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Online Collaborative Learning for High School Students
Using a Blended Approach for the Promotion of Self-Monitoring Skills

Sharon Peters

A Thesis in The Department of Education

Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts (Educational Technology) at
September 2006
© Sharon Peters, 2006

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY
This is to certify that the thesis prepared
By: Sharon Peters
Entitled: Online collaborative learning for high school students using a blended approach for the promotion of self-monitoring skills and submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master Educational Technology complies with the regulations of the University and meets the accepted standards with respect to originality and quality.
Signed by the final examining committee:
______________________________________ Chair
______________________________________ Examiner
______________________________________ Examiner
______________________________________ Supervisor
Approved by ________________________________________________
Chair of Department or Graduate Program Director
________________________________________________
Dean of Faculty
Date ________________________________________________

Abstract

Online Collaborative Learning for High School Students
Using a Blended Approach for the Promotion of Self-Monitoring Skills
Sharon Peters

While online learning environments have become common at the post-secondary level of academia, teachers of high schools have not yet adopted the online environment as an alternative and supplementary environment to augment the learning which takes place the classroom. Given the greater stability of computer network labs and ubiquity of home computers, many schools may begin to consider this option. In this Action Research study, this teacher explored a blended approach to instruction to introduce an instructional unit on learning styles and self-monitoring skills. Results of the data indicate that while most students enjoyed the online component of schoolwork, high academically successful students enjoyed it least and reported the least changes in academic performance, while the average ability students reported the most enjoyment, gains in academic performance, and desire to use online environments in the future. Average students also reported a greater tendency to ask for friends for help with their studies after the learning unit which points to a recognition of the benefits of collaboration. The use of appropriate language for online learning environments was an issue at the beginning of the unit but improved over time with proper modeling and awareness of expectations.
Acknowledgments

No man is an island, entire of itself - John Donne

The work of this thesis represents the concerted efforts of many individuals over nearly three years. One of the features of the paper is collaboration and certainly it required many acts of collaboration by quite a few people in order to come to fruition. When I presented my project to my thesis committee, I began by saying how blessed I felt that the topic and content of my thesis work were still fascinating and enjoyable to me even after so many hours of study, processing, and writing. And I am also grateful that the knowledge gained through this study is so very relevant and useful to my current teaching practices.

So it is that I begin my thanks to those who lent their support and expertise to me in the last few years. First, I begin by thanking my students who enthusiastically permitted me to use them as “lab rats” for this study. I remember them fondly and remain in contact with a few even after leaving the school more than two years ago. They were a cohort of generous, kind and caring individuals who possessed keen senses of humour. It was a joy to sift through the data they shared with me as they made observations and insights into their own learning processes.

I would like to also express my thanks to my colleagues at Emmanuel Christian School and Lower Canada College. From ECS, Patricia Dearling, Rod Cornell and Michel Gagné were especially supportive in listening to my ideas and helping me work out logistical details. I owe a debt of gratitude to Brian Moore, my colleague at LCC, who generously loaned me the use of his empty house over a two week period so that I could focus without distractions.

To my peers at Concordia, Sara Iatauro, Patrick Lefebvre and Louis-Philippe Poulin, I thank you for your many hours of support and cheer, usually at McKibbon’s, through this long process. Cheers!

I would also like to acknowledge my thanks to my teaching friends around the world who expressed interest in my thesis study and encouraged me along the way – Reuven Werber in Israel, Milana Zubritskaya in Russia, Ayles-Anne Wilson in Trinidad and Tobago, Karen Fahy in New Zealand, Shaun Creighton in Arizona and others. You have made me realize what a worthy endeavour online collaboration is to our rapidly flattening world.

Of course, I want to thank my parents for patiently putting up with a daughter who could never get enough of school.

And lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank my family who sacrificed time with their mother and wife so that she could climb her own personal Mount Everest and thus become a better person and a better teacher. Thank you Grace, Meg, Nathanael and Doug! I hope I can always be there for you in the way you supported me!

TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 1 RATIONALE 1 Literature Review 3 Self-Monitoring skills 3 Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning 5 Instructional Design for Online Learners 8

CHAPTER 2 10 METHODOLOGY 10 Design 10 Participants and Research Context 12 Materials 16 Procedure 17

CHAPTER 3 20 SELF-MONITORING UNIT 21 4.1 CYCLE 1: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SELF-MONITORING UNIT 21 Overview of Cycle 1 21 4.1 CYCLE 1: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SELF-MONITORING UNIT 34 Overview of Cycle 2 34

CHAPTER 4 40 DATA RESULTS 40 Summary of findings 40 Results 40 Quantitative Data 40 Difference in Means 41

CHAPTER FIVE 58 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION 58 Discussion of Findings 58 Overview 58 Differences between Groups 58 Implications for Practice 67 Future Directions in Research 68

REFERENCES 70
APPENDIX 2.1 : Summary Protocol Form 77
APPENDIX 3.1: Parent Consent Form 86
APPENDIX 3.2: Letter to Parents 88
APPENDIX 4.1 : Pre-Unit Questionnaire 89
APPENDIX 4.2 : Post-Unit Questionnaire 92
APPENDEX 5.1: Rubric for Online Participation 95
APPENDIX 6.1: Assignment One 97

LIST OF TABLES

Table 4.2 T-Test Results from Pre-Unit Questionnaire, Question #3 44
Table 4.3 T-Test Results from Post-Unit Questionnaire, Question #3 45
Table 4.4 T-Test Results from Pre-Unit Questionnaire, Question #20 46
Table 4.5 T-Test Results from Pre-Unit Questionnaire, Question #12 47
Table 4.6 Comparison of Means from Pre- and Post-Unit Questionnaires, Question #2 48
Table 4.7 Comparison of Means from Pre- and Post-Unit Questionnaires, Question #7 49
Table 4.8 Comparison of Means from Post-Unit Questionnaire, Questions #28 and #31. 50
Table 4.9 Comparison of Means from Pre- and Post-Unit Questionnaires, Question #8 51
Table 4.10 Comparison of Means from Pre- and Post-Unit Questionnaires, Question #9. 51
Table 4.11 Comparison of Means from Pre- and Post-Unit Questionnaires, Question #23 52
Table 4.11 Comparison of Means Post-Unit Questionnaire, Questions #32, #33, #34 54

