卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Secondary School Education

Evaluation of an online computer programming training approach with precision feedback

Due to the rapid development of information technology, acquiring programming knowledge is growing in prominence, and computation thinking becomes a fundamental skill for children just like reading and math. Using the Two-Tier Test-Based Programming Training (T3PT) approach, Hwang and Tung developed an online learning system for beginners and conducted a quasi-experiment to examine the effect of the system on secondary school students’ computer programming learning. The Two-Tier Test-Based Programming Training (T3PT) consists of two tiers of questions: The first tier assesses students’ understanding of the programming concept The second tier investigates the reasons for students’ choice in the first tier test to detect whether students have misconceptions about the programming. The learning system then, based on students’ responses, provides timely precise feedback to students to enhance their understanding of the correct concepts of programming logic. Two classes of 99 eighth grade students (mean age = 14.2) from Taiwan were divided...

23 09 2022
The best of two worlds: A systematic review on combining real and virtual experiments in science education

A recent study published in the Review of Educational Research examined the relative effectiveness of combining real and virtual experiments versus a single type of experimentation, and which sequence of real and virtual experiments was most effective for the acquisition of scientific literacy. In contrast to previous reviews focusing on a comparison of real experiments (RE, hands-on with actual materials) versus virtual experiments (VE, interactive computer simulation), in this review the authors focused on the effects of combining RE and VE. The results were based on a sample of 42 studies meeting the inclusion criteria set. In relation to the relative effectiveness of combining real and virtual experiments compared with a single type of experimentation, the results showed that: Twenty-five of the 30 studies reported a significant advantage of the experimental groups that used RE and VE in combination, compared to control groups that used only one single experiment type...

23 09 2022
The power of scaffolding in digital game-based learning

Digital game-based learning (DGBL) has become a popular instructional approach in recent years. Some researchers have suggested that scaffolding integrated in games can provide timely support that better facilitates students’ learning process and improves learning outcomes. On the contrary, other researchers have argued that an inappropriate scaffolding mechanism might result in negative impact. Cai and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis  to examine the effects of scaffolding in educational digital games on students’ learning achievement and to explore possible factors (moderators) which might contribute to the inconsistency of research findings. A total of 49 studies and 154 effect sizes used in the meta-analysis fulfilled the inclusion criteria, namely experimental trial with treatment group playing DGBL with scaffolding and control group playing DGBL without scaffolding. Seven types of scaffolding were classified in the study. Reflection: learners asked to explain or reflect on their behaviour Feedback: Some information given to evaluate students’ performance Hints:...

09 09 2022
Why do students cheat?

Academic cheating is a serious worldwide problem that begins during childhood. Inspired by nudge theory from behavior economics, researchers believe physical and verbal nudges can affect cheating rates among children. Zhao and colleagues conducted a study using a naturalistic experimental method to investigate the effects of a contextual factor - message about test difficulty - on academic cheating. Two possible motivations can lead to increased cheating with respect to the difficulty messages. Approach motivation: if students are informed that a test is difficult, cheating is a way to appear capable of academic success. Avoidance motivation: if they are informed that a test is easy, they may be motivated to cheat to avoid appearing incompetent. Researchers conducted an experiment to investigate the relation between messages of test difficulty and cheating behavior. A sample of 201 children (94 girls) from 6 eighth grade (mean age = 13.4 years) classes at a middle...

26 08 2022
Doubling down to improve school climate

A recent study by Grant and colleagues evaluated the effect of implementing Restorative Practices and Diplomas Now on school climate and teachers’ intentions to leave their school. Restorative Practices refers to a schoolwide shift away from punitive disciplinary methods and toward open dialogue that allows students to make amends by processing how their behavior affects others. Diplomas Now, another schoolwide reform model, focuses on building collaborative teacher teams, providing professional development, using early warning systems to provide students with tiered supports, and incorporating all supports by providing additional human resources to accomplish the work. It was hypothesized that when implemented together, the interventions would have a positive effect on school climate by improving student-teacher relationships, providing students with relevant and engaging learning opportunities, and increasing teacher retention. The analytic sample for the study included 25 schools from large urban school districts that were randomly assigned to either implement both interventions...

26 08 2022
Graphic organizers help to enhance students’ generative cognitive processing

A recent study published in Journal of Educational Psychology examined the role of graphic organizers in promoting generative processing in learners. Graphic organizers are common ways of structuring texts. These include compare-and-contrast (e.g., matrix), sequence (e.g., flowchart) and hierarchy (e.g., tree diagram). In this study, matrix was the form of graphic organizer used to compare the northern and southern climates in China. Two approaches were compared to text-only information (NGO). The first approach used filled-in graphic organizers (FGO), in which comparison of the two climates described in the text had already been filled-in in a matrix. In this way, students can learn through a spatial arrangement of the text but may still not engage in deeper processing. The second approach used interactive graphic organizers (IGO). Students were required to create their own matrix through using apps for the comparison. The act of building a matrix graphic organizer requires more generative...

12 08 2022
Sensibly distribute resources: Prior-year statewide achievement test data is sufficient

Universal screening for identifying students at risk for future reading problems is important, but inaccurate and costly approaches are not worth investing in. Paly and colleagues recently conducted a retrospective research project to analyze four approaches to reading risk screening in terms of their accuracy and costs, including: prior-year state test (STAAR Reading) aimswebPlus: a web-based assessment suite which designed for screening and progress monitoring in reading and math for PreK-12 students multiple-gate model: prior-year STAAR was used in the first screening and aimswebPlus was administered as additional screening for a subgroup of students, who scored below a cut-point on first universal screen multivariate model: prior-year STAAR and aimswebPlus tests results were combined in multivariate analyses Using data from Grades 4-8 students (n = 19,417) in a mid-size urban district in Texas, the researchers examined classification accuracy and the cost-effectiveness relation of the four approaches.  The results suggest that aimswebPlus...

12 08 2022
Is inquiry-based instruction effective? Evidence from 6 countries

Many researchers and educators advocate for inquiry-based learning and argue that inquiry-based activities can boost students’ learning and develop students’ problem-solving skills. However, little research has compared the effects of inquiry-based instruction with traditional teacher-directed instruction on a large scale. Using data from PISA 2015 – an international comparative student assessment — Oliver and colleagues explored the association between students’ science performance and three types of instruction in science classrooms: inquiry-based, teacher-directed, and adaptive instruction. The sample includes 15-year-old students (N = 64,718) in 6 countries: Canada, New Zealand, Australia, UK, Ireland, and the USA. After controlling for student socioeconomic status in the multivariate regression analysis, the authors found that, common to all 6 countries, students’ scientific literacy was negatively associated with inquiry-based instruction, so that increases in inquiry-based instruction were associated with lower scores. Teacher-directed and adaptive teaching were both positively correlated with students’ science achievement. Additionally, the authors...

30 06 2022
The effects of early college opportunities on English learners

A recent study in the American Educational Research Journal examined a developing program started in 2017 that offers Early College (EC) opportunities in high schools serving large English learner (EL) populations in California. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of an EC program on high school graduation and subsequent college enrollment for EL students. Data for this study were collected from seven cohorts of high school students (N = 15,090) in a large, urban school district in California. As EC was rolled out in the district in three of the high schools first, the researchers compared the post-EC outcomes of treated and control groups (i.e., the three high schools that started EC first vs. other high schools in the district who had not yet started EC). This study expands current knowledge of EC effects on historically underserved student populations such as ELs. Findings from this study showed that although...

19 05 2022