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Running head: Design Project


Design Project

Submitted by

Shenelle Mohammed (311100389)

EDID6512: Design Project

Coordinator: Camille Dickson-Deanne

Advisor: Camille Bremnor

17th of May 2020

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary .................................................................................................................................... 3

Introduction to the Problem....................................................................................................................... 4

Identified Problem ...................................................................................................................................... 6

Elaboration of the Need for the Design ..................................................................................................... 7

Intended Audience ...................................................................................................................................... 9

Literature Review ..................................................................................................................................... 11

Existing Solutions ...................................................................................................................................... 20

Proposed Designs ...................................................................................................................................... 28

Evaluation of the design using suitable research methods .................................................................... 39

Modifications for the design based on the evaluation of proposed designs ......................................... 44

Limitations ................................................................................................................................................. 45

Discussion and Conclusion summarises the solutions for the problem ................................................ 47

References .................................................................................................................................................. 48

Appendices ................................................................................................................................................. 51
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Executive Summary

This paper introduces an identified design problem at the Point Fortin Roman Catholic Primary

School. Research has shown that standard five students are currently scoring low in section three

of their Mathematics Practice test papers, in preparation for the upcoming Secondary Assessment

Exam (SEA). Students begin at first year and are gradually progressed in accordance with the

school’s curriculums until standard five (year 5). The concepts taught are scaffolded especially

from standard’s one to five. Despite this, many classes do not complete the syllabus on time and

students do not master the content taught. In preparation for the upcoming exam students have

little time. At the late hour teachers have resorted to giving practice tests and going through the

solutions with students. An online learning platform named Pennacool has also been used

alongside an after school online streaming named SEA results. Despite these tools being used

there are many identified shortcomings.

The aim of this design project is to provide a solution that aids in improving test scores in

section three of the Mathematics practice test paper, in light of constraints specific to the Point

Fortin Roman Catholic Primary School. This paper gives a justification of the need for the

design, description of the target audience, theoretical foundations that will guide the learning

design, existing solutions, a possible solution and modifications of the design. The overall aim is

to provide students with a concise, interactive and motivating resource based on research and

learning theories, that can help them easily revise for the soon coming exam and improve

Mathematics test scores.

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Introduction to the Problem

The Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) is used to facilitate the placement of students into

Secondary Schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The SEA exam is a 'high stake' exam

within the country and a student's performance has many futuristic implications. All schools are

not equal, nor offer the same learning experience. Some schools have a history of producing

island scholars, renowned scientists, engineers and doctors who make a mark on the international

arena, whereas some schools have a reputation/historical past of not having such pleasant

outcomes. Some schools attract opportunities from established organizations whereas some

schools have a poor reputation in behavior and performance. The opportunities presented at

prestigious schools for a child's future career far outweigh that of schools with no composite

scores (zoned schools, students with low scores). This makes the exam a highly competitive one,

and the number of students competing to attend a prestigious school given limited spaces makes

a students' performance a critical success factor when it comes to attending a school with desired


The Point Fortin Roman Catholic Primary School is located in the vicinity of Point Fortin

and has a record of producing students who perform well at the SEA exams, and whose students

win a percentage of the Atlantic Scholarships, in a program called "Point Fortin Finest

Leadership Development Programme". The Atlantic scholarships are offered to students that

obtain a defined composite score and the program provides financial support for the student's

secondary and university education. Since its inception, the Point Fortin's Finest Leadership

Development Programme has enabled recipients to achieve their goals to become professionals

in their chosen fields. Medicine, Geology, Law, Marine Biology and Veterinarian Medicine are

just some of the disciplines which past beneficiaries have successfully pursued. Kerry Singh, the
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alumna of the program, was the recipient of the 2007 President's Award for excellence in

academic performance, for scoring the highest in Additional Mathematics in the Caribbean

region at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (Cape) level. Other students on the

program have attained academic and sports scholarships to foreign universities.

The school not only desires to uphold this reputation, but improve on overall student

performance in the exam, and give its students the best opportunities possible, in sync with the

latest advancements within the educational sector.

