David Szabla, Alan Stoskopf
Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Department or Academic Unit
School of Professional Studies, Department of Education
education, educational technology, secondary education, middle school education, content analysis, face-to-face, online, participation amount, participation content, Web 2.0
Educators have observed reluctance in middle school students to vocally engage in small group learning tasks, the result of which could be a decrease in student learning. The same students have been observed collaborating with peers outside of the classroom when using technology. The purpose of this study is to determine if technology provides a means to increase participation in the classroom, which in turn may increase student learning. Social constructivism and developmental theories guided this study. Eighty eighth-grade middle school students participated in a mixed-method, between-subject quasi-experiment to determine whether there was a difference in participation amount and content by students in small-group, learning-centered discussions using online vs. face-to-face environments. Students in groups of four used either an online chat tool or face-to-face discussion during a four-part activity. Data was coded, guided by Cohen's Kappa inter-rater reliability. The data was analyzed using independent sample t-tests, Fisher exact tests, relative percentage comparisons, Gini Coefficient comparisons, and Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon testing. Significant findings (p < .05, p < .01) were demonstrated in participation amount, participation content, male participation amount, male participation content, and female participation content. Technology has the ability to enhance educational systems in order to prepare students to effectively and efficiently communicate and collaborate in today's high-tech environment. Accessing Web 2.0 tools in the classroom is a good first step as students can integrate their current out-of-school technological lifestyle and place it into the hands of educators to mold and form into quality 21st century life skills.
Cathleen L. Oravetz
Oravetz, Cathleen L., "Assessing middle school student participation in online vs. face-to-face environments" (2011). Education Doctoral Theses. Paper 3. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002127
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