An evaluation of a class Web site (CWS) tool to increase parental involvement in student academic life
Victor J. Aluise, Teachers College, Columbia University, United States
Teachers College, Columbia University . Awarded
This research explored scenarios under which Class Web Sites (CWS) can be used to positively impact parental involvement. The present research asked: what are the use conditions of a specific Class Web Site (CWS) tool by teachers and parents that coincide with reports by either or both parties of increased parental awareness or involvement? In order to answer the central research question, the following sub questions were examined: (1) What are the profiles and usage-scenarios of teachers who consider the CWS tool an effective means of increasing parental involvement? (2) What are the profiles and usage-scenarios of parents who consider the CWS tool an effective means of increasing parental involvement? (3) How did teachers expect the CWS tool might facilitate greater parental involvement, and were such teacher expectations fulfilled?
A statistical survey approach was employed. Participants were a subset of PreK-12 teacher-users (n=746) and parent-users (n=123) of the CWS tool. Participants represented 50 states plus Canada and Puerto Rico. Teacher respondents were from public, private, and parochial schools with heaviest concentrations in grades PreK-8 (n=534). Data was collected using online surveys. For each of the research questions, analyses of differences in frequency were conducted using the standard Chi-square test.
The results indicated significant differences by grade level among teachers in their goals for parental involvement surrounding usage of the CWS tool. In general PreK-3 teachers reported wanting parents to become more aware of class activities and to feel more connected to their classrooms. Grade 4-8 teachers reported wanting parents to be more aware of class requirements and to work with students to become better prepared for class. Parents across grade levels found teacher postings related to homework assignments most helpful, and most parent-users reported increased awareness and involvement as a result of CWS usage.
Teacher usage of the CWS tool varied significantly by grade level, as did teacher reports of the tool's effectiveness in facilitating parent-teacher communication and increasing parental awareness and involvement. Overall there is evidence that the tool best supports parental involvement for grade 4-8 parents and teachers.
Aluise, V.J. An evaluation of a class Web site (CWS) tool to increase parental involvement in student academic life. Ph.D. thesis, Teachers College, Columbia University.
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