CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Effects of Student Participation in a Self-Contained Fifth Grade Multimedia Classroom On Student Achievement and Adjustment To The Middle School Setting

Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Maxine S. Cohen

Committee Member

Getrude W. Abramson

Committee Member

Roberta R Thomas

Abstract

Educators, legislators, parents, and others with a stake in public education need reliable evidence that the investment of time and money in instruction with technology results in measurable gains leading to higher student achievement. Students making the transition from elementary to middle school are especially sensitive to changes in the learning environment and are at risk for school failure. This study investigated the relationships between student participation in elementary self-contained fifth grade multimedia classrooms and achievement and adjustment to the middle school setting. Grade point averages, average daily attendance, and scores on a standardized achievement test were compared for students attending multimedia fifth grade classrooms and all other students after the transition to sixth grade at one middle school in Orlando, Florida. Findings were compared using a one-tailed independent t-test for independent samples, and the Mann Whitney U-test, the non-parametric analogue of the t-test for data sets which are not normally distributed. Two surveys of student technology use and satisfaction with learning in a technology rich environment were administered. Sixth grade teachers were also surveyed about their levels of use and comfort with teaching with technology. Although the means for grade point averages, average daily attendance, and selected subtests of the Stanford-8 Achievement Test were higher for the students attending multimedia fifth grades, the results were not statistically significant. Student survey results were discussed, which indicated that students valued opportunities to use technology and were motivated to complete learning tasks that involved technology. The small number of middle school teachers who were surveyed indicated that while their interest in using technology in the classroom was high, the average 50-minute class period was too short to accomplish much with technology. Additional studies were recommended, to include studies that defined more clearly the conditions in which technology is used to support effective and efficient learning and problem solving.

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