School Programme Evaluation Thesis

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School Program Evaluation

This school program evaluates the necessity in the dissemination of currents events in the area of critical thinking skills and the CSCL tool's contribution in this area. History is a subject that students generally consider to be dry and boring because it is typically delivered in the form of a lecture. The objective of this school program is to make the learning of history more insightful, meaningful and engaging for Normal Academic students. The project also aims to inculcate the school values of Graciousness, Determination, Loyalty and Sincerity.

Evidence has been provided in the work of many researchers that the approach known as "drill and kill" where reading voluminous textbooks, will reduce students' motivation to learn. Development of critical thinking skills is a consideration of this study. Wright (2002) wrote about the necessity of challenging students through tools of critical thinking and providing the integration of critical thinking skills into history instruction through the usage of CSCL tool. The effectiveness of the CSCL tool will be measured through an experimental design, making use of qualitative and quantitative measures in the form of questionnaires during test in pre- and post-study. The results found in this study suggest that a Tablet PC -- or a Notebook -- based classroom interaction system can be harnessed to enhance the argumentation process. The teacher is able to collect and review students' work in real time, incorporating selected students' answers into the discussion. The researcher believes that the application of technology as illustrated in this work can bring similar benefits to the instruction in other disciplines.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Questions

The research question for this study is whether dialogic approach through CSCL has an impact upon students' learning of history. The impact will be measured not only by the product but also through the process of the intervention itself. Questions that this research sought to answer were: Are there changes in students' critical thinking skills and history knowledge in the process of the intervention? And (2) To what extent will the 20-week treatment in the CSCL environment help improve students' results?

Introduction

Thesis on School Programme Evaluation Assignment

This study highlights the necessity in the dissemination of currents events in the area of critical thinking skills and the CSCL tool's contribution in this area. History is a subject that students generally consider to be dry and boring because it is typically delivered in the form of a lecture. Rittel and Webber (1973) held that critical thinking skills cannot develop without debate, negotiation and conflict. Lehtinen et al. (2004) held that education must serve the most basic requirement of the preparation of learners to fully participate in an information society that is highly networked and in which the most critical resource for development in social and economic aspects is knowledge. To this end, schools and institutions of education must find more advanced pedagogical tools and methods in meeting the challenges presented in the networked information society of today's world. According to the work of Lehtinen et al. (2004), cognitive interaction among peers drives the development of critical thinking and argumentative skills. Lehtinen et al. (2004) also related that the CSCL tool is one that seems to engage students in an in-depth inquiry over a substantial period of time and one that provides socially distributed cognitive resources for monitoring comprehension and other metacognitive activities.

Method

The method employed in this study is an experimental static-group comparison design, which will be used in the assessment of the effectiveness of the CSCL tool in the development of students' critical thinking skills in the subject area of history. The length of this study will be one semester (20 weeks). A questionnaire and test will be administered during pre- and post-study. The researcher and teachers will further, through observations, evaluate the study. The data generated will be used for analysis in answering the questions that this research posed.

Sample

This experiment will be conducted through a sampling of secondary one Normal Academic students undertaking history tests and teachers involved in completing the questionnaires, which will be in the form of self-reflection. This study identifies two dependent variables; the first being students' attitude toward the study of history measured through questionnaires designed by the researcher. These questionnaires looked at factors such as students' perception of their achievement in history and students' attitude toward learning history after using CSCL. The second dependent variable is students' achievement in history as measured by their pre and post-test results.

Design

This study will be conducted through an experimental comparison design (Gall, Borg & Gall, 1996) to assess the effectiveness of the CSCL tool in developing critical thinking skills in history students over the course of one semester (20 weeks).The main sources of data include pre- and post- survey for students, pre- and post-tests, and the discussion forum. Criteria set out for measurement in this study is that of the effectiveness of the use of Computer-Support Collaborative Learning Tools in teaching history specifically as to "collaborative argumentation."

The subjects are Secondary One students in the Normal stream undertaking history. The history test and questionnaires for the students will be administered pre- and post-study. The researcher is teaching all the four classes of Secondary One students in the Normal stream in the school. From each class, five students will be selected randomly to undergo the CSCL teaching method. These students will be classified under Group A, while the rest will be classified under Group B. A more detailed discussion about the participants will be elaborated in later paragraphs. Group A will undergo the CSCL teaching method, while Group B. students will experience the existing teaching method used by the school. Group B's outcome will be used to compare with Group A's results based on the research questions.

Independent variables are often regarded as the "treatment" given to one group in a study. In this study, the treatment will be the use of CSCL with one group of students. The control will be the researcher-led face-to-face discussions with the teachers, which is the normal mode of instruction in the classroom.

There are two dependent variables in this study: First, students' attitude toward the study of history measured by questionnaires designed by the researcher. These questionnaires looked at factors such as students' perception of their achievement in history and students' attitude toward learning history after using CSCL. The second dependent variable is students' achievement in history as measured by their pre- and post-test results.

CSCL Tool

The CSCL tool chosen is called EduLearn, a software provided by the company AsknLearn. This software permits any number of users to collaborate online in real time. Its design provides all the tools necessary for successful collaboration, such as general chat capabilities (with the added feature of printing verbatim transcripts of the chat sessions), file sharing capabilities, private chat, document review capabilities, voice communications, a shared calendar, a web links tool, email, and an outline tool. Many of these tools may be used simultaneously by participants with continuous updates of any changes that are made for each participant. Participation in collaborative meetings may be synchronous or asynchronous (Tan, 2000). For the purpose of this study, the main tool used will be the online forum, where questions will be posted via the online forum and students will discuss it via the online forum. In either case, the software provides all participants with instant updates of any changes which have occurred during the collaboration. Furthermore, the software provides full encryption of all data before it leaves a user's computer and travels over the Internet, and full decryption of all data after it enters another user's computer. This will ensure a fully secured peer-to-peer environment. Transcripts of each collaborative session can be printed verbatim for further studies to gather data that might not be expressed by the subjects in their answering of the questionnaires or during the writing of their self-reflection.

Research questions

To reiterate, this study is designed to examine the impact of CSCL in history classrooms for Secondary One students in the Normal stream. Specific research questions include:

1. Are there changes in students' critical thinking skills and history knowledge in the process of the intervention?

2. To what extent will the 20-week treatment in the CSCL environment help improve students' results?

Research Approach/procedure

For this research the researcher has decided to take a sampling from secondary One Normal Academic students from the school that the researcher teaches. The rationales for selecting secondary One Normal Academic students are as follows:

1.

They have not, through their one year of study since primary school, accumulated a certain degree of history knowledge required for secondary school history curriculum and have not grown accustomed to the need for individual thinking.

2.

The researcher has not taught them before and will be in a better position to interpret their achievement and perceive the changes in their learning.

3.

In secondary one, they are not in the critical period of sitting for the GCE "O Level" examination. Thus, this study will not place additional stress on… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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