CHAPTER 1

RATIONALE

The Purpose of the Study

In the last decade or more, we have seen the use of online participation and collaboration in university and college level courses become ubiquitous. However, this mode of learning has not yet become quite so commonly used at the high school level (Winograd, 2002). While many high school teachers have used class web pages and email to communicate with their students, fewer teachers have yet explored the use of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) as an additional course delivery method to the traditional methods of classroom instruction (Jonassen, 1995a, b). At the time of the writing of this thesis, however, the use of online asynchronous learning spaces is becoming more widespread even in the K-12 domain. As a teacher of secondary students with very mixed academic abilities, I am often seeking ways to improve student performance across all levels. I have observed that those students who are consistently poorer performers on assignments, quizzes and tests tend not to employ effective self-monitoring skills. Students who self-monitor think about how well they are doing, check their progress, and make appropriate changes in strategies to completing the task (Winne, 2001). Incorporating coursework into an online learning environment where students must participate in group discussion and collaborate to create a group product may be an effective means of encouraging the development of self-monitoring skills (McLoughlin & Oliver, 1998; Ley & Young, 2001). By using an online learning environment, the students are able to better explore, reflect, and collaborate outside of class and lab time thus permitting more time for reflective responses and greater flexibility for these exercises. My own experiences with distance and blended learning as an adult learner initiated this inquiry: Could an online learning environment, using a conferencing system as a tool, provide additional support for the students of the high school courses I taught? Specifically, could participation in a CSCL learning environment be designed in such a way as to increase self-monitoring skills of the students? Would that environment be able to also effectively support those students who are learning-challenged by ADHD and other learning dysfunctions? Would the use of the online learning environment ultimately lead to better student grasp of the course content, and consequently, better academic performance? Self-monitoring skills have been related to better overall academic performance (Ley & Young, 2001). My experience leads me to the hypothesis that, designed effectively, the online learning environment would indeed benefit all the learners. Thus this study began as an exploration of using a CSCL environment as a tool to promote self-monitoring skills and other course content as part of the overall course presentation. It was decided that the Action Research model of research investigation was the best method suited to this study. The design of this instructional unit incorporated both face-to-face instruction and asynchronous online instruction. Twenty-eight grade nine students agreed to participate in the study which took place over a period of about six months as part of the curricula to the courses of biology and introduction to technology. By initially using class time to present the instructional unit, adequate scaffolding was provided for the students to carry out the requirements of the unit (McLoughlin & Marshall, 2000). Self-monitoring skills, which is a type of self-regulation, have shown to be a characteristic of academic success for elementary and high school students. In spite of the widespread recognition of the importance of self-monitoring skills, the mandatory Ministère de l’Éducation, des Sports et des Loisirs (MELS) curricula did not promote or require its instruction in secondary education at the time of this study. Results from a pre-unit questionnaire and journal reflections by the students indicated a need for the instruction of self-monitoring skills and an interest in those skills by the students.

Literature Review

A review of the literature on self-monitoring skills, computer-supported collaborative learning and instructional design for online learners served to inform the design process of the instructional units for this study.

Self-Monitoring skills

A number of studies have been carried out over the years in the area of self-monitoring (Butler, 1995; Lan, 1998; McManus 2000; Ley and Young, 2001; Loomis, 2000). While some have focused on the self-monitoring skills in online environments, none of which I am aware have yet focused on self-monitoring skills for high school students in a blended environment. Indeed, apart from anecdotal evidence in conversations or on the Internet, no research in the area of blended environments for high school students could be found to date. A recent M.A. thesis from Concordia University (McEwen, 2002) was completed in the area of online communication in a conference system somewhat like what I have used. In her conclusion, McEwen recommended that better self-monitoring skills on the part of the subjects, who were adult learners in this case, might have improved the outcomes of the learners’ performance (147). In fact, she hypothesized that these skills would be better if taught even earlier to learners. This provided me with an impetus to attempt to instruct the younger high school students whom I teach to practice self-monitoring skills as they engage in online collaboration and study of the course content. Self-monitoring skills are the abilities and strategies used by learners to self-record and self-observe their own progress and make appropriate self-reflective changes. These skills fall under the broader umbrella of self-regulation, which in many cases, have been correlated with academic success (Butler, 1995; Lan, 1998; Zimmerman, 1998). Ley and Young state four guiding principles for embedding self-regulation into instructional practice (2001). First, guide learners into developing a successful study environment, and then organize activities to have students engage metacognitively. Thirdly, use instructional goals and feedback, and lastly, provide learners with continuous evaluation information. They also promoted the idea that self-regulation skills could be instructed in an online format. The online format encourages students to journal or record their thoughts and reflections as they examine their own study skills or as they study. They state that any instruction that supports SR (self-regulation) may prompt the learner to monitor. Observing and recording actions or behaviours according to criteria or goals can enhance metacognitive monitoring. Boekaerts (1997) distinguishes between metacognitive knowledge, which includes the subset of self-monitoring skills, and motivational beliefs about a knowledge domain. That is, she acknowledges the essential role of motivation in self-referenced cognition and how it affects a learner’s judgment when describing how the learner believes they exert control and sets goals in a learning situation. Boekaerts makes a variety of design recommendations for teachers which include the creation of a powerful learning environment which promotes self-regulation. As well, she suggests the use of interactive learning groups particularly to form a social learning environment which will promote motivational self-regulation amongst the students (1997). These recommendations motivated part of the design of the learning environment that I would eventually create. In particular, the students were very deliberately put into smaller groups to collaborate. My choice of students for each group included a variety of well-motivated and less motivated students, and more academically and less academically successful students.

Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

While research in the area of computer-supported collaborative learning has been well explored for higher education, distance education, and adult learners, little research has yet been done on its effects and impact on children and adolescents, particularly in the blended environments of traditional classroom teaching and asynchronous online conference systems. While I have accumulated a good deal of anecdotal evidence that blended environments are being utilized by teachers around the world, few have taken the time to document their experiences or carry out quantitative or qualitative research about it. What follows, therefore, is a literature review on CSCL which reflects research performed mostly in higher education contexts. While research in CSCL has proliferated in the last fifteen or so years, much of the early research on computer-assisted learning focused on individual instruction from a behaviourist perspective. Drill-and-practice skills and other repetitive exercises were emphasized; however, these kinds of activities were limited by providing only low-order thinking skills (McLoughlin, 1998). Discovery and experiential learning were explored by a few researchers, including Papert and his LOGO environments, but again these were limited to individual knowledge gains (Jonassen, 1998: McLoughlin, 1998). While discovery and experiential learning were constructivist in approach, they did not acknowledge the broader classroom environment and the influence of social interactions where language, dialogue, discourse and communication play important roles. Interest in Vygotsky’s socio-cultural model of learning led many researchers to examine the role of the social context in the promotion of higher order learning (Nastasi and Clements, 1993; Crook, 1994). One study that blended computer-supported learning with face-to-face instruction in a K-12 setting was the study of a computer-supported intentional learning environments (CSILE) created originally by Bereiter and Scardamalia (Hewitt, 2001). The study was limited to a local-area network without a connection to the Internet and, thus, limited to school hours. However, the CSILE environment provided a discourse medium similar to the online learning environment that was used for this study. Collaborative construction of knowledge was encouraged in a public course area that preserved all the interactions of the students for later review. This environment also provided equal opportunities for students to have a voice within the class. Substantive collaboration that reflected understanding was encouraged (Hewitt, 2001). Salmon (2000) outlines a five stage model of computer-mediated communication (CMC) participant behaviour. Each stage requires participants to master certain skills. The first stage is access and motivation; the second is online socialization and the third stage is information exchange. The two final stages are knowledge construction and development which are demonstrated through the participant’s abilities to reflect, articulate, and evaluate one’s own thinking. This five stage model probably well represents the average distance learner. A blended learning environment, however, probably greatly accelerates the rate at which these stages occur. In fact, the first two steps are skipped almost altogether because access is already possible and the fact that most adolescent learners have positive attitudes about technology. Because the classroom socialization has already taken place, online socialization was easily by-passed. In fact, because of the amount of time that some of these students spend online chatting with their friends, the challenge was to get the students out of superficial “chat” mode and into an asynchronous approach to communication which reflected deeper thinking. Information exchange is the stage when the typical online learner discovers the amount of information access. They must learn to cope with not just static information available to them, but information available to them from other people as they collaborate with other online learners. This management of information can become overwhelming to learners. On the one hand, we have never before had so much information available to us so easily. On the other, it is the teacher’s responsibility to instruct and guide students with how to sift through the volume of information so that the most important and reliable information can be discerned and best used. Information exchange between learners was an important learning goal for this study. Acceptance of information from one learner to another and the reshaping of the information constitute knowledge construction and development of reflection and evaluation which represent the final two stages of desired participant behaviour.

