CAREER CONNECTIONS TO TEACHING WITH TECHNOLOGY (CCTT)
This project was by the U.S. Department of Education, Grant Award #R303A970001. The opinions and findings are those of the evaluator and do not necessarily reflect those of the U. S. Department of Education.
EXTERNAL EVALUATION, YEAR 4
Karen C. Cohen
Karen C. Cohen and Associates
9 Cliff Road
Weston, MA 02493
1.0 Introduction and Methodology
2.0 Attainment of Goals and Objectives
3.0 Impacts on Teachers
4.0 Impacts on Students
5.0 Availability and Sustainability
6.0 Hubsite specific Impacts
7.0 Conclusions and Recommendations
APPENDIX A—TEACHER SURVEY
APPENDIX B—STUDENT SURVEY
APPENDIX C—DRAFT INSTITUTE SURVEY
APPENDIX D—Teacher Survey Findings, 1998-2001
APPENDIX E—Student Survey Findings, 1998-2001
1.0 Introduction and Methodology
This fourth year of the CCTT (Career Connections to Teaching with Technology) has seen a great deal of consolidation and growth in the Consortium, its infrastructure, its development and development of a model standard-based professional development model and process for creating on-line educational lessons, units, courses, and resources. The project has established two mechanisms for disseminating and sustaining its products and efforts, and the evaluation in year 4 has focussed on comparing impacts of the project from its inception to the current time at all five of its current hubsites and documenting the attainments of Year 4 specifically.
1.1 Experimental Design
Two survey instruments, used in September, 1998 at the start of the project were replicated in May, 2001 with all of the teachers in the hubsite schools involved in the project and all of their students (The Teacher Survey and the Student Survey—See Appendices A and B.) A summary of the significant findings appears in this report. Full findings are available from the Project and the External Evaluator. We used these surveys to establish baseline data about technology use, use in the classroom, use in specific curriculum areas selected by CCTT, and these findings were reported in Year 2. Re-use of these surveys indicated significant impacts of CCTT for both teachers and students during the three year period. This design would be called a quasi-experimental pre-post comparison group design for survey instruments.
There were two statistical tests used to compare the earlier responses with the most recent responses to the surveys. Since names were not on the surveys to protect anonymity, each set of the survey results was treated as an independent group.
When item responses were quantitative, e.g., a Likert-like scale response or a continuous number such as hours per week or years experience, an independent group t-test was used to test whether or not the two samples of teacher or student respondents could be considered drawn from a single population. If the size of the calculated t statistic is shown to result in a type I error (alpha) less than 0.05, the difference in the responses is considered statistically significant.
When the results were qualitative, e.g., whether or not someone used a computer at home or found that using a computer affected the difficulty of doing homework, a chi-square test was used with time as the second variable in the contingency tables. If the calculated chi-square statistic resulted in a type I error (alpha) less than .05, there was a significant relationship between the result and time, i.e. a significant difference between the two times.
In addition to the survey instruments mentioned above, the evaluation developed a new instrument (See Appendix C) to assess the impact of the model professional development standards-based curriculum development process CCTT has produced which also address a range of GPRA objectives and topics such as motivation, preparation, reactions to the institute, follow-on activities and support, implementation, barriers to implementation and demographic information.
During Year 4 we also were actively involved as participant observers in all full project meetings, provided formative feedback on all project issues discussed through CCTT’s on-line forum, reviewed project materials, and helped developed processes for project internal review of institutes and review of curriculum material appropriateness for publication.
2.0 Attainment of Goals and Objectives
The goal or mission of CCTT is to develop standards-based curriculum materials and deliver them to the educational community through integrated technologies.
During Year 4 of the project, several components of the project have come together to make this goal or mission a likely success by the end of the Project. The five hubsites schools involved (now all at the high school level) have contributed to the development of model curriculum materials and resources developed through a series of curriculum development institutes (piloted in year 4 with several planned for year 5). Including college faculty, subject-matter content and standards specialists, and high school teachers around specific subject matter areas in a series of institutes is the model process the project has developed and endorses. Organizing and providing templates and on-line resources for development and review and making them available for peer comment and review and ultimate publication on ALI (The Apple Learning Interchange) will make the educational materials freely available for the educational community. Final development, testing, tiered review and publication of several hundreds of units, lessons, courses, and resources is a major task of the five hubsite managers in Year 5.
