it would be interesting to see how this educational game had an effect on certain math standards.

Citation Kodippili, A., & Senaratne, D. (2008). Is computer-generated interactive mathematics homework more effective than traditional instructor-graded homework?. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 928-932. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00794.x. Identification Research Article Summary In this article, the author looks at the effectiveness of computer-generated interactive math homework compared to traditional instructor-generated homework. This study was done using an online homework program called MyMathLab. The author was trying to see the use of technology in education was important when it came to homework and the school learning environment. There was not enough evidence in this study to say that students who had computer-generated homework performed better than the ones who had the paper-based, instructor-graded homework. However, there was a higher

success rate for students who passed the course that used MyMathLab compared to the ones who didn’t. Critique This was not a good study, in my opinion, because there were so many errors that prevented to draw conclusions successfully. Some of the errors they mentioned that prevented the authors to draw inferences were failure to control extraneous influences and other intervening variables such as gender and age. I think this study would have been more successful if they used students in a high school instead of college. I believe it is easier to control some of the influences and other variables when you have a group that is in the same generation. In college, you have different generations of people and that does have an effect on this study especially when it comes to using technology. Many older college students may not feel as comfortable using MyMathLab compared to someone who is younger. I believe if they controlled that part of the study, they would be able to draw better conclusions when it comes to testing their hypothesis.

Citation Kortenkamp, U., & Fest, A. (2009). From CAS/DGS Integration to Algorithms in Educational Math Software. Electronic Journal of Mathematics & Technology, 3(3), 261-273. Retrieved from Identification Professional Practice Article Summary

In this article, it talks about three major software pillars that emerged within the last 15 years. There is the Computer Algebra Systems, CAS, which constitutes the symbolic counterpart to calculators, the Dynamic Geometry Software, DGS, which is the modern replacement for rulers and compasses, and the spreadsheet applications that is used for organizing and structuring data for easier handling and analysis. All three has found its way in teaching but the ones who do use it only focuses on one of the products while many other teachers do not have the time or the confidence to master using these products. The authors believe that using these products in the classroom allows for explorations of algorithmic functions. It is believed that algorithmic functions are crucial to the learning process. This can help understand mathematical models and how they are used to find solutions to real world problems. This in turn will motivate students to explore problems and questions which they introduce on their own. Critique I feel like this article and the software they talked about will go over many teachers’ heads. I had to read the article a couple of times to understand it and I went to school for Information Technology. I believe for teachers to use this software and understand how to incorporate it in the math classroom, they will need to have knowledge on programming, which is not an easy topic to go over. Not only that, having to relay it back to the students, I feel will be a little complicated even though they are in the time where they are more technological savvy. As I was reading this article, I was trying to picture myself going over and using this approach with my students and I can see them being confused at the end of my discussion. I feel like for these products to be used in the classroom successfully, they need to be broken down in a simpler format using user-friendly language when it comes to this software because like the article stated, many teachers do not have the time or the confidence when it comes to using this software.

Citation Mendicino, M., Razzaq, L., & Heffernan, N. (2009). A Comparison of Traditional Homework to ComputerSupported Homework. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(3), 331-359. Retrieved from Identification Research Article Summary This article looked at fifth grade students learning in two different math homework conditions. One condition was the traditional paper-and-pencil homework and the other condition was web-based homework. The ones who were receiving the traditional paper-and-pencil homework would review their problems in class the following day. The ones who were receiving the web-based homework were given immediate feedback in the form of hints on demand and step-by-step scaffolding using a webbased system called ASSISTment System. Every student was provided with the exact homework problems and in the same format (multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank). The only difference was that some of the student’s problems were on ASSISTment and the others were on a worksheet. What was found that the students who were receiving the web-based homework scored higher on their post test than the ones who received the paper-and-pencil homework. They gave the students a pretest before doing this study and a post-test after the study was completed to compare their scores and that is how they were able to say that the students who received the web-based homework scored higher. Not only did they say immediate feedback is essential to these students learning, but it also gave teachers an advantage to get immediate feedback on how their students are doing and saves on time when it comes to grading.

Critique As a math teacher, I found this article very interesting. I started reflecting on the times that I went over the previous night’s homework and it still appears that my student’s were not learning anything as they check their work. It has been proven that with homework, if a student does not know how to do it, they are basically practicing making the mistake over and over and it will take a long time for them to learn how to undo it. I do believe that immediate feedback is essential when students are doing their homework so they can stop making that mistake in the first problem instead of the tenth problem on their homework worksheet. However, it will be impossible to implement this type of homework. First of all, not everyone have access to the computer or internet. Let’s say that the student is provided with his/her personal laptop to take home to do their homework at home. That is money right there and with all the budget cuts in the education system, it is impossible to provide the students with that resource. Then you will always run into technical difficulties when it comes down to technology. With this article, they formed their opinion using just one web-based system. I believe they should have tested their hypothesis using other web-based systems too to see if they get the same results. I also wonder if the pre-test and the post-test was the same exact questions as the worksheet or if they used similar problems to give to the students.

