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Because effective use of technology must be supported by significant investments in hardware, software, infrastructure, professional development, and support services, over the last decade, we as a nation have invested more than $66 billion in school technology (QED, 2004). This unprecedented level of investment in educational technology has raised expectations of legislators and the public who are now looking for returns on this investment (Benton, 2002; CEO Forum, 1999, 2000), and therefore are calling for evidence regarding the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of technology in K-12 schools (Ringstaff & Kelley, 2002; Panel on Educational Technology, 1997; Melmed, 1995).
While complex factors have influenced the decisions for where, what, and how technology is introduced into our nation's school systems, ultimately, the schools will be held accountable for these investments. How can schools ensure that the promise that technology holds for student achievement is realized? What factors need to be in place to support the effective use of technology? What resources can school districts use to help them plan for technology that will have a positive impact on student achievement, and how can they justify that investment?
To help answer one of these many questions, the researcher proposes to utilize the UTIPS and ACUITY technology solutions for formative assessment to determine if these solutions improve student achievement and science CRT scores in High School Biology.
A. The Problem
The researcher will investigate if the use of assessment testing and analysis for USOE Science curriculum standards with the use of my UTIPS and ACUITY technology solutions will statistically increase test score results on end of year Science CRT testing.
The purpose of the Science Core Criterion-Referenced Test (CRT) is to measure student understanding of the science Core Curriculum. This is only one measure of student understanding in a standardized manner.
The test is composed of a set of multiple-choice questions which require students to select the best answer from four options. The Core Curriculum consists of content area objectives as well as Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs). Data available related to this test includes how the group of students performed in each of the subcategories of the curriculum (standards, objectives, and ILOs), student proficiency levels, and percent of students in each proficiency level.
The information may then be used as a piece of evidence in determining priorities for program and instructional emphasis and refinement.
B. Hypotheses and Null Hypotheses
1. The Null Hypotheses for the problem is straight forward. If at the completion of research the Science CRT results do not show a statistical increase, it will likely indicate that the use of these technology solutions does not improve academic progress.
2. The Hypotheses for this proposal means to address this challenge by utilizing structured technology solutions the researcher can use to immediately access student results in a format that supports informed classroom teaching and decision making throughout the school year. The researcher will build a quality computerized testing system that will support student achievement and provide specific assessment that will support informed instruction with the goal to increase Science CRT testing results.
1. This study will not include those students who do not participate from the beginning of the academic year.
2. This study will not include those students who are taught by instructors who do not participate in this study.
3. The study will not verify socioeconomic status.
4. The study will not separately assess the impact on ELL students.
5. The study will not separately assess the impact on Resource students.
6. The study will not include those students who are new to the Granite School District.
1. This study cannot control for student apathy on end of year CRT testing.
2. This study cannot control for dishonesty by the students in their regular assessment testing.
3. This study cannot control student participation efforts during the study year.
C. The definitions of terms
1. Current Year: Refers to the year in which the study is conducted.
2. Gradebook: The web-based computer grading system used by Granite School District. This online system allows students, teachers, and parent's access to student progress.
3. At-Risk Student: A student who, for one reason or another, including socioeconomic status and/or unstable home life, is at risk for not graduating from high school.
4. Walk-Away: Assessment developed by researcher created on researchers myUTIPS account.
5. UTIPS: (Utah Test Item Pool Server) is an online testing program which allows teachers to create tests. Students can take tests online, either at home or at the school. Tests can be printed by the teacher or the student. Tests printed by the teacher include an answer key. The completed student test can be viewed by the teacher. Test results are stored for 6 months on the system.
6. ACUITY: Developed by CTB/McGraw-Hill, InFormative Assessment solution chosen by Granite School District.
F. The assumptions
In actuality, the introduction of the IUTIPS opens wide prospects for the improvement of students' science achievements in the course of their learning.
First, UTIPS is an effective system that helps students to develop a systematic approach to learning, making it logical, reasonable and success oriented.
Second, the introduction of UTIPS needs significant financial resources to implement the UTIPS en masse.
Third, the introduction of UTIPS needs training of educators, who should come prepared to use UTIPS in their work with students.
Fourth, UTIPS contributes to the effective development of high school and improves the quality of learning.
