Evaluation of mathematics methods online: Planning knowledge, classroom applications, and pupil outcomes
Melina Alexander, Utah State University, United States
Utah State University . Awarded
This study examined the effects of an online mathematics methods class on preservice teachers' knowledge of instructional planning, classroom instructional planning performance, and classroom pupil outcomes in mathematics. In this study, the effects of an online mathematics methods course on preservice teachers' mathematics planning skills were examined using a modification of a time series design. Preservice teachers were presented a case study (planning measure) prior to instruction and following each of three instructional modules. Following instruction, preservice teachers were placed in a practicum setting and asked to turn in products (classroom application measure) from each phase of their planning routines. Responses were evaluated in terms of the dependent variable. An additional analysis was preformed on preservice teacher's practicum pupil mathematics performance. Preservice teachers designed a curriculum-based assessment for pupils in their practicum placements (curriculum-based pupil outcome measure). These were administered at the beginning of the practicum placement as a pretest, and again at the end of the practicum placement to assess overall pupil growth.
The planning and classroom application measures required preservice teachers to complete an eight-step instructional planning routine. Steps of this routine are (a) analyze the curriculum domain, (b) develop survey curriculum based assessments (CBAs), (c) administer survey CBAs, (d) analyze test results, (e) define the instructional program, (f) develop focused CBAs for each targeted skill, (g) develop a monitoring system, and (h) implement effective instruction. Planning measure results indicate that following online instruction participant performance on instructional planning significantly improves. Classroom application measure results indicate that preservice teacher utilize this information in a practicum setting after completion of the online instruction at a rate consistent with postinstruction performance.
Preservice teacher's practicum pupil performance on the curriculum-based assessments was divided into four categories: skills identified as already known on the initial CBA; skills for which the pupils received no instruction; skills that pupils were currently working on based on progress data participants were collecting; and skills that, according to participants progress data, were mastered during the practicum placement. Results on the curriculum-based pupil outcome measure indicate that pupil mathematics performance increased on items for which they received instruction, and remained stable on items for which they did not receive instruction.
A qualitative postassessment of preservice teachers' views of the online mathematics methods course suggested that participants liked the flexibility the online course offered and the instructor availability. They disliked the amount of time spent on assignments and course assessments.
Alexander, M. Evaluation of mathematics methods online: Planning knowledge, classroom applications, and pupil outcomes. Ph.D. thesis, Utah State University.
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