卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Programme Evaluation

Using technology to facilitate personalized learning in China

An article recently published in Frontiers in Psychology reported how technology is used to facilitate personalized learning in China. Xiaofeng You and colleagues examined the Chinese Learning Diagnosis System (CLDS) developed by a Chinese educational evaluation company designed for providing timely feedback to students and teachers.  The CLDS analyzes students’ assignments for their mastery of various attributes and generates feedback to students and teachers. Consequently, students can identify their strengths and weakness and teachers can modify their instruction using the information. To examine the CLDS’s effectiveness, the achievements, self-efficacy, and academic motivation of 547 high school students enrolled in an experimental school in 2012 were compared to 396 high school students in a school where CLDS was not used. Achievement in the pretest was measured by high school entrance examination scores, and achievement in the posttest 3 years later was measured by the college entrance examination scores; both are high stakes tests...

06 11 2019
Results of a large randomized controlled trial of growth mindset

A randomized controlled trial published in the journal Nature has found that a short, online, self-administered growth mindset intervention may improve achievement among lower-achieving students and increase overall enrollment in advanced math courses. The study, conducted by David S. Yeager and colleagues, was the largest ever randomized controlled trial of growth mindset in U.S. schools, with 12,000 ninth graders in 65 schools involved. Students were individually randomized to either a control or intervention group. The intervention group was asked to complete two 25-minute online courses, taken three weeks apart. Students were given information about how the brain works and the latest research on growth mindset, then they completed activities such as explaining what they had learned from the course to students in the year below. Students in the control group were given a similar program with information on how the brain worked, but no information on growth mindset. Following the intervention, students' grade point average (GPA)...

11 09 2019
Effects of Positive Emotion Interventions on Chinese Adolescents

In recent years, interventions that apply positive psychology principles have become increasingly popular, providing an alternative approach to promoting students’ well-being. A recent research published in Frontiers in Psychology examined a positive education program in China focusing on positive emotion for middle school students” Participants were drawn from a public middle school in the city of Chengdu, China. A total of 173 eighth graders from six classes participated in this study, of which 84 were randomly allocated to the experiment group, and 89 were assigned in the control group. Students in the experiment group received a 10-session positive education program delivered by their head-teachers who received training in positive psychology from the researchers. The program consisted of three main modules, namely understanding emotions, fostering positive emotions and managing negative emotions. Each session lasted 45 minutes. Students in the control group spent the same time taking a moral education class that...

11 09 2019
Small class size vs. evidence-based interventions

The Ministry of Education in France instituted a policy in 2002 that reduced class size to no more than 12 students in areas determined to have social difficulties and high proportions of at-risk students, called Zones d’Education Prioritaire (ZEP). In order to evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of this policy, researcher Jean Ecalle and colleagues in France examined the results of the policy-mandated class size reduction on the reading achievement of first graders (Study 1), and compared them to the effects of an evidence-based literacy intervention on the reading achievement of at-risk children in regularly sized classes (20 students) (Study 2). Study 1, reducing class size, involved assigning classrooms to either small (12 students/class n=100 classes) or large (20-25 students/class, n=100 classes) class sizes (with the support of the Ministry). At the start of the 2002-03 school year, 1,095 children were pretested on pre-reading skills and matched at pretest. In Study 2,...

13 08 2019
An evaluation of QuickSmart Numeracy

QuickSmart Numeracy is a 30-week math tutoring program from Australia that uses teaching assistants as tutors. Its goal is to increase basic math fact automaticity/fluency in students in Year 4 and Year 8 who perform in the bottom third of their national cohort as measured on standardized testing, the premise being that increased math fluency allows students to devote their concentration to math concepts instead of fact recall. Researchers from the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia, recently examined the effects of the program on student achievement in a randomized controlled trial. Subjects were 288 Year 4 and Year 8 students from 70 classrooms in 23 Sydney Catholic Schools in New South Wales who scored below the bottom 30th percentile on national standardized testing. Baseline testing was done in March 2017 using the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Progressive Achievement...

13 08 2019
Improving times table fluency

The Institute for Effective Education (IEE) in the UK has published a new report from a project funded by their Innovation Evaluation Grants. The IEE Innovation evaluations are small-scale and test the kinds of innovations that schools are interested in. Thirty-four Year 4 classes took part in the evaluation of Improving times table fluency, which was conducted by Underwood West Academy. A total of 876 children were included in the study. Five groups of four or five classes were created by matching the pre-test scores on a 25-item tables test and the percentage of children in receipt of pupil premium (additional funding for schools in England, designed to help disadvantaged students). All groups had similar pre-test scores and similar percentages of children in receipt of pupil premium. Each class used a different balance of conceptual and procedural activities during times tables lessons. Conceptual activities were games that focused on the connections...

31 07 2019
Does exercise improve children’s cognitive performance?

Research published in Frontiers in Psychology looks at the effects of a nine-week program of daily exercise on children’s cognitive performance, aerobic fitness, and physical activity levels. Vera van den Berg and colleagues conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial in 21 classes in eight Dutch primary schools. A total of 512 children aged 9 to 12 participated. The intervention consisted of daily classroom-based exercise breaks of moderate to vigorous intensity. Each break lasted approximately ten minutes, and children were asked to mimic dance moves from a video. Children in the control group watched 10- to 15-minute information and educational videos related to the body, exercise, and sports. Before and after the intervention, children were asked to perform four cognitive tasks to measure their cognitive performance in selective attention, inhibition, and memory retrieval. Children’s aerobic fitness was measured with a shuttle run test, and accelerometers were used to measure physical activity throughout the day....

17 07 2019
Using Expressive Writing to Reduce Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety can have negative impacts on students’ performance and psychological health. This study published in PLOS ONE examined whether expressive writing could be beneficial to alleviate test anxiety. Lujun Shen and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial among senior high school students in China who were facing The National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao), which is considered the most important exam of a student’s life. The study randomly selected 200 students from three senior-high schools in Xinxiang city. Students were first assessed for eligibility. A sample of 75 students was recruited into the study for having a high level of test anxiety. Then, 38 of them were allocated into an expressive writing group, and 37 of them were allocated to a control writing group. Students in the expressive writing group were instructed to write for 20 minutes about the positive emotions they had each day, consecutively for 30 days....

02 07 2019
Mindfulness for Left-behind Children in China

A randomized controlled trial published in Child: Care, Health and Development examined whether a mindfulness training programme was beneficial to left-behind students in China, who stayed in their hometown with extended family members because their parents left to work in other cities. 63 left-behind children who agreed to participate in this study were screened from a sample of 320 grade 5 to 6 students from a primary school in an urban area in Nanjing. Thirty students were randomly allocated to a mindfulness training group, where they participated in an eight-week mindfulness training programme that emphasized focusing on the present and practicing non‐judgmental awareness. The programme consisted of one-hour group sessions once a week. Thirty-three students were allocated to a control group. Students completed a pre-test before participating in the trainings and a post-test after the eight-week training which included scales measuring their mindfulness, social anxiety, suicide ideation, and self-esteem. However,...

02 07 2019