The effect of four instructional methods, gender, and time of testing on the achievement of sixth graders learning to interpret graphs
Jerry Wayne Young, The University of Alabama, United States
The University of Alabama . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of four instructional methods (direct instruction, computer-aided instruction, video observation, and microcomputer-based lab activities), gender, and time of testing (pretest, immediate posttest for determining the immediate effect of instruction, and a delayed posttest two weeks later to determine the retained effect of the instruction) on the achievement of sixth graders who were learning to interpret graphs of displacement and velocity. The dependent variable of achievement was reflected in the scores earned by students on a testing instrument of established validity and reliability.
The 107 students participating in the study were divided by gender and were then randomly assigned to the four treatment groups, each taught by a different teacher. Each group had approximately equal numbers of males and females. The students were pretested and then involved in two class periods of the instructional method which was unique to their group. Immediately following treatment they were posttested and two weeks later they were posttested again.
The data in the form of test scores were analyzed with a two-way split-plot analysis of variance to determine if there was significant interaction among technique, gender, and time of testing. When significant interaction was indicated, the Tukey HSD test was used to determine specific mean differences.
The results of the analysis indicated no gender effect. Only students in the direct instruction group and the microcomputer-based laboratory group had significantly higher posttest-1 scores than pretest scores. They also had significantly higher posttest-2 scores than pretest scores. This suggests that the learning was retained. The other groups experienced no significant differences among pretest, posttest-1, and posttest-2 scores.
Recommendations are that direct instruction and microcomputer-based laboratory activities should be considered as effective stand-alone methods for teaching sixth grade students to interpret graphs of displacement and velocity. However, video and computer instruction may serve as supplemental activities.
Young, J.W. The effect of four instructional methods, gender, and time of testing on the achievement of sixth graders learning to interpret graphs. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Alabama.
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