卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
Growing up digital

A report published by the Nuffield Foundation in the UK finds that computer use in schools does not on its own boost students' digital literacy or prepare them for the workplace.

The report, written by Angela McFarlane, examines how digital technologies are used in schools to enhance learning, and identifies research questions to inform better practice and policy. It examines ten years of existing evidence on the effect the use of digital technology has on learning, and finds that:

  • Putting computers into schools is no guarantee that there will be a positive impact on learning outcomes as measured in high-stakes assessments or on the development of digital literacy.
  • How digital technologies are used is as important as whether they are used.
  • There is no shared picture of what effective digital skills teaching looks like.
  • Teachers may not have opportunities to develop the skills they need to make effective use of technology.
  • The current use and knowledge of computer-based technology in schools and at home is leaving many young people unprepared for the world of work.

The report suggested these findings have important implications for the curriculum, pedagogy, teacher development as well as assessment in the UK, where the curriculum for 5 to 16 mandates the teaching of Computing.

 

Source (Open Access): McFarlane, A. (2019). Growing up digital: What do we really need to know about educating the digital generation? London, England: Nuffield FoundationRead the rest

Printed vs digital text: A meta-analysis

A recent meta-analysis in The Journal of Research on Reading has synthesized the findings of studies comparing print and digital text regarding time required to read, reading comprehension, and readers' perceptions of their comprehension. Researcher Virginia Clinton performed a systematic literature review, only including studies using random assignment and that were published between 2008 and 2018, yielding 29 reports of 33 studies for analysis. She found that:

  • Readers require equal amounts of time to read print and digital text, although screen reading negatively impacted reading comprehension (ES= -0.25).
  • Readers were more accurately able to judge their comprehension on paper (ES= +0.20) than on screen.
  • The negative effect on performance for reading text from screens rather than paper did not vary for readers who were adults or children (under 18).
  • However, the author suggests this finding should be interpreted with caution because there were more studies with adult participants (26) than child participants (7).

Best Evidence in Brief reported on an earlier meta-analysis solely examining reading comprehension, whose results also favored printed text.

 

Source: Clinton, V. (2019). Reading from paper compared to screens: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Journal of Research in Reading, 42(2), 288–325. Read the rest

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) in their core classes of math, science, English, and social studies, were collected. The study found that:

  • GPA scores for lower-achieving students in the intervention group rose by 0.1 point relative to peers in the control group (ES= +0.11).
  • The proportion of lower-achieving students with D or F averages dropped by 5%.
  • Both higher- and lower-achieving students were more likely to take an advanced math class in 10th grade - meaning enrollment in these courses rose from 33% to 36% in the 41 schools that shared this data.

The authors suggested that the present research showed that’ growth mindset intervention could improve academic outcomes.

 

Source (Open Access): Yeager, D. S., Hanselman, P., Walton, G. M., Murray, J. S., Crosnoe, R., Muller, C., … Dweck, C. S. (2019). A national experiment reveals where a growth mindset improves achievement. Nature. Doi.: 10.1038/s41586-019-1466-yRead the rest

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 covered moral character, school discipline and class culture building.

Students completed online assessments of their depression level before and after the intervention. The study found that:

  • The depression level of students in both groups increased as measured by the post-test.
  • However, compared to the students in the control group, the increase in the level of depression of students in the experiment group was significantly lesser.

The authors suggested that comparing to correcting students’ behaviors, positive interventions which kept students intrinsically motivated could also help students improve their life in an effective way.

 

Source (Open Access): Zhao, Y., Yu, F., Wu, Y., Zeng, G., & Peng, K. (2019). Positive Education Interventions Prevent Depression in Chinese Adolescents. Frontiers in Psychology10, 1344.Read the rest

A review of classroom-based mathematical interventions

The Nuffield Foundation in the UK recently published a report from researchers at Ulster University that analyzes the outcomes of classroom-based mathematical interventions, and gives teachers access to a body of evidence that can assist them in helping primary school children with math.

The systematic review included studies that assessed the outcomes of interventions aimed at improving math achievement in elementary children. Forty-five randomized controlled trials were included along with thirty-five quasi-experimental studies. The studies were published between 2000 and 2017, and were mostly conducted in the U.S. and Europe.

The results of the review suggest that:

  • There are effective strategies teachers can use to help with learning math and being fluent with mathematical facts.
  • It also found there are many different ways teachers can support children to have a wide bank of strategies to complete mathematical problems, and for children to know when is best to apply them.
  • Technology in the classroom can also be helpful as long as these tools have been developed with a clear understanding of how children learn. 

The report concludes that the evidence base on mathematical interventions is weak, and recommends that researchers develop this evidence base by testing how effective mathematical interventions are in order to help teachers make evidence-based decisions to support children's learning. 

 

Source (Open Access): Simms, V., McKeaveney, C., Sloan, S. & Gilmore, C. (2019). Interventions to improve mathematical achievement in primary school-aged children: A systematic review. London, England: Nuffield FoundationRead the rest