Citation Oliver, K., & Corn, J. (2008). Student-reported differences in technology use and skills after the implementation of one-to-one computing. Educational Media International, 45(3), 215-229. doi:10.1080/09523980802284333. Identification Research Article

Summary This article was about a study that was done with students at a private middle school and their use with technology after implementing a new one-to-one tablet computing program. The purpose of this oneto-one tablet computing program was to increase individualized learning. The students would receive customized learning plans based on their needs from this program. Through previous researches, they found that these programs have improved communication with teachers, behaviors and attitudes, and even attendance. When this study was conducted, they found that there was more use of technology used in specific subjects such as math and science, an increase in communication, and an increase with technology skills on competencies such as editing wikis. Not only did they reported that all of that was happening after the experiment, but also reported student-centered activities starting to emerge regardless of the lack of professional development in this area for teachers. Critique I thought this article was pretty interesting with the fact that even with the lack of professional learning from the teachers, they still saw changes in students use with technology. I agree with the article that using a one-to-one computer program can increase individualized learning. Some of the problems that lie with these programs are that it does not necessarily cater to the student’s needs. Most of them consist of a general topic and a student can easily get bored if they already know about that topic. I wished the article went into more detail about what the students did more of that was technology based instead of mentioning one or two things like editing wikis. I am curious to know what other technology tools they are doing more of that they were not doing before.

Citation Peacock, S., Gordon, L., Murray, S., Morss, K., & Dunlop, G. (2010). Tutor response to implementing an ePortfolio to support learning and personal development in further and higher education institutions in Scotland. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(5), 827-851. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00986.x.986 827. Identification Theory in Practice Summary This article is about how electronic portfolios also called ePortfolios, can have a positive impact on a student’s learning experience. However, there are some pedagogical and technological challenges that may limit their effectiveness. They talked to a group of tutors and had each one complete a questionnaire regarding ePortfolios. Some examples of the responses from the tutors regarding the positive impacts of an ePortfolio were that it supports transition from education to employment or further studies, the learning and supporting formative/summative assessment, and promotion of work to potential employers. The following are some barriers that the tutors reported with having an ePortfolio which were: protection of personal data held within an ePortfolio system, ownership and intellectual property rights of the material contained in the ePortfolio system, misuse of ePortfolio systems by learners, and the lack of access to information technology.

Critique I really like this article regarding ePortfolios. I do think it is important that students, online or traditional, have some type of portfolio to show how they are progressing in their education. I do believe that a portfolio does encourage personal development, assist student transition, and support

assessment. One of the barriers they did listed, however, was the lack of access to information technology. I do not believe that would be a barrier because of the wealth of knowledge and resources that is provided to do an ePortfolio. Also, if it comes down to it, then just have a paper –based portfolio. Information can be printed. I would equate that barrier to the person is who is putting it together, with their amount of motivation to getting it done because it is possible regardless the amount of knowledge you have.

Citation Slagter van Tryon, P., & Bishop, M. (2009). Theoretical foundations for enhancing social connectedness in online learning environments. Distance Education, 30(3), 291-315. doi:10.1080/01587910903236312. Identification Theory in Practice Summary This article is about getting students who are in an online learning environment to negotiate social information and maintain a social connectedness with other online students. When someone is in a face-to-face learning environment, that person can process social information about others easily in order to assess traits, predict behaviors, and determining who can assume certain responsibilities within a group. Students in online learning environments reported feelings of social disconnectedness and missing interpersonal interactions that they have when learning face to face which they call emmediacy. The authors offer a theoretical foundation on how social information processing and group structure theories may be used to help instructional designers in exploring social issues by the online

learner. However, previous research says that the only thing that changes in an online learning environment is the channel that learners communicate, not the social information processing mechanism. Well the authors found in their study three categories of expert-recommended strategies for overcoming social connectedness problems in the online learning environment. The first strategy deals with increased interactions. They suggested that the online instructor must supply sufficient interaction opportunities for students to gather the information they need to assess status, develop norms, and differentiate roles. The second strategy deals with comprehensive technical support. When technologies fail, this can increase stress levels amongst the student than it would in a face-to-face interaction. Experts recommend that the online instructor be prepared to fill the technology support role. Also the last strategy deals with persistent follow-up. Online students cannot easily check around the room to see how many others have assignments or judge for themselves how to keep pace with their coursework by comparing themselves to others. The suggestion for that is to have the online course instructor to incorporate course elements that dictate pace. Critique This article hit right at home. I feel like after years of taking online classes in undergrad and also graduate school that I know what to expect in the typical online class. Every now and again, depending on the class, I will feel a lack of social connectedness because of how the class is offered. I usually expect more interaction and more activities and when there is not much of it going on in a class, I feel lost and wondering if I am doing what is necessary to keep up with the class. I disagree with the part in the article where they said previous research says the only thing that changes is communication. I feel social information processing does have an effect on a student especially if he/she is not used to taking online courses. That is why many people do not take online classes for that simple fact. I wanted to see them compare students who were used to taking online classes to the ones who have not taken many online classes to get their thoughts and feelings regarding this topic.

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