Instructional Design for Online Learners

For this group of students, it is important, firstly, to acknowledge that this instructional unit is not taking place entirely in an asynchronous manner with learners who are not familiar with each other. The advantages of the blended approach to instruction have been noted. Margaret Driscoll (2002) provides four definitions to blended learning: 1) To combine or mix modes of Web-based technology to accomplish an educational goal. 2) To combine various pedagogical approaches (i.e. behavioral, constructivist) to produce an optimal learning outcome with or without instructional technology 3) To combine any form of instructional technology with face-to-face instructor-led training 4) To mix or combine instructional technology with actual job tasks in order to create a harmonious effect of learning and working
My concept of blended learning encompasses all of those definitions. I designed course material for an online learning environment (OLE) that would serve as more than merely a resource to Internet links, as my web page provided. The OLE would serve as an environment where additional instruction, communication, and exchange between students took place. I then examined more closely the self-monitoring skills of the students, first by highlighting strategies toward achieving those skills, then challenging those students to incorporate them into their online learning. Although the present study took place within the integrated course designs of introduction to technology and biology, the focus of this study is on the self-monitoring unit and not on biology, although some of the course projects for biology were carried out using the online environment. Stamm & Howlett (2002) state that the likelihood of success in learning gains is increased when instructional design is integrated seamlessly with the course’s delivery tool, and recommend that the Instructional Design Model of Dick, Carey, and Carey (Dick, et al, 2001) be used as a guide in designing such an instructional package. In order to design an instructional unit that promotes the use of self-monitoring skills to a mixed group of learners, much care must be taken to create an online learning environment that possesses universal design features. Universal design (Bowe, 2000) implies that adequate treatment to accessibility has been given to the overall design of the instructional package. In this case, navigability of the course requirements needs to be clearly outlined in the conferencing system. Redundancy of content will be used as device to ensure clarity. Instructions, expectations and content of the course unit will be made available not only in the conferencing system of Nicenet, but also on class web pages, in hard copy form of a handout and on the bulletin and chalk boards of the classroom.

CHAPTER 2

METHODOLOGY

Design

Action Research and Design Research. The Action Research method of educational research was deemed most suitable because of its focus on the attempt of the researcher to find a solution to a problematic situation within an educational context. The researcher is a participant who is able to systematically study the problem and produce an intervention based on data collected in situ and theoretical considerations. Kurt Lewin is generally credited with coining the term “action research” and he envisioned it as a circle or spiral of planning, action and fact-finding about the result of the action (Lewin, 1946). Carr and Kemmis (1986) provide a classic definition of Action Research as it is most generally accepted: Action research is simply a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants in social situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of their own practices, their understanding of these practices, and the situations in which the practices are carried out (p. 162).
Fundamentally, Action Research is a practice of researcher participation and self-reflection and is recognized as a type of qualitative research. However, there remains considerable controversy about whether Action Research is merely a procedure or template for action rather than an authentic research methodology (McTaggart, 1996). Usually, Action Research has four stages to its methodology: planning, action, observing/data collection, and reflection. Stringer (1999) simplifies the stages to three stages: look, think, and act. However, Action Research can involve several applications of traditional research approaches, such as ethnographic, descriptive, and quasi-experimental, within the same study. In order to establish valid results, this present study used a mixed method of procedures in order to attempt to triangulate the data. Action Research has been identified as a form of Design Research (Hoadley, 2002). It has been pointed out that most research methodology does not support innovation in design, while a central defining feature of Design Research is sustained innovation in education (Bell, 2002; Bereiter, 2002). In Design Research, which is cyclical and recursive in nature, the initial task of the researcher(s) is to immerse themselves in the educational context of the situation and identify the need for intervention. Then the researcher will develop a plan of action, followed by an implementation stage when data is collected and artifacts are analyzed. This completes the first cycle of Action Research. The analysis and interpretation then inform the researcher to make corrections and alterations for the second cycle of action research. The second cycle repeats the first and so on. The data may be collected and analyzed using a variety of methodologies. For this study, quantitative data (questionnaire responses) were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Responses to a focus interview and a qualitative examination of students’ comments in their online assignments were also utilized. The Action Research study was based more on qualitative observations of data rather than quantitative and, as such, does not represent the traditional classic methodology of quantitative research. Because of the iterative nature of this kind of research where intervention decisions are made as the study progresses, it was considered best to present the specifics of study in chronological form, which will be offered in Chapter 3. The two cycles of Action Research will be presented along with appropriate artifacts from the study that gave impetus to a change in course of action or reflection.

