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SED Education Technology Masters Cohort - Research Presentation

May 17, 2017

5:30 - 6:15 Poster Presentation

6:15 - 7:00 Top Research Presentations

  • Kurt Berg - Blended Learning
  • Carol Vickers - Student Generated Wiki Pages
  • George Reyes - Autism Support Network

dinner at Yard House

Links to all the research projects:


Alicia Ruvalcaba

This paper examines the effects of Latino parental involvement in their child’s mathematical education through the use of technology to boost students’ mathematical knowledge. The technology that will be used for this study is, Think Through Math. This study looked for ways to empower parents in supporting their children's math education. Parents were offered four parent sessions on technology that showed them how to e-mail teachers, check their child's progress/grades, and how to use Think Through Math. The parent program to support their children's math skills development. The results showed that there was a significant difference between an initial placement test and a benchmark test given. There was not a clear correlation between the parental involvement and the growth of student performance however there was evidence that parent involvement supported growth.

Amy Fuhr/Suddleson

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between homework turn in rates and digital or paper and pen assignments. On average, 7.08 students did not initially turn an assignment in when using a traditional pen and paper program, with 3.46 students not turning in the assignment at all. The study was to see if this would improve with a digital environment. The 31 students in the study were given access to Google Classroom and a digital version of the textbook to use in class and at home. With the digital environment, 7.07 students missed assignments initially, but 1.4 students never turned the missing work in. Though the number of students who missed assignments at first did not change, the number who never turned it in decreased.

Aylin Gharbighi

Describes the effects of computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) on students identified with learning or behavior disabilities placed in a general education classroom. One focus group comprised of 10 sixth graders with Individualized Educational Plans (IEP) was included in this study in a social studies class. Two units were planned for the study; one conducted using traditional teaching that included more independent work and a second unit was mainly using CSCL lessons that contained computer supported collaboration. The outcome of the students’ learning was compared using both quantitative and qualitative data. The results of this study demonstrated that the students with learning disabilities benefited both academically and socially with CSCL lessons incorporated in the classroom.

Carol Vickers

The effect of using a collaborative wiki as a study guide for tests and a final exam in a high school math class was examined. Two math classes were utilized; a control class using only a teacher created list of sample study problems for the final, and an experimental class using a student created collaborative wiki in addition to the sample study problems. Both classes took the same tests and final throughout the course. The students in the experimental class were given a survey after each test to check student like and use of the wiki. This experimental model of the class study guide makes students think about the mathematical concepts learned in class and make judgements about what is important. It also forces students to work collaboratively and help each other with their learning. The results of this mixed methods study were measured quantitatively by a comparison between scores from a written pretest in addition to assessments of student understanding given throughout the semester and the scores on the final exam. A qualitative study was also done by collecting data from student surveys. While student learning occurred, the results were inconclusive as to the effectiveness of using a collaborative class wiki study guide, due to the issues that are described herein.

Crystal Bruza

This paper will examine the effect that students doing homework with the use of online educational video assessment tools. Students can be disengaged when it comes to homework. In an effort to engage students in homework, teachers are now turning to educational videos through online avenues, such as YouTube, TeacherTube, Vimeo, Khan Academy, etc. When teachers assign educational videos to be watched, how can they be sure who watched it? How can they be sure that what was watched was understood by their students? Through the use of EdPuzzle, it is hypothesized that students will be more engaged, which should lead to higher achievement. EdPuzzle is one online educational video software that has a host of assessment tools. This hypothesis will be tested in two groups of seventh grade math students over the course of a six-week study. The experimental group will have homework on the online educational video assessment tool, EdPuzzle and submit work electronically, while the control group will do their homework using the traditional paper pencil method and submit it in class.

Donald LaMarr

The purpose of the study was to determine if giving students continuous feedback throughout the course would have an impact on their learning. Many time in the classroom, students are given assignments to complete and are not notified if they have done it correctly for several days. This can possibly cause students to form incorrect assumptions about their knowledge. In order to test this, I sampled a total of 140 students. 70 students were given assignments in the traditional sense meaning that they completed their work and then we corrected the answers together in class. The other 70 students used computer programs like Formative. Formative allows the teacher to add correct answers to an assignment so that students are instantly notified if their answer is correct or incorrect. As a result, the classes that used Formative performed marginally better on their summative assessments. While the data initially suggests not a significant difference, the students that used Formative performed better on problems that were math related on the test.