G. The importance of the study
The importance of the study can hardly be underestimated. The rapid development of new technologies stimulates the wide use of technologies in education. In such a context, educators to find effective tools and strategies that can help them to use advanced technologies in the learning process and stimulate students to use technologies to improve their academic performance and to reach academic success. In addition, the use of UTIPS facilitates the interaction between students and educators and help them to improve their interpersonal relationship and, thus, improve the quality of education.
II. The review of the related literature
Today, the problem of the use of new technologies in the contemporary high school environment to improve the performance of students is very important and many specialists (Becker & Ravitz, 1997) research this problem in details. Therefore, the current study will need to focus on the study of the literature related to the problem of using technology, especially UTIPS in the contemporary high school environment to improve students' science achievements. In this respect, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that technologies keep progressing and researchers needs to conduct new studies over and over again to assess the full potential of using technologies in the high school setting to reach the desirable goal - to improve students' performance and scientific achievements. In actuality, technologies play an important part in the modern education and they affect the development of learning process and curriculum consistently.
In such a situation, the problem of using technologies by educators to improve students' performance arises. In this respect, the study should focus on the analysis of the current situation in the high school and the extent to which technologies are integrated in the modern high school education. At the same time, the study should take into consideration researches dedicated to the study of current needs of students in terms of using new technologies.
Furthermore, taking into consideration the potential of UTIPS in the contemporary high school and its effect on students' academic performance, the study should pay attention to the literature related to the practical application of using UTIPS in the contemporary high schools. In addition, it is important to study the justification of using UTIPS in the contemporary high school through the assessment of needs of students and their ability to use new technologies in the contemporary high school setting. On the other hand, it is necessary to analyze studies which provide the theoretical framework to the use of UTIPS and information technologies in the contemporary high school setting.
On analyzing the literature dedicated to the problem of using UTIPS, it will be possible to consider the full potential of UTIPS in the contemporary high school setting and its impact on the work of educators as well as students' performance in the modern high school.
At the same time, it is important to study the literature dedicated to the use of UTIPS in the contemporary high school setting to identify potential strengths, benefits and drawbacks of UTIPS. The evaluation of both benefits and drawbacks of UTIPS is crucial for the current study because it is important to prove that the outcome of using UTIPS in the contemporary high school will be positive and benefits of using UTIPS will outweigh its drawbacks. In such a way, the study is supposed to prove that UTIPS is worth applying in the contemporary high school because it will lead to the consistent improvement of students' academic performance and science achievement. Taking into consideration, the current situation in the high school and the overall quality of education, such improvement is important and, therefore, the study will prove that UTIPS is worth implementing en masse.
III. The data and the treatment of the data
A. The data needed and the means for obtaining the data
1. The researcher will obtain the previous 5 year's science CRT scores for Cyprus High School from the school principal.
2. The researcher will obtain a Biology pre-test score by administering a Granite District ACUITY First Term pre-test the first week of class. This serves as the baseline skills assessment for Biology.
B. The research methodology
C. The specific treatment of the data for each subproblem
1. Subproblem 1 (The subproblem is restated here)
a. The data needed to address the subproblem
b. The treatment of the data
2. Subproblem 2 (the same format for subproblem is followed here)
3. Additional subproblems are discussed in the same manner
IV. The qualifications of the researcher and any assistants
The qualification of the researcher should be at least at the undergraduate level. Preferably, assistants should have the same qualification level to conduct the research properly and obtain reliable and valid results.
V. An Outline of the proposed study (steps to be taken, timeline, etc.)
1. Introduction. This section focuses on the justification of the research, explains why the research is needed and what possible outcomes the researcher expects to obtain.
2. The problem setting. This section focuses on the definition of the problem and context in which the problem arise. The researcher should give insights on possible solutions and explain why the suggested solutions can be effective. This chapter should include the hypothesis and goals and objectives of the paper.
3. Literature review. This chapter focuses on the study of literature relevant to the proposed research.
4. Methodology. This chapter defines subjects and methods to be used in the study. The choice of subjects and methods should be described in details and justified. In addition, it is important to discuss limitations and delimitations of the study.
5. Results. This chapter describes results of the study, i.e. findings made by the researcher in the course of the study.
6. Discussion. This chapter focuses on the critical analysis and evaluation of the results of the study and their application in the contemporary high school setting. The discussion includes the evaluation of findings and assessment of reliability and validity of the results.
7. Conclusions and recommendations. The last chapter sums up the study, stresses key issues and major outcomes of the study. In addition, the chapter provides basic recommendations on the possible improvement of the proposed research and on further researches that can be conducted in this field.