Comparing instructional methodologies in sixth-grade science: Traditional textbook, integrated science, and integrated science with technology enhancement
Martha M. Hocutt, The University of Alabama, United States
The University of Alabama . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to examine three different methodologies used to present content to sixth-grade science students and determine which methodology benefited students most with regard to the acquisition of content knowledge and attitude toward science. The three methodologies examined were The University of Alabama's Center for Communication and Educational Technology's Integrated Science program, CCET's Integrated Science program enhanced with PowerPoint ® technology, and traditional textbook methodology.
Data were collected through the administration of a pretest prior to instruction and a posttest after 10 days of instruction. Data were also collected through researcher observations, nine additional assessments, and the completion of observation checklists by the classroom teacher. Data were collected for examining attitudes toward science through the administration of a survey both prior to and after instruction.
Methodology was not found to affect student scores with regard to race, gender, or achievement level. Student achievement was not found to be affected by the method in which content was delivered, but by instructionally sound pedagogy used by an effective teacher. Using technology to present content information may not result in higher test scores when compared to traditional methodologies. However, multimedia may have a powerful impact on learning, but perhaps not in ways that are traditionally measured.
Anecdotal evidence from researcher observations indicated that students were more motivated when instructed through methodologies that used technology. Further research should be conducted in exploring benefits students gain from being exposed to technology. In addition, further research needs to be conducted on different ways technology can be used with good pedagogy to improve student achievement.
Teachers must accept that technology in the classroom is here to stay, and they cannot deny its use. The use of technology by teachers is a first step in the quest to integrate technology. Technology integration takes place over a period of time through use and practice. Good pedagogy should be at the forefront of any instructional planning. The use of the PowerPoint ® methodology examined in this study can be a first step for teachers to take before technology integration occurs.
Hocutt, M.M. Comparing instructional methodologies in sixth-grade science: Traditional textbook, integrated science, and integrated science with technology enhancement. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Alabama.
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