Fadi Beyrouthy

The 6-7-8 Computer Curriculum study tried to determine the effectiveness and success rate of the 6-7-8 Computer Curriculum, a series of courses on computer concepts and skills offered to grades 6,7 & 8 at a private school. After having completed the program, the skill level of the students in computer knowledge and use, use of multimedia, data and research, as well as programming and coding was evaluated. The evaluation of the program was made by comparing the skill levels mentioned as reported by the students in 9th grade, to that of the students who are just entering grade 6 and have not yet completed any parts of the 6-7-8 Computer Curriculum. The study showed an improvement and a significant increase in the evaluated skill levels and the increase was significantly reported to be attributed to completing the 6-7-8 Computer Curriculum.

Faruk Bidak

This study evaluated the effect of computer programming education on high school freshman students’ attitudes towards computer science field two high school 9th grade classes. Fifty-four students participated over a four-month period. Students had been provided a pre-survey which measures attitudes towards computer science before they started introduction to computer programming class. After four months, students had been given the same survey to measure if the class made positive attitude change towards computer science. Pre and post data was compared using t-test in SPSS. Besides the survey data I compared students’ participation and assignment grades. After one month into the class the averages of participation and assignment grades were recorded. Before the semester ends in December the averages of participation and assignment grades were recorded again. These data were compared to find out students’ interest in computer science. The data didn’t support a positive change in students’ attitude towards computer science.

George Reyes

The aim of this development project is to create an online virtual community to promote collaboration among special education teachers who work with students on the autism spectrum while simultaneously reducing their sense of isolation on general education campuses. This project examines the effect of establishing a community of practice (CoP) via the existing technology of the Internet and web design (Lave and Wegner, 1991). Usually, special education teachers comprise a small percentage of a school’s faculty in a general education setting. Their general education peers do not generally share the issues they face and the type of professional development they need. Convening the special education teachers of a school district in a physical location is impractical. Therefore, creating a virtual forum through which special education teachers can find the materials and interaction they need, would be the most time and cost effective solution to this problem. A solution is explored through the creation of the website,, which provides a virtual space through which special education teachers that work with students on the autism spectrum can find artifacts, lessons, examples, and curriculum that they need. The website will also provide an online forum in which they can meet one another, share ideas, and request advice.

Autism Support Teachers (ASTs) from LAUSD’s (Los Angeles Unified School District) Department of Special Education serve as monitors and mentors on the website. The website is organized around the Autism Support Team’s evaluative tool, the Autism Spectrum Disorders- Program Quality Indicators (ASD-PQI). This tool evaluates classroom environments according to a list of research-based indicators that lead to success in high quality programs. Thus, the website assists the ASTs’ work in providing collaborative coaching to special education teachers and offering classroom materials and resources to them. If a teacher requires more specialized assistance beyond what can be provided via the website, they can schedule a site visit by the AST in their local district via the website. The creation of this virtual resource will maximize the efficacy through which LAUSD can deploy autism support teachers to school sites that most need them, when they need them.

The website and its communication functions (discussion board and chat) are also considered for professional development targeted at special education teachers. The website aims to create a virtual community that connects special education teachers and support providers who work with students on the autism spectrum. In doing so, the physical isolation experienced by these educators can be overcome through the use of the virtual community facilitated by the website.

Jason Black

The high school academic environment often cultivates feelings of frustration, confusion and tension. For years, educators have been searching for methods that might lead to an increase in positive student engagement. This research project will focus on the effect that music may or may not have in this regard. Is it possible for music to become an effective tool that might help motivate students? This study will research this and other related questions. Data will reveal if music can or cannot have a motivational effect on student work in the research sample. The study will be conducted as follows: when students engage in their typical classroom activities, background music will be played and its effect will be monitored. This research will ultimately determine whether or not music is useful or detrimental to student work in general.

Kurt Berg

This study evaluates the effect of using blended learning to teach information literacy lessons in preparation for completing an annotated bibliography. One grade 11 honors U.S. History class participated in this study. One half of the class served as the control group and received traditional direct instruction. The other half served as the test group and received video instruction delivered via VoiceThread. The students viewed the VoiceThread based lessons in the library during regularly scheduled class time. The lessons were self-paced, which allowed the students to repeat sections that they had trouble understanding. This also freed up time for the librarian to work individually with students on an as needs basis. A pretest and posttest were administered to both groups. The instruction was delivered in a five-lesson sequence; each lesson consisted of an approximately 15-minute video with an embedded assignment to reinforce skills presented in the lesson. The scores on the pretests and posttests and the annotated bibliography were analyzed to determine if there was a statistically significant difference in scores between the test and control groups. A culminating student survey was given to the students for self-evaluation and for them to rate their experience with blended learning. Both groups showed marked improvement in their comprehension of information literacy as measured by comparing the results of the pretests and posttests, but there was no statistically significant difference in scores between the test and control group. An analysis of the student surveys showed that 100% control group liked being able to work at their own pace and repeat videos as necessary.