Participants and Research Context

The study took place in a confessional private secondary school in the West Island area of Montréal which is a suburban area. Twenty-eight secondary III students (grade nine), male and female, aged 14 and 15 years of age, participated in the study. The students represented a variety of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds: Anglophones, Francophones and Allophones. Most of them live in the suburban municipalities of Montréal. For that academic year of 2003-04, I was the teacher of three secondary III subjects: English, biology, and introduction to technology. The students are required to take the biology and introduction to technology (ITT) courses as stated by the Ministère de l’Éducation, des Sports et des Loisirs (MELS). I have become very familiar with most of the students in the course as I have taught them for the previous two years. The students represented a very mixed group of high academic performers and very low academic performers. The low academic performers included some students with well-documented histories of ADD and ADHD and other students who may have possessed inadequate skills in study habits and low motivation. Initially, some of these students were willing to participate in the study, but eventually dropped out. From my previous knowledge of the students, I was aware that most or all of the students possessed favourable attitudes toward computer usage and computer-mediated instruction. This project was undertaken initially in the Fall of 2003 with the planning phase and continued with the implementation phase beginning in January 2004. The second Action Research Cycle was completed in early June 2004 before summer dismissal for the students. Personal Bias Action Research specifically uses the designer as researcher approach in its methodology and thus must concede the relatively subjective role of the researcher as they interact with and upon the participants. Familiarity with the subjects of the study is to be expected in this instance and taken into consideration as a feature of its methodology. In this case, most of the students who were involved in the study had already been in a student-teacher relationship with the researcher for over two years. Formative changes made of the study during the two cycles were sometimes influenced by this familiarity. It is also important to acknowledge my role in this study as learner, researcher, teacher, and educational technologist. The confluence of these roles significantly contributed to the eventual choice of the focus of this study. My previous educational training had last taken place more than a decade before I returned to formal graduate studies in educational technology. For about a decade I had occasionally taught English a second language to international students at other various universities. After a hiatus of ten years, I returned to classroom teaching in a high school setting. My own familiarity with computer applications greatly aided my re-entry into this environment. However, I sensed much was lacking in my own teaching approaches and I began to search for opportunities to return to formal studies. Learner. At that time, I requested support from my school to update my computer skills with a one-year subscription to the Connected University®, an American institute which provided professional development through online distance education courses to teachers in the area of computer applications and integration of technology into education. Over the course of one year, I took about seven online courses that provided me with training in the integration of technology into the curriculum. Much of the online course work demanded collaboration with other teachers around the country and sometimes internationally. Participation in these courses was a positive experience and provided me with essential experience as an online learner. These courses served as a good model for me as I later chose an appropriate vehicle for online delivery and designed the instructional units for this study. Within a year of participating in those courses, I made the decision to apply for graduate studies in educational technology at Concordia University. While traditional face-to-face instruction was an important part of course delivery, much of the course work required the use of an online environment, FirstClass® which was used in a variety of ways. Some of the course work required online collaboration between students. One of my courses, Distance Education for Developing Nations, required the collaborative instructional design of online courses for distance education in countries of the developing world and explicitly required the participating students to collaborate online as they created the course. These collaborative experiences provided me with greater understanding and familiarity with the potential benefits of online collaboration using a constructivist approach. Teacher. The creation of the instructional units for this study came about for a variety of reasons. Most of the students who took part in this study had been my students for two years previous to this study. For the academic year of this study, I was teaching three courses to these students. Obviously, this implies a good deal of my own familiarity with this group of students. Educational Technologist. As a graduate student pursuing studies in Educational Technology, I was engaged in the pursuit of instructional design approaches which would match the needs of my students. Access to technology support of a networked computer lab on the school premises along with the ubiquity of home computers permitted the possibility of an online component to the course content. Often there was not enough time to cover the material in the biology and English courses I taught to these students. Also, because I taught an introduction to technology course as well, I was able to integrate the use of technology into the instructional approach and accordingly, attempt to satisfy some of the needs that arose from this situation. The final stages of the second cycle of Action Research coincided with the end of the academic year. At this time, my relationship as a teacher with these students came to an end as they moved up to another level of their education. My role of researcher continued as I catalogued and analyzed my data in order to draw conclusions from the sources of data. Researcher. My course work in research methodologies exposed me to a broad spectrum of potential research methods. Classroom-based research, which uses authentic learners in an authentic learning situation, is very different from classical experimental research in a lab setting. Consequently, it was not a difficult decision to see the appropriateness of Action Research to this study. Action Research is a form of Design Research that demands close researcher participation by the agent who is attempting to introduce intervention and innovation into a learning situation which would be considered an ill-structured domain (Jonassen, 1996). Action Research permits the close contact between the researcher and the subjects. This is a research method that is best suited to the study of authentic educational experiences because of its similarity to the day-to-day experiences of classroom teachers who make regular formative assessments and adjustments to instructional practices in a K-12 educational setting. As a researcher, I was able to self-consciously and reflectively establish the need for intervention, design instructional units in an appropriate learning environment, assess its effectiveness and make appropriate changes.
Materials
Parent Consent forms and a letter to the parents explaining the study (see Appendices 3.1 and 3.2) were handed and re-collected prior to the beginning of the study. Three of the thirty-one students who were approached to participate opted out of the study. Pre and Post-unit questionnaires were distributed and submitted in hard copy form (see Appendices 4.1 and 4.2) at the beginning and conclusion of the research cycles and kept for later quantitative analysis. Instructions to the various assignments that composed this study were given in the online conference course area (see Appendix 6.1 for a sample of an assignment). An evaluation rubric was created for the unit (see Appendix 5.1) which was made available for the students in the online conference area. More details regarding the various instruments are provided in the sections below covering the chronology of each Cycle.

Procedure

A pre-unit questionnaire, which measured self-monitoring skills, attitude, motivation levels and levels of computer usage, was distributed before the students were introduced to the Online Learning Environment. Computer lab time was made available so that students could have access to the online course area and to online resources during class time. Online resources were made available on the class webpage and some independent online resources selected by the teacher were linked on that webpage and in the course area. The students were required to submit some of their assignments in hard copy form. A few of the assignments were emailed to the teacher for evaluation. Some of the submitted assignments were posted in the online conference course area. One of the assignments was a collaborative group project that was later presented orally to the class. Use of the OLE took place in early December 2003 for the first Cycle of Action Research. Comments, dialogue, and other forms of interactive participation in the OLE were recorded and kept for later analysis. About three weeks later, after the winter break, the students were directed to use an online virtual quiz that helped them identify their learning style. Students were later divided into small groups of 5 or 6 members to comment on their learning styles as well as provide study tips and strategies to the other group members. Students were also required to respond to at least two of their group members’ comments and tips. Within a few days the students were required to continue to work in their groups to create a collaborative product, a study guide for a unit of biology that would be covered on an upcoming exam. In the second cycle a few months later, the students reviewed their study strategies in the online learning environment, responded to others’ posts, and reflectively shared how they would apply what they had learned in the biology course. A similar follow-up questionnaire about the use of the OLE was distributed to measure the students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the online portion of the coursework. Similar questions were taken from the first survey as well as such questions as, “Being aware of my learning style has helped me improve my study habits” and “I believe I can learn as much in the online component of a course than in a classroom”. Several students took part in a focus-group interview as a final set of data. In the interview process, the students were asked to comment on their perceptions of the ease of use of the online environment and the perceived drawbacks to the use of an online learning environment for academic purposes. Evaluation and assessment are necessary and fundamental exercises in traditional classroom teaching for K-12 learners. Although the evaluation procedure is not part of the current study, a rubric was needed to assessment the amount and quality of the student online participation. It was difficult, if not impossible at the time of the design of the instructional unit, to find a model for online assessment for high school students using CSCL as part of the curriculum. Finally, for the first Action Research cycle, a rubric was designed (see Appendix 5.1) that included the elements that were perceived to be important to these assignments. The rubric measured the quality and number of contributions, whether the contributions included the required criteria, grammar and spelling, and the good citizenship exhibited by the student in the conference area. The rubric was handed out in hard copy form to the student as well as posted in the conference area. This was to give the students a clear guideline on what quality of effort and contribution was expected of them. Ethical Issues. Before the study could begin, a summary protocol form for permission to use humans as subjects was submitted to the University Human Research Ethics Committee of Concordia University for approval which was later granted. Parent consent forms were then issued to the thirty-one students of the class. Of course, only information taken from those students whose parents have signed the appropriate permission forms could be used. The identities of the students have been altered to protect their identities from those outside the class. Permission from the administration of the school for the study had been solicited and granted. The parent consent forms and parent information letter are included in the appendices (see Appendices 3.1 and 3.2). Online environments that permit shared viewing and posting by students in the K-12 domain must be selected, used, and monitored with great care. The Nicenet Internet Classroom Assistant was chosen because of its built-in safety features to protect potential students from online predators and hackers. It provides this by allowing teachers to create a course area that is accessed only by a class key. Students must also create a unique username and password in order to gain access to the environment. The students were reminded not to disclose their passwords for the sake of privacy and preventing identity theft.