Each hubsite and manager focuses on and coordinates development and review of a separate aspect of the project:
|Mainland High School, FL
||Mathematics and Physics
|Sprayberry High School, GA
|Manual Arts High School, CA
|A-Tech Academy, NV
|| and integration of resources
|Omaha North High School
||Science and Mathematics
| and Omaha Public Schools
It should be noted prominently, however, that all hubsite managers function as a group, and the CCTT consortium, led by Marshall Ransom (who has insisted that decisions be by consensus), has held together and shows likely promise of fulfilling its mission despite and, in fact strengthened, by its geographical diversity. The loss of the K-8 site at Fort Leavenworth, KS had helped the project focus on its infrastructure and offerings in a more realistic way. Targeting Grades 9-12 is something the remaining five hub-sites share, and collaboration for development and peer review, implementation, and comment is not only feasible but active throughout and among all of the members of the entire consortium.
The specific objectives of the project have been well and fully documented in the Project Report, and the external evaluation confirms those statements. The remainder of this report summarizes the research findings from external evaluation of the project as outlined in Section 1.0 above.
3.0 Impacts on Teachers: Summary of Significant Teacher Survey Findings
In brief, as a result of CCTT, teachers in all five hubsites reported having more technology in their classes (a student computer ratio of 9:1 vs. 25:1 in 1998, Internet access in their classrooms, printers, etc).They were personally far more advanced in their skills with technology and spent considerable time (unpaid and un-reimbursed) learning these skills, and their students were far more advanced, comfortable with, and more frequent users of technology.
Several measures showed increases on time teachers reported spending on technology related activities—learning to use technology from the start of the project until the present time, but only one dimension was statistically significant however—a decrease in the hours per month spent in CCTT project meetings. Time being finite, this was undoubtedly due to the significant increase in the percentage of teachers receiving 31-50 technology-related professional development hours—at the beginning of the project this number was lower than 30 hours. CCTT, therefore, is providing increased technology and professional development time to its teachers, and is not requiring “project meetings.”
There was a statistically significant increase in the percentage of teachers reporting computer equipment as well as other types equipment—internet access in their classes, printers of all sorts in their classes, etc.--being available to them.
There were statistically significant increases in the percentage of teachers reporting their students using the World Wide Web, in the percentage of teachers reporting their students using network communications, and the proportions of teachers describing the pattern of student technology use also changed over time. The percentage of teachers describing the student use of technology as Irregular, Individual decreased significantly and the percentage describing the student use as Irregular, Group increased significantly. This finding supports Year 3 reports of increases in student collaboration and small group work, and the benefits from their so doing.
There was a significant change in the percentage of teachers answering how long they had been a frequent user of technology. The percentage of teachers answering three months to a year decreased significantly and the percentage answering over three years increased significantly. This correlated with the number of years teachers reported being involved with the project. The percentage of teachers reporting that their school provided for out of classroom time for technology, however, remained essentially the same. The percentage of time, therefore came out of non-school, unreimbursed time (again, as reported in Year 3). Teachers also reported significant increases in their level of technology skill—in 1998 they were primarily at the “Entry” level, and there was a significant increase at the “Appropriation level.”
The student to computer ratio decreased over the two years. There was a significant decrease in the percentage of teachers reporting a ratio greater than 25:1 and a significant increase in the percentage of teachers reporting a ratio between 9:1 and 5:1.
There was a statistically significant increase in the percentage of teachers reporting having a dot matrix, inkjet, and/or laser printer in the classroom.
Almost all variables regarding teacher reports of their and their students’ use of computers showed increases from 1998 to 2001. For the percentage of students and teachers using computers in school, the increase was statistically significant.
4.0 Impacts on Students: Summary of Significant Comparisons Between 1998 and 2001 CCTT Student Surveys, September 1998-May, 2001
Nearly all (over 98%) of the students surveyed used computers. In Biology, Chemistry, Social Studies, Foreign Languages and Business courses, the percentage of students reporting using a computer in the class increased significantly. In Vocational Education, the percentage of students using a computer decreased significantly. There was a small but significant increase in the number of years students had used a computer, although that use was not in school—it was at home.
