卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
In-person vs. online collaboration in science

In an article published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, researchers studied whether online collaborative learning was more effective than in-person collaborative learning in middle school science classes in relation to students’ understanding of science concepts.

In the study, 90 eighth graders from five classes taught by two teachers at a Virginia public school participated over nine weeks. One teacher taught the experimental group and the other taught the control group. Following a pre-test using the Misconceptions-Oriented Standards-Based Assessment Resources for Teachers (MOSART), both groups were given traditional in-class instruction on the same science topics. At least twice a week, collaborative assignments were then given to the classes, the only difference being that the experimental group collaborated online and did not receive immediate teacher feedback on their theories, unlike the control group who collaborated in person. After nine weeks, the groups were post-tested using MOSART.

Results showed that the online group did not perform as well as the face-to-face group, increasing the amount of science misconceptions as compared to baseline.

Researchers reflected that online learning does not provide immediate teacher feedback and it is possible that students reinforce each other’s incorrect concepts when the teacher is not there to correct them.

 

Source: Wendt, J. L., & Rockinson‐Szapkiw, A. (2014). The effect of online collaboration on middle school student science misconceptions as an aspect of science literacy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching51(9), 1103-1118.Read the rest

The benefits of peer learning

Harriet R. Tenenbaum and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to examine results from 71 studies about the effects of peer interaction on learning. To be included in the review, studies had to include a comparison group. Peer interaction was defined as small groups of students working together to achieve common goals of learning. Approaches using more formal training, such as cooperative learning or peer tutoring, were excluded. The majority of the studies were conducted in the U.S. and U.K. and included more than 7,000 children between ages 4 and 18.

Published in Journal of Educational Psychology, their findings suggest that:

  • Peer interaction was effective in promoting learning in comparison with other types of learning conditions (effect size = +0.40) across different gender and age groups. In contrast, children working in peer groups were not more effective than children working individually with adults.
  • There was also no effect for group size, with findings suggesting that children learn the same amount in groups of two children and in larger groups.
  • Moderator analyses also indicated that peer interaction is more effective when children are specifically instructed to reach consensus than when no instruction is given.

The researchers conclude that although peer interaction does facilitate learning, the conditions and means by which this happens varies and depends on a number of moderating factors. They say the findings indicate that the benefits of peer interaction can be realized by educators if they create opportunities not just for discussion, but also for the negotiation of a shared understanding.

 

Source: Tenenbaum, H. R., Winstone, N. E., Leman, P. J., & Avery, R. E. (2019). How effective is peer interaction in facilitating learning? A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/edu0000436Read the rest

Math homework effort: Increasing autonomous motivation through support from family and school

An article published in Frontiers in Psychology examined how math homework effort among middle school students is influenced by adult support from family and school. The authors hypothesized that support from parents and teachers could promote the autonomous motivation of students by providing a sense of having free choice, and by generating interest.  

A questionnaire was distributed to 666 seventh and eighth graders from three schools in Hubei Province of China. The questionnaire sought information about students’ math homework effort, autonomous motivation, math teacher support, and parental autonomy support. The results were as follows:

  • Students perceived that parental autonomy support and math teachers’ support facilitated students’ autonomous motivation, which in turn enhanced their effort in homework.
  • Furthermore, students perceived that parental autonomy support directly promoted their math homework effort.

The authors concluded that parents and teachers should provide more support for middle school students’ math learning. Specifically, they provided three practical strategies to parents, namely: “try to understand children’s perspective when communicating homework and school life, offer meaningful reasons why homework is important and allow children to arrange their homework time.”

 

Source (Open Access): Feng, X., Xie, K., Gong, S., Gao, L., & Cao, Y. (2019). Effects of parental autonomy support and teacher support on middle school students’ homework effort: Homework autonomous motivation as mediator. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 612. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00612Read the rest

English vocabulary learning using a mobile app with a self-regulated learning mechanism

Technology-supported learning tools have become more popular in recent years. An article recently published in Computer Assisted Language Learning examined whether a vocabulary learning mobile app with a self-regulated learning (SRL) mechanism can help students with vocabulary learning, as well as improving their self-regulated learning abilities.

Forty-six fifth graders from an elementary school in Taiwan participated in this study. They are all EFL (English as a foreign language) students. Twenty-one of them were randomly assigned to the experimental group, while 25 students were designated as the control group. Experimental group students received a vocabulary learning app with a self-regulated learning mechanism containing five components, namely a SRL setting module, an English vocabulary learning module, a quiz module, a note module, and a goal reminder module. Students could set self-regulating goals, acquire vocabulary data and pronunciation files, take notes, take quizzes, and check their goals. Control group students also received a mobile app to support their vocabulary learning, but the app had no SRL setting module nor a goal reminder module. In a two-week period, students were estimated to use the app to learn vocabulary for at least five hours per week. Students were assessed through a vocabulary ability assessment focused on the dimensions of form and meaning in vocabulary, and through a Chinese version of the English-Learning Motivation Questionnaire. The results indicated that:

  • The experimental group students, both male and female, who learned with the app that had the self-regulated learning mechanism, performed better than the control group students.
  • The experimental group students also showed greater improvement in English learning motivation than the control group students.
  • The benefits of the app were more salient to learners who had a field-dependent cognitive style, that tends to perceive information in a more global way.

The authors noted that learners in the experimental group frequently checked their progress towards reaching the SRL goals. Therefore it was suggested that a ranking mechanism should be added to the learning app to strengthen students’ motivation to enlarge their English vocabulary.

 

Source: Chen, C.-M., Chen, L.-C., & Yang, S.-M. (2019). An English vocabulary learning app with self-regulated learning mechanism to improve learning performance and motivation. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 32(3), 237–260. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2018.1485708Read the rest

Improving behavior in schools

Social and motivational outcomes, Educational administration and leadership

The Education Endowment Foundation in the U.K. has published a review of the current evidence on approaches to behavior in schools.

The review, which was carried out by researchers at the University of Exeter, synthesizes the best available international evidence on approaches to behavior in schools. The goal is to:

  • Explain why students may misbehave
  • Review what types of classroom management approaches are most effective
  • Review what types of school-wide management approaches are most effective

The report, which offers schools some recommendations for improving behavior, suggests that universal systems are unlikely to work for all students, and for those students who need more intensive support with their behavior, a personalized approach is likely to be better.  

 

Source (Open Access): Moore, D., Benham-Clarke, S., Kenchington, R., Boyle, C., Ford, T., Hayes, R., & Rogers, M. (2019). Improving behaviour in schools: Evidence review. London, United Kindom: Education Endowment FoundationRead the rest