CHAPTER 3

SELF-MONITORING UNIT

4.1 CYCLE 1: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SELF-MONITORING UNIT

Overview of Cycle 1

A pre-unit questionnaire, which measured current self-monitoring skills, attitudes and motivation levels, was distributed before the implementation of the self-monitoring unit in the OLE (Appendix 4.1). The survey included questions such as, “Before I begin a test or project, I carefully read over the assignment so that I am aware of what is required of my performance.” The students then were asked to respond using a Likert scale of 5 options ranging from Always to Never. Then, in the online learning environment for the first cycle, students were asked to describe their study habits and self-reflectively comment on them. This represented the planning stage of the first Action Research cycle. After they had completed the survey and the reflection, the students were directed to use an online virtual quiz that helped them identify their learning style. Students were later divided into small groups of 5 or 6 members to comment on their learning styles as well as provide study tips and strategies to the other group members. Students were also required to respond to at least two of their group members’ comments and tips. Later, as a collaborative product, the students were asked to create a study guide for a unit of biology that would be covered on an upcoming exam. Planning Phase. The pre-study questionnaire was designed to measure current self-monitoring skills, attitudes and motivation and be used as an instrument that would be used to observe changes in behaviour and attitudes over time. A class area titled “Self-Monitoring and Biology” was created in the Nicenet Internet Classroom Assistant environment (found online at http://nicenet.org/). A class key was generated which would be passed out to the students in order to enter the class area. The first assignment was created. In this assignment, the teacher posted a brief description of her own study tips and strategies and some of the struggles she has in this area and asked the students to each respond about their own study strategies. In the next assignment, students were asked to visit a posted link, VARK: A guide to Learning Styles, (found online at http://www.vark-learn.com/english/index.asp) and take the interactive questionnaire about learning styles in order to identify their own predominant learning style. Once they finished the questionnaire, they were to perform a screen capture of the page and save it as a jpg file. Then they were asked to write a minimum 200 word response to their results and email both files to the teacher. After they had completed this assignment, they were directed to move on to part two of this assignment which required them to share their learning style with their designated group. They were asked to share the way in which they discovered that they learn best. They were also asked if they agreed or disagreed that knowing your learning style helps improve their study habits and if they planned to use the strategies that the helpsheets provided. Action Phase. Students filled out the questionnaires and they were collected for later analysis. Computer lab time had been booked so that the students could have access to the online course environment during class time. Class time in the computer lab was provided for the online assignments. The expectation was if the assignments were not completed during class time, the students would finish the assignments on their own computers at home as homework. Later, when it was obvious that a number of students were struggling with submitting the assignments, additional computer lab time was provided. Immediately after filling out the questionnaire, the students were brought to the computer lab in order to complete the first assignment of describing their study habits and providing tips for the rest of the class. The students were then asked to respond to two other students in the class. They were given class time in the computer lab with the expectation that they would completely finish the assignment in one week. Some students struggled with meeting the deadlines. After the winter break of nearly three weeks, the students were introduced to the second assignment which was posted online in the course conference area. They were asked to submit an electronic copy of their 200-word responses to an online learning styles questionnaire. As well, they were expected to submit a jpg file of a screenshot of their questionnaire results. Afterwards, they were asked to share their learning style with their small group to which they had been assigned. Class time in the computer lab was provided for these exercises with the expectation that they would finish the assignments at home if necessary. One week later, the students were asked to remain in the same small group and collaboratively produce a study guide for certain sections of the mid-term biology exam for which they were all preparing. Again, class time in the computer lab was provided so that the students could begin their work and collaborate face-to-face if necessary. They were asked to post the specific duties of each small group member so that appropriate delegation of duties could be observed.

Observation/Data Collection Phase. Although much care had gone into the creation of the online conference course area, the students required more initial guidance into what was required of them when they were first introduced to the online environment. In the first journal entry, I had written: Dec. 3, 2003

Journal Entry #1

After much planning, reading and thinking through design, I began the data collection today.

The questionnaire was given first. It was hard for the students not to contain themselves during the time they were filling it out. It looks as if the topic of study habits was an interesting topic to them – for now.

As hard as I worked on the creation and design of the first assignment, it’s already clear to me that I will have to make some modifications by tomorrow. In general, I think too much information was given to them online at one time. There was much confusion about what they were expected to do. It was also a mistake to not model it first on the big screen in the classroom before taking them up to the computer lab to introduce it to them.

By tomorrow, I will have made it clearer in Nicenet what is expected of them and will show them on the big screen in the classroom step by step.

It was surprising to me that so few students would read the instructions, they wanted to ask me personally for clarification. This is what tends to happen in the computer lab where it is very difficult to give directions to the entire class.

Also, I should make hard copies of the first assignment for all of them for reference offline.

It will be interesting to see the students’ responses to the website, because now I am beginning to wonder if they read information on websites.

It was clear this early that adaptations to the approach of the online unit would have to take place. A number of students had to be reminded of the due dates of the initial assignment and later more computer lab time was given so that those students could finish. Many students took the assignment seriously and organized their thoughts on their study habits carefully. Here is one example of a student who is one of the high academic achievers of the class: Hi friends, this is a friendly message from your good pal Fred (a.k.a. "Kool guy") I wanted show you guys a little tip I have for all you people who get distracted very often while doing your homework. Take it from me I get more distracted than most of you, I'm sure but I still get my work done. Here's my secret: 1. Obviously, find yourself a quite, well-lighted, well-vented area in which you don't have a lot of distractions like people, or food, or people, umm... and mostly food. 2. Go to the toilet and do your special business before starting. 3. Drink some water. 4. If necessary, take a shower. 5. have a bite to eat. 6. get everything you might need e.g. pencil, eraser, pen, paper, ruler, text book, dictionary, brain etc. 7. Don't forget to do your chores first. 8. Make sure no one in the house needs your help and if they do, either help them or don't let them find you. 9. That favorite T.V. show you are waiting to watch, tape it! 10. Have a fruit beside you so in case you get hungry you can have something healthy to energize you. 11. (Optional) Pack a bottle of "hand sanitizer" e.g. Purel. It helps, beleive me, it works like a charm. I work better when I feel clean!!! Well there you have it, my top 10 + 1. You can thank me later cause I usually charge peple for this information (joke). The students were also required to respond to at least two of their classmates over a period of about a week. In the responses, many of the students wrote briefly in a manner that did not display conscientious grammar skills, such as they would have presented in an in-class formal written assignment, but used their more familiar “msn chat” type of language manipulation. Here are several examples: yo man good study skills, I always listen to music when I study it relaxes me.. but not too much. Anyways talk to ya later in class or something, peeeeeeeeeeeeeace .x0x. ...Jill... SAl, i really like how you describe you're study habitss. I really agree with you that you should always take in between the study time because i find it makes you less stressed. And also i agree that you should not study when it is late because when its late you are more tired and you will probably forget it the next day. And i am the same as you because i always do my stdies the last minute were just like twins. Luv, Candy Yeah, ure no good, if ppl tried doing that they WOULD get no where in life, lol! You get 100's in bio, i know i know...but so do I!! Except in this new circulatory stuff. Anyways, yeah...back to the reply. Ure "tricksssssss" are not so good for ppl other than yourself. Yeah, so thats it. Have fun! bye bye p.s. All in good fun, you know, don't take it personal.

For the second assignment given a few weeks later, the students were required to submit an electronic copy of their document by email to the teacher along with a jpg file of a screenshot with their score results from the online VARK questionnaire. Their assignment was to write a 200-word response to their learning style results and address the following questions: Were you surprised? Have you learned anything new about yourself? Have you ever used these strategies before? Do you think they will work? The students’ responses were thoughtful and usually provided concrete examples of why they agreed or, in some cases, disagreed with the results of the learning style questionnaire. Here are some examples: After doing my “Learning Style” quiz, I realized that it was quite correct. My “Learning Style” turned out to be Kinesthetic, and I agree. The web page says that my learning aids would be: All my senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, hearing…), laboratories, field trips, field tours, examples of principles, lecturers who give real-life examples, applications, hands-on approaches (computing), trial and error, collections (rock types, plants, shells, grasses...), exhibits, samples, photographs, recipes (solutions to problems, previous exam papers). And the majority of those I agree that I would do, besides collections of rock, plants, shells, & grasses, I’ve never had one of those. And I don’t really understand what they mean by the last example of ‘recipes’. The pages also give some example of habits and other things I may have, they are: My lecture notes may be poor because the topics were not 'concrete' or 'relevant'. I will remember the "real" things that happened. Put plenty of examples into my summary. Use case studies and applications to help with principles and abstract concepts. Talk about my notes with another "K" person. Use pictures and photographs that illustrate an idea. Go back to the laboratory or my lab manual. Recall the experiments, field trip... Write practice answers, paragraphs. And to role-play the exam situation in my own room.

