卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Effective Teaching Approach

A thirty-year look at studies on computer-assisted maths

During the past 30 years, thousands of articles have been written about technology’s effects on pupil achievement. In order to quantify technology’s effects on maths achievement, Jamaal Young at the University of Texas conducted a meta-analysis of all of the meta-analyses on the topic during the last three decades. His second-order meta-analysis was comprised of 19 meta-analyses representing 663 primary studies, more than 141,000 pupils and 1,263 effect sizes. Each meta-analysis that was included had to address the use of technology as a supplement to instruction, use pupil maths achievement as an outcome measure, report an effect size or enough data to calculate one, have been published after 1985 and be accessible to the public. The author found that: All technology enhancements positively affected pupil achievement, regardless of the technology’s purpose. However, technology that helped pupils perform computational functions had the greatest effects on pupil achievement, while combinations of enhancements demonstrated the...

01 02 2018
Project-based learning

A working paper from MDRC builds on and updates a literature review of project-based learning (PBL) published in 2000. Focused primarily on articles and studies that have emerged in the last 17 years, the working paper discusses the principles of PBL, how PBL has been used in K–12 (Year 1–13) settings, the challenges teachers face in implementing it, how school and local factors influence its implementation and what is known about its effectiveness in improving learning outcomes. The report suggests that the evidence for PBL’s effectiveness in improving pupil outcomes is “promising, but not proven”.  The biggest challenge to evaluating the effectiveness of PBL, the researchers suggest, is a lack of consensus about the design of PBL and how it fits in with other teaching methods. Some studies have found positive effects associated with the use of PBL. However, without a clear vision of what a PBL approach should look like, it...

22 11 2017
New WWC practice guide on preventing dropout in secondary schools

The What Works Clearinghouse has released a new practice guide, Preventing Dropout in Secondary Schools , that offers research-based recommendations for reducing dropout rates in middle and secondary schools. The goal is to help educators and administrators learn strategies for identifying at-risk pupils and addressing the challenges they face. The WWC and an expert panel chaired by Russell Rumberger from the University of California, Santa Barbara synthesised existing research on the topic and combined it with insight from the panel to identify the following four recommendations, which include a rating of the strength of the research evidence supporting each recommendation: Monitor the progress of all pupils, and proactively intervene when pupils show early signs of attendance, behaviour, or academic problems (minimal evidence). Provide intensive, individualised support to pupils who have fallen off track and face significant challenges to success (moderate evidence). Engage pupils by offering curricula and programmes that connect schoolwork with...

15 11 2017
The Evidence for marking

The Education Endowment Foundation has published a new review of the evidence on written marking. Researchers from Oxford University found that there were very few robust studies – too few to conduct a formal systematic review or to make definitive recommendations. Based on the limited evidence, the review makes the following tentative suggestions: Careless mistakes should be marked differently to errors resulting from misunderstanding. The latter may be best addressed by providing hints or questions which lead pupils to underlying principles; the former by simply marking the mistake as incorrect, without giving the right answer. Awarding grades for every piece of work may reduce the impact of marking, particularly if pupils become preoccupied with grades at the expense of a consideration of teachers’ formative comments. The use of targets to make marking as specific and actionable as possible is likely to increase pupil progress. Pupils are unlikely to benefit from marking unless...

08 11 2017
What does the evidence say about technology use?

New educational technology programmes are being released faster than researchers can evaluate them. The National Bureau of Economic Research in the US has written a working paper, Education Technology: An Evidence-Based Review, which discusses the evidence to date on the use of technology in the classroom, with the goal of finding decision-relevant patterns. Maya Escueta and colleagues compiled publicly available quantitative research that used either randomised controlled trials or regression discontinuity designs (where pupils qualify for inclusion in a programme based on a cut-off score at pre-test). All studies had to examine the effects of an ed-tech intervention on any education-related outcome. Therefore, the paper included not only the areas of technology access, computer-assisted learning and online courses, but also the less-often-studied technology-based behavioural interventions. Authors found that: Access to technology may or may not improve academic achievement at the K-12 level (Years 1–13), but does have a positive impact on...

01 11 2017
Parental Scaffolding in Kindergarten Children’s Self-Regulated Learning Behaviours

The findings of a recent study have extended our understanding of the role of parental scaffolding in kindergarten pupils’ self-regulated learning (SRL) in the Chinese context. Zhang and Whitebread, from the University of Cambridge, conducted a study on 130 pupils and their parents from three kindergartens in Beijing to examine the relationship between children’s SRL strategic behaviours, their task performance and parental scaffolding behaviours. The study involved two stages of test. The children were asked to complete a puzzle task and an origami task with their parents first. Three weeks later, children were assigned to accomplish the same two tasks by themselves. The difficulty of the parent-child tasks and the child-alone tasks was different for studying parents’ scaffolding behaviours and pupil’s SRL strategic behaviours respectively. The problem-solving processes were video-taped for an in-depth observational analyses. Pupil’s task performance was predicted by the use of metacognitive strategic behaviours. Well-performed pupils used behaviours such...

25 10 2017
A century of research on ability grouping and acceleration

Researchers Saiying Steenbergen-Hu and colleagues recently analysed the results of almost 100 years of research on the effects of ability grouping (which places pupils of similar skills and abilities in the same classes) and acceleration (where pupils are given material and assignments that are usually reserved for older year groups) on pupils’ academic achievement. After screening thousands of studies, their secondary meta-analysis, recently published in Review of Educational Research, synthesised the results of thirteen earlier meta-analyses on ability grouping and six on acceleration that met inclusion criteria for the final review. They divided ability grouping into four types: (1) between-class ability grouping, where pupils in the same year are divided into low-, medium-, or high-level classes; (2) within-class ability grouping, where pupils within a classroom are taught in groups based on their levels; (3) cross-year subject grouping, where pupils in different year groups are combined into the same class depending on...

25 10 2017