The format of the exam tests students' knowledge, reasoning, and application of topics in

the subject, and students are required to think critically, and problem solve. Teachers have

related that students enter standard five struggling with these abilities, which can be seen in test

scores over the past six weeks.

Parents and teachers are very concerned about the issue, as performing low in the SEA

exam will not only affect the reputation of the school but will hinder a student's ability to attend

a prestigious secondary school that offers better opportunities than schools with no composite

score. This is so because the higher the students score the higher ranked school that a child is

eligible to pass for. A low score will also result in a missed opportunity to win a scholarship that

offers funding and access to opportunities beneficial to their career.

Mathematics test scores in the last six weeks have revealed that students are performing

poorly particularly in section three of the Math's paper which focuses on reasoning and

application. Low performance in this section can affect students' overall Math scores, which in

turn affects the student's overall composite score and the school that a child passes for.
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Identified Problem

Students at the Point Fortin Roman Catholic Primary School are currently scoring low in section

three of the SEA Math practice test papers, in preparation for the upcoming SEA exam. Test

results show low performance in this section of the paper which tests reasoning or the ability to

think critically and problem solve.

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Elaboration of the Need for the Design

Low performance in section three of the Mathematics paper will affect a student’s overall

test score which can result in students being zoned, (being sent to a school without a composite

score) while those with better grades pass for higher-performing schools in order of rank.

Acceptance into a prestige school or a school high in rank is based on a student’s

composite score, the better a student’s Mathematics score, the higher the probability of a child

attending a high performing school. For an eleven-year-old student, missing the educational

opportunity of attending a high performing school affects their long-term education and

development due to the unequal opportunities provided at lower-performing schools, thereby

making the SEA exam an important one. Students have also expressed through research a great

interest in passing for a high ranked school and its importance for their future career.

An article by (Hunte, 2020) shows a special award given to the highest performing

students in the country and the named school. The award was given out by Trinidad and

Tobago's current President Paula Mae-Weekes, with from left, Megan Ramoutar, San Fernando

TML, Siri Vadlamudi, Grant Memorial Presbyterian, Celine Roodal, Lakshmi Girls' Hindu

College, Sharvaani Rampersad-Maharaj, Naparima Girls High School, Le-an A Telesford,

Naparima Girls High School and Kavesh Sugremsingh, Presentation College San Fernando, all

recipients of the President's Medal, at a ceremony held at President's House. President Medal

winners obtain funding to complete the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees up to a

maximum of seven years at any ACTT recognized institution in the world. In order for students

to gain access to such opportunities, performance at the SEA exam is critical to pass for these

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Students have existing solutions such as, Edmodo and SEA results.

However, offers mainly practice quizzes and little to no resources which are not

specific to the class in question. Edmodo and SEA results offer online lecturers, quizzes, a

collaborative space and a forum where questions and answers are exchanged. However, these do

not provide a resource space, lectures are usually very long, and the class size is very big and not

specific to the class in question.

The students of Point Fortin Roman Catholic Primary School require a solution that

meets their specific needs in preparation for the exam. Research has shown that students are

unable to identify the strands being tested in questions, are unable to quickly determine which

formulas to apply and are having difficulty in applying steps to solving questions.

Furthermore, the recent interruption of school due to the Novel Coronavirus in early

March has led to a later exam date and no face to face classroom time. Teachers therefore have

no choice but to turn to alternative teaching methods for online learning and students are given a

greater responsibility to learn independently.

The goal is to provide a design that helps students of Ms. Samaroo’s standard five class

improve Mathematics test scores in section three of the paper in an attempt to achieve overall

improvement in Mathematics scores. The need is therefore for a specific design to help these

students with a solution that is user friendly, personalized, organized, relevant, collaborative, and

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Intended Audience

The intended audiences are the students of one standard five class at the Point Fortin Roman

Catholic Primary School. There are thirty-three students in the class consisting of both boys and

girls,11 males and 22 females. Students' ages range from 11-13 years old. The class teacher Ms.

Samaroo has been very instrumental in the student’s development. The teacher has divided the

class into three performance levels and have been working assiduously to improve performance.

Regular meetings are held with parents, extra lessons are given on mornings, practice tests are

given every Tuesday and Thursday and the solutions are thoroughly explained. Since the COVID