The questionnaire that I took said that I’m at my best in reading and writing. I agree with the reading part because I love to read and I like to try to understand the book if I liked it the first time that I read it. Depending on if I like the subject that I am writing about, I enjoy writing a lot. I don’t like writing essays as much as I like writing things like myths or mystery stories. The test gave me an seven on reading and writing. Then the test gave me a two in visual. I don’t really agree with this because I usually remember what I look at. The test also gave me a three on aural. This I can agree with. I have never really been the greatest person at listening. I might be able to if I choose to but if someone starts talking about something that I don’t think is that interesting, I usually just zone out for a few minutes. Well that’s all that I got on the questionnaire, I hope the reading and writing mark stays the same, at least for a while.

To begin with, I was not surprised at all when I fell into the multimodal category. I usually try to fit into whatever learning style the teacher is teaching in. I have learned that my study styles are not that uncommon and in fact are more like 50 to 70% of the population’s style. I also learned that I am stronger in the visual, read/write, and kinesthetic categories than in the aural category. Unfortunately I scored a zero in the aural but I’m sure I’ll learn more about it since I did so badly on that part. Later on I’ll try to read over the helpsheet and see what I can improve in the future. The strategy listed on the site is pretty new to me and I have never done anything like this so I would say it is pretty new. I find that in the end these strategies will help me and eventually I will try to improve my aural category so I will be more all-around. In conclusion this site was pretty useful to me in that it showed me what I was good at and what I need to improve or change.
As well, it was clear that the students perceived this as a formal written assignment and thus, chose to use a more formalized type of language. For the second part of the assignment, they were asked to respond in the online learning environment and once again, they reverted to their more casual and much briefer style of writing. I am kinesthetic, too! :D . Which means i am a doing person. I learn things on field trips better, and things along those lines.

Good day everyone. How is everything going? Well I just want to tell you about my learning styles responses. My final results were 4 Visual, 4 read/write, 4 kinesthetic, and a big 0 for aural! I guess this kind of makes sense seeing that I am not the type that gives good aural directions or the type that listens to speeking very well. >_< I just wanted to tell you guys that I'm not really a good listener but I can compensate with my different abilities which I try as hard as I can to focus on. THe VARK thing helped me out to identify my strong pointas and now I know which ones I need to improve and pay more attention to. :) I plan on improving my aural perception and pay close attention to the details montioned on the site. Well thanx very much for ur attention and ty very much ;) ~WOOT WOOT!~ From your bud Chuck hallo peeps, after i took the "quizzie wizzie" for VARK i found that my learning style was: MULTIMODEL (VARK).....!! Yeah, i really wasn't surprised cuz i found that for different things i like to listen, watch, (and everything else) but my strongest point was aural, which i was surprised cuz i really have a hard time paying attention to instructions if i'm tired or bored! haha, i think it should have been kinesthetic, cuz i like to learn bu doing things, it keeps me "unbored". anywho... yeah that's it

The responses to the students’ posts were even briefer and as casual. Those who posted their initial response earlier in the week rather than later generally had more peers respond to them. The students were open about their weaknesses and strengths and demonstrated a high degree of sociality as they interacted. Reflection Phase. The journal entry from the first day made it clear that greater attention to the explanation of procedures should be made to students upon their first introduction to an online learning environment. Modeling of the steps to entering the system, creating a username and identity, and navigation of the online learning environment should take place through the use of a projected image and white screen. Also, the students appeared to need multiple modes of redundant information in order to complete the required tasks correctly and on time. That is, they should be given a hard copy handout of the requirements and due dates of the assignment and the assignment requirements should have been posted on the class webpage as well as within the online learning environment. As well, the teacher should go through the assignment requirements aurally with the class and elicit questions from the students about what is required of them. The students relied upon their more casual Internet communication skills while they were responding in the online environment. Less attention was paid to proper formal grammar and spelling principles than that of the second assignment that was emailed to the teacher for evaluation. However, the students displayed good “netiquette” behaviour with their classmates and were playful and sociable as they communicated their ideas. Because I had wanted the students to freely express themselves without constraints during their first attempts at using the online learning environment, I had not stepped in to moderate or communicate anything to the students in the online learning environment. While it had not been necessary at all to address any inappropriate behaviour, I later questioned whether a presence there by the teacher might have had some influence to improve the performance of the students. Because the unit was taking place in a blended environment where I had face-to-face contact with the students every day, I took advantage of that contact to communicate whether the student was falling behind in their assignments or could improve their performance. For the next cycle, I decided that I would try to be more of a presence in the online environment and make responses to the students’ posts.

4.1 CYCLE 1: THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SELF-MONITORING UNIT

Overview of Cycle 2

A second cycle of Action Research took place in the final few weeks of classes in May and June 2004. Students filled in the post-unit questionnaire and were handed back their responses about their learning style from the first assignment nearly six months ago. Additional questions about attitudes and motivation were added to the post-unit questionnaire. Students were then asked to respond in the online learning environment about whether they agreed or disagreed with what they had written earlier as well as some other questions about new strategies and perceptions of improvement because of the strategies. Three additional online assignments were given that related to the course in biology the students were completing. One of the assignments required the students to share specific real-life applications they had consciously employed that had to do with two of the human biology systems that had been studied in the course of the year. Another assignment asked them to respond to questions about genetics and ethics based on a movie that the class watched. The final assignment required the students to upload documents of group projects on the study of drugs that the class was undertaking and asked the students to use the conferencing system to post the delegated responsibilities within each group. Planning Phase. Nine additional questions were added to the original pre-unit questionnaire. The new questions asked the students about enjoyment of the use of the online environment and attitudes toward it as well as whether they had experienced any improvement in academic performance due to new or conscious study strategies. One of the journal entries of the teacher outlined her intentions for Cycle Two: Ideas for Action Research – Cycle 2 (May 16, 2004)

➢ Have students fill out “My Study Habits Questionnaire” again, with questions at the end about if they implemented anything new in the four months between.

➢ Have them reread their posts on nicenet, and respond – do they still think that what they wrote about themselves is valid? Has anything changed? Have they changed their approaches to learning?

➢ Revise above idea: print out each student’s first assignment from Cycle One, hand back to student and have them respond in Nicenet by next Tuesday.

➢ For second week – have them respond to a question about the Biology that we have studied. They must choose one of the system units and respond to what lifestyle choices they are making that are wise and what they intend to change or anticipate in the future (i.e. Application questions to Biology). Perhaps have them research something more about their chosen unit and add a link they wanted to share with good information on it??

➢ For final project: they must work in groups of 3 or 4 to work on a collaborative multimedia project. They must create a product – based on their knowledge of biology – and market this product. They will have a digital camera, Photoshop, PowerPoint and Web design software (i.e. Swish and dreamweaver) at their disposal to create this product. Forty percent of the mark will based on their collaboration on Nicenet.

➢ Interview a few students??

All of the above ideas were implemented and the appropriate assignments were provided both as hard copies to the students and on the class webpage and the Nicenet conference area so that the students had many ways of finding the information. An appeal to the students for a focus group interview yielded three students who stepped forward and agreed to participate in a focus group interview after the unit had finished. Also, I decided that I would attempt to respond to each of the students’ posts so that they had some positive feedback associated with their work.