There were three areas where the percentage of students reporting help changed significantly, all decreasing. They were help from parents, teachers and other adults. Students were receiving more help (as reported in Year 3) in learning to use and using computers from classmates and peers, especially as their work in small groups (fostered by the project) increased.
There were seven areas where the percentage of students reporting using computers changed significantly. In the use of e-mail and chat rooms, the percentage of students increased significantly. For art/graphics, calculator based labs and interfaces and virtual reality GPS software the percentage of students decreased significantly. There were two devices where student use changed significantly. In both printer and CD-ROM use, the percentage of students decreased.
A significantly higher percentage of students reported the IBM or PC easier to use in the most recent survey than did those responding to the previous survey. Both Macs and IBM/PC’s showed a statistically significant increase in the percentage of students using them.
5.0 Availability and Sustainability
The Project report explains in detail the current and future work with Apple Computer Corporation, specifically “ALI”, the Apple Learning Interchange. This resource is being developed and hosted by Apple at no cost to the project (except for the collaborative suggestions for the design and offerings and their user-friendly presentation which is everyone’s goal). Through this exchange, the CCTT educational materials - curriculum units, lessons, and resources - will be freely available via online access. This technological infrastructure and delivery mechanism will assure the public of cost-free availability of some of the educational products of CCTT in all subject matter areas, K-12 nationally by the end of Year 5 of the Grant. CCTT is working, primarily through the Nevada Hubsite, to make this offering effective, attractive, user-friendly, and efficient not only for those in the consortium, but as a national resource as well.
Since the May, 2001 Project Report, a private not-for-profit corporate has been formed to market and sell the CCTT products that will not be in the public domain and to further support the consortium efforts and people. The corporate name is C2T2 Educational Systems, Inc. The project is leveraging its diffusion and dissemination activities at national conferences and meetings. This will promote the project, its authoring tools and standards-based exemplary development process, ActiveClassroom, an online teacher/student classroom environment (which can be monitored by school level and district level personnel), and other potentially revenue generating products. This private corporation will continue to support the efforts of the Grant and further its implementation and deployment. The corporation will also seek funding to further the mission of CCTT. This two-pronged strategy—fulfilling the Grant’s mission through making educational materials publicly and freely available and setting up a totally separate corporate entity to assure continuation and impact of the consortium’s activities was unanimously recommended by the CCTT Advisory Board. Both organizations, CCTT and C2T2 Educational Systems, Inc. are operating synergistically but autonomously.
6.0 Hubsite specific Impacts and Activities
Many impacts are occurring as a result of the CCTT grant in general, and those have been summarized above and are documented in the APPENDICES. Three outcomes have developed over the course of the past four years of research and development, trial and error, and collaboration and communication.
- At Mainland High School in Volusia County, FL (the LEA for the Grant and the Consortium), a Physics website has been developed by a teacher at the school which has had unparalleled impact. Full information and data can be found for her effort on her website, PhysicsLAB. Her survey questions were grouped into four categories:
On any given graph, a maroon bar represents responses from Year 1 (1997-1998), a green bar represents responses from Year 2 (1998-1999), a blue bar represents responses from Year 3 (1999-2000), and this year's responses (2000-2001) are shown by a purple bar. Under each graph, cumulative weighted averages have been provided. These averages are scaled between a value of 5 representing "strongly agree" through a value of 1 representing "strongly disagree".
Group work / Classroom organization
Internet technology / ActiveClassroom
- Sprayberry High School, GA, the locus for Social Studies, has created a resource center and on-line resources (although not curriculum units), which have had a strong and significant impact not only on the entire school, but across the consortium; and
- A series of pioneering workshops, bringing the NDL resources of the Library of Congress have been linked to CCTT through the efforts of the A-Tech Academy, NV hubsite manager team.
7.0 Conclusions and Recommendations
Year 5 of this project should see the fulfillment of all of its original goals and objectives as well as a well-launched effort to maintain, sustain, and further the results for the Grant’s mission. There is still a great deal of work to be done, but the project seems to be unified and enthused, not only about finishing, but furthering. We look forward to evaluating in so far as possible the outcomes of this visionary, pioneering project and its educational and technological contributions to the USA.
Copyright © 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
All rights reserved.