Kyle Ramstad

This study explores the use of the online computer-assisted instructional software Khan Academy for assigning students homework. Most students at Timber Creek School cannot receive help on their math homework from their parents, many of which never completed their formal education. Khan Academy allows students to receive tutoring at home through short instructional videos and guided practice problems. This study’s goal was to determine if the use of these tools at home could help increase student achievement in mathematics at this school. While conducting a sample of 68 8th grade students, Khan Academy caused a decrease in student homework completion and scores. It was not found to increase overall student performance when compared to traditional paper and pencil homework. Online homework does not appear to positively impact student achievement levels for middle school students

Lana Hulis

This paper examines the effect of i-Ready adaptive diagnostic on academic achievement with one fifth grade class of 33 students in a public elementary school located in the suburbs ofthe greater Los Angeles area. I-Ready is an Intelligent Tutoring System (ITS) used in this study to monitor and track students’ academic growth in both Math and Reading within the program. The study demonstrates if students’ time spent on the program correlated with their learning gains. Quantitative data from i-Ready is used to compare whole class and individual results from baseline assessments to mid-year assessments. Qualitative data is used to understand student perspectives of the program and if engagement factors contributed to learning gains. This study was conducted in hopes to aid educators with implementing i-Ready in the classroom, and to determine a time range for students to spend on the program for it to be beneficial to their education. In conclusion, quantitative data revealed no correlation between time spent on the program and learning gains. However, qualitative data claims that students felt i-Ready has engaging features and what the tutor taught helped them in the classroom and conversely.

Ryan Brawders

This paper examines the effects of using gamification, applying game mechanics to a nongame environment, in a traditional music classroom. High school music teachers with beginning band classes spend the first two months of the school year teaching students the basic mechanics of playing the instrument, and how to read and interpret the music. This process takes away from the time that the teacher can teach the students how to be better musicians. Instead the teacher must teach basic skills and reinforce these before the real learning can begin. A development project will be created to speed up the process of frontloading the musical content. The goal of the project is to teach the students the basic elements of music within a game to increase the visual recognition in the classroom. The game will be modeled after an overhead RPG (Role-playing game). The game will feature enemies that look like the basic rhythms in music so that the student learns them through repetition and desire to get better at the game.

Samantha Stern

This paper studies contemporary forms of providing feedback on students writing through Computer Enhanced Composition Feedback. Students need consistent, frequent and timely feedback to improve writing, which can be a struggle for a teacher to provide when servicing many students. Thus providing feedback through Computer Enhanced Composition Feedback can create a greater workflow assisting the teacher in being able to provide the feedback with greater ease. The study will utilize Doctopus, “Goobric”& for the Computer Enhanced Composition feedback. Thus seeking to answer, what is the most effective tool to provide writing feedback with electronically? The study approached the problem by providing feedback only on “Goobric” to one class and tool to another class over the course of September- February. Thus, measured both classes progress and successes on an Rubric for each paper, to see which class made greater improvements on their writing, to illustrate which tool is more effective way to provide feedback. Ultimately, the study showed that the tool itself did not create a significant difference and created the need for next steps in what students should do with the feedback

Verity Olliff

Educational technology is always a concern because of the inherent expense and longevity but it is also a viable challenge in the day-today classroom setting and in effectively using it to engage student learning and empower students. Modern educators spend time learning how to incorporate educational technology into their daily practices but is the time spent and the structure of education professional development effective and useful based on teachers’ personal opinions. After looking at previous research on professional development a study was created for a suburban high school in a small high school only district to overcome the hurdle of teacher adoption and help maximize resources for the students’ benefit. The study’s effectiveness was checked by surveys, class observations, one-on-one and small group specific lessons. The results of the study showed that this personalized approach is more effective and valuable to teachers. The conclusion of this action research project is that large group settings that feature an instructor showing educational technology is not effective for educators learning or a wise use of funds but rather a personalized manner that ensures understanding, immediate application and use, followed by the asking of questions that are extremely relevant to the day-to-day practices of a public high school classroom teacher, time for teacher practice, and finally continued follow up support is effective and will help teachers to ensure that students are engaged and empowered for their future educational pursuits. 


  Landon  Smiecinski

Last modified: Thursday, 7 December 2017, 8:25 AM