Action Phase. Hard copies of the post-unit questionnaire and assignments were distributed. The post-unit questionnaire included the same twenty-five questions as the pre-unit questionnaire in December, along with nine additional questions. They were also asked if they had consciously employed any of the study strategies suggested by their peers, if they had noticed any improvement in their grades because of the study strategies, and to respond to statements about attitudes toward learning in an online environment. The questionnaires were submitted to the teacher for future analysis.

Computer lab time was made available so that the students could complete the online learning units. The students were given hard copies of all the assignments and advised that they were also posted both on the class webpage and in the online course area. After the students had responded to the questions about reviewing their study strategies in the online learning environment, each student was provided with some feedback and encouragement by the teacher. In the following weeks, the students were asked to complete three other assignments in the online learning environment. For one of the assignments, they chose to respond in two of eight areas representing the different systems of the human body that had been studied in the year. They were asked to provide concrete examples of how they had applied the biology material in their own personal lifestyle from what they had learned about those two systems. For another assignment, the students were asked to create a collaborative group presentation on a specific drug. They were expected to upload documents so that everyone in the class would have access to the information. The third assignment was a bonus assignment for those students who wanted to earn extra marks. A popular Hollywood movie, Gattaca, was shown over several of their lunch hours and questions about genetics and ethics were posed in a conference area in the online learning environment. Sixteen of the twenty-eight participating students contributed posts to this conference area. Observation/Data Collection Phase. The notes taken in Nicenet as well as the actual products of the students were collected and evaluated. This time, each student was provided with feedback by the teacher in the online learning environment. The students appeared much more facile in their use of the conference areas and were much quicker in getting the job done. They continued to display playfulness in the online conference area as they wrote their responses to the questions on the assignments as well as to each other. The use of casual msn chatter was less conspicuous, although the care and attention to correct grammar and spelling was not as evident as what would appear in a formal assignment that is submitted on its own as a document. This was the first time that the teacher responded publicly in the online environment to each of the students’ posts. None of the students responded to the teacher’s comments, even when questions were posed to ask for clarification or more information. This could have been due to the fact that, because the teacher had not responded before, they were not expecting a reply from the teacher and had not bothered to check. Also, they may not have understood that a response in the online area was necessary because of the blending of online and face-to-face environments. Three students returned after classes were finished to participate in a focus group interview. The audio was captured for later analysis. The interview was about 30 minutes in length. The teacher asked questions of the students to which they responded.

Reflection Phase. Data was collected in the form of the post-unit questionnaires, online conference responses, uploaded documents and an audio interview of three students and the organization of the data ensued. As the raw data from the questionnaires was entered into a spreadsheet, the disparity between responses from the higher academic achievers of the class and the average achievers was noted. Those students who performed above average in the three courses tended to perceive themselves as already possessing good study skills and were less inclined to enjoy or want the participation in an online activity. This observation eventually led to the decision to separate the two groups of students, based on their academic records and the teacher’s knowledge of their abilities, in order to more closely examine these phenomena.

CHAPTER 4

DATA RESULTS

Summary of findings

Data analysis of the responses to the pre- and post-unit questionnaires, a focus group interview, and comments posted by the students are presented to demonstrate the students’ perceptions of their own self-monitoring skills and improvements in their study skills over time. The students were also asked on the questionnaire to report their attitudes about the online learning unit. The questionnaires were originally created to measure students’ perceptions about their self-monitoring and study skills and to compare results over time. However, upon a cursory examination of the responses, it became clear that differences in responses could be noted between the higher achieving and the average academic students. This became a focal point for comparison for the quantitative data analysis. Nine additional questions had been added to the second questionnaire as a further way to capture data and shed light on attitudes to the online unit of instruction. Not surprisingly, the higher academic achievers reported possessing stronger study skills than the average academic achievers in the first pre- unit questionnaire before their introduction to the online unit of instruction. Gaps that widened significantly between the two groups in the post-unit questionnaire are also noted.

RESULTS

Quantitative Data

After the two questionnaire results were received, the database file was incorporated into a spreadsheet to organize and code the data. The researcher began analyzing the raw data by computing descriptive statistics, such as mean, mode, frequencies and correlations. The data analysis method used in this study is quantitative. A cursory examination of the raw data of the responses from the pre- and post- unit questionnaires revealed that those students who tended to be higher academic performers were responding differently from the students who had lower academic averages. In order to examine the potential differences in responses, the class was divided into two sets of students. Ten students were included into the first group. These students were identified as high academic achievers in the class according to their academic performance in the three courses of English, biology and introduction to technology for the first few months of the academic year as well as previous experience with the students in the two years before the study. These students had achieved an average of about 85 or more in all of those courses. The remaining eighteen students represented the group of average achievers. These students’ grades ranged from 61 to 84 in one or more of the courses. Once the set of twenty-eight students had been divided into the two groups according to academic ability, the data was examined to compare and contrast the responses of these groups. Means were compared between the two sets of students. In order to see if such differences existed, two-sample t-tests assuming equal variances were performed on some of the responses of the questionnaires.

Difference in Means:

Statistically significant differences in responses between the two groups became evident on several questions in the pre-unit questionnaire. Question #2 reads “When I perform poorly on a test, it is because I do not study the right material for a long enough period of time”. On the Likert scale rating, “Always” represented a choice of 1 while “Never” was represented a 5 on the scale. The mean of the ten high academic achieving students for this question was 2.24 while the mean of the other average achievers was 2.93, showing that the higher achievers were more inclined to take responsibility for their poor performance due to lack of preparation.

Table 4.1 T-Test Results from Pre-Unit Questionnaire, Question #2

|t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Equal Variances |
|Pre-Unit Questionnaire | | |
|Question #2 - “When I perform poorly on | | |
|a test, it is because I do not study the| | |
|right material for a long enough period | | |
|of time” | | |
| |Higher academic|Average |
| |achievers |Achievers |
|Mean |2.24 |2.93 |
|Variance |0.62 |0.98 |
|Standard deviation |.79 |.99 |
|Observations |10 |18 |
|Hypothesized Mean Difference |0 | |
|Df |26 | |
|t Stat |-1.90 | |
|P(T

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...Introduction Student’s academic performance occupies a very important place in education as well as in the learning process. So to have better classroom performance and lower drop out incidence, many colleges require students to stay in school dormitories especially those students who live far from school like Cavite, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas etc. It is widely believed that living in campus dormitory can acquire some benefits in their academic performance. Large universities provide a number of academic services in dormitories such as tutoring and student organizations that encourage an environment conducive to learning. Residence halls have served as an essential aspect of collegiate life since the early colonial colleges.  Closely associated with the learning environment, early dorms housed faculty in the facilities to serve in the roles of counselors, supervisors, and educators. Historically, research on individual differences that bear on school success has focused on general intelligence. A century of empirical evidence has now unequivocally established that intelligence, defined as the “ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought” (Neisser et al., 1996 , p. 77) has a monotonic, positive relationship with school success (Gottfredson, 2004; Kuncel, Ones, & Sackett, 2010 ; Lubinski, 2009 ). Studying in a Christian School is......

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Factors That Affects Student's Academic Performances

...affecting academic performance of graduate students of Islamia University of Bahawalpur Rahim Yar Khan Campus. The variables under consideration were the academic performance (student’s grades/marks) as a dependent variable and the gender, age, faculty of study, schooling, father/guardian social economic status, and residential area, medium of schooling; tuition trend, daily study hours and accommodation trend were independent variables. The data were collected from 100 students through separate structured questionnaire from different departments of Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan Campus using the simple random sampling technique. For analysis, linear regression model, correlation analysis, and descriptive analysis were used. The findings revealed that age, father/guardian social economic status and daily study hours significantly contribute the academic performance of graduate students. A linear model was also proposed that will be helpful to improve the academic performance of graduate students at University level. 1. Introduction Students academic gain and learning performance is affected by numerous factor including gender, age, teaching faculty, students schooling, father/guardian social economic status, residential area of students, medium of instructions in schools, tuition trend, daily study hour and accommodation as hostelries or day scholar. Many researchers conducted detailed studies about the factors contributing student performance at......

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Emotional Intelligence and Its Affect on Academic Performance

...three studies about emotional intelligence and its influences on academic performance, people can also know that emotional intelligence is also a predictor of academic performance and studying success. All three articles did describe three different study methods and different goals; however, they all practiced on college student. The first study, “The role of trait emotional intelligence in academic performance and deviant behavior at school”, is about trait relationship between emotional intelligence and cognitive ability and academic performance. For examples, student with high emotional intelligence are likely to absence and excluded from school and most emotional intelligence effects continue to exits even when that person has controlling their personality variance (Petrides, Frederickson & Furnham, 2002). The second article, “Trait emotional intelligence and preference for intuition and deliberation: Respective influence on academic performance”, considers about the role of trait emotional intelligence and preference for intuition and deliberation in short-term academic performance. Its results are relationships between trait emotional intelligence, preference for intuition, deliberation, and positive and negative affect before and after exam; moreover, emotional intelligence also plays a role with stress appraisal (Laborde, Dosseville & Scelles, 2010). The last paper, “Emotional intelligence and academic success: examining the transition from high school to......

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Working and Studying; Academic Performance of a Working Bsa Student

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Factors Affect the Academic Performance of Hrm Students

...FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE LEVEL OF I AND III HRM STUDENTS OF LSPU-SPCC BATCH 2015-2016 A Thesis Proposal Presented to the Faculty of the College of Hospitality Management and Tourism LAGUNA STATE POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY San Pablo City Campus In Partial Fulfilment Of the Requirement for the Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management Patricia Marie M. Vivero CHAPTER 1 THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND This chapter will discuss the introduction and background of the study as well as the theories of other people regarding the main topic of this research, the research problem, its hypotheses, significance, scope and limitation of the study, and the definition of important terms that will be seen on this chapter. Introduction The factors that affect the academic performance level of I and III of HRM students of LSPU-SPCC Batch 2015-2016. Is to conduct a study and find out on what is the effect of academic performance of HRM students. The extent of student’s learning academically may be determined by the grades that a student earns for a period of learning has been done. A topic like this has relevance from an educational perspective that views behavior as a significant factor to obtaining optimal education. Learning is defined as a knowledge or skill acquired through study or by being taught. Learning is reflected in the way a child responds to environmental, social, emotional and physical stimuli and understands new information...

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Factors That Affect Academic Performance

...Factors That Affect English Academic Performance of Grade 9 Students of Rosario National High School S.Y. 2015-2016 August 2015 Chapter 1: Introduction Academic performance is the outcome of student educational goals. It is hard to indicate or measure academic performance of such an individual. Specially, there are socio-economic, psychological and environmental factors. For the last three years, the Philippine government started to fallow K-12 standards. The research focuses only on two groups of students who are divided into two; the one who improve and the one who does not. According to Hansen, Joe (2000) student performance must not depend on socio-economic, psychological, environmental factors because of the new paradigm that considering oder factors, like race, gender, and sex. Mcdill (1989) tried to explain the link between students achievement between economic circumstances as a reason of becoming a out of school youth or drop-out. Effects of age, qualification, qualification distance from learning place was pursued by B>A Chemsaken and A. Mishaelaudis (2001). YB Walters (1998) stated that: “high school student’s level of performance is with statistically significant different, linked to their gender, grade level, school location, school type, student type and socio-economic backgrounds. Students capability about patience was Kirby, Winston et. al (2002). Zajimes (1976) added that students stand outs if he gets along with his strata.......

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Factors That Affect the Academic Performance of High School Students

... A. Student Performance Galiher (2006) and Darling (2005), used GPA to measure student performance because they main focus in on the student performance for the particular semester. B. Learning Facilities Karemera (2003) found that students' performance is significantly correlated with satisfaction with academic environment and the facilities of library, computer lab and etc. in the institution. With regard to background variables, he found a positive effect of high school performance and school achievement he found no statistical evidence of significant association between family income level and academic performance of the student. Robert & Sampson (2011), found that the member of educational board will be educated and their impact on school is positive, for professional development it is essential for student learning. The students who are actively engage in the learning process are observed to have a positive correlation with the CGP. A Study effort from student and the proper use of the facilities provided by the institution to the student, a good match between students’ learning style and are positively affect the student's performance (Norhidayah Ali, et. al., 2009) Neil Flemming (2001-2011) described these four major learning preferences as follows: * Visual learners: students who prefer information to be presented on the whiteboard, flip charts, walls, graphics, pictures, color. Probably creative and may use different colors and diagrams in......

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How Facebook Affects One Academic Performance

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...a calf. Then they held a festival and bowed down to worship their idol. So quickly they had fallen back into the idolatry they were accustomed to in Egypt and disobeyed God's new commands. When Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets of stone, his anger burned when he saw the people given over to idolatry. He threw down the two tablets, smashing them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. Then Moses destroyed the golden calf, burning it in the fire. Moses and God proceeded to discipline the people for their sin. Later God instructed Moses to chisel two new stone tablets, just like the ones he had written with his own finger. Noas arch Characters: Noah Nicholson, Alex Kirby, Ricky Davis, Wade Robinson Summary: God saw how great wickedness had become and decided to wipe mankind from the face of the earth. However, one righteous man among all the people of that time, Noah, found favor in God's eyes. With very specific instructions, God told Noah to build an ark for him and his family in preparation for a catastrophic flood that would destroy every living thing on earth. God also instructed Noah to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, both male and female, and seven pairs of all the clean animals, along with every kind of food to be stored for the animals and his family while on the ark. Noah obeyed everything God commanded him to do. After they entered the ark, rain fell on the earth for a period of forty days and nights. The waters flooded the......

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...centuries. Of course, the original 13 Colonies in America were British colonies. A nation claims colonies in order to profit from the raw materials and surplus goods that the colony produces. In the Caribbean, these goods were primarily sugar, silver ore, and tobacco. Here are some short assignments to complete to help you understand the book better. You may need an encyclopedia, dictionary, atlas, or the Internet to help you with these questions. Setting the Stage Use the following questions to begin to think about Jim’s voyage on the Hispaniola 1. The Gulf Stream is a current in the North Atlantic Ocean. Find a diagram of the current; most atlases will have a diagram of world ocean and air currents. Examine the Gulf Stream and describe how it might have been important for the captains of trading ships to know about this particular current. What effects do you think the Gulf Stream had on the islands of the Caribbean, both in terms of weather and in terms of trade? 2. On the internet, go to the web site “The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie” at the following address: http://www.melfisher.org/henriettamarie/index2.htm 7 (This website is produced by the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society, located in Florida.) Read the description of the ship and the typical voyage of a slave trader from Europe, to Africa, to the Americas and back to Europe. The Henrietta Marie was similar to the ship Robert Louis Stevenson had in mind when he wrote Treasure Island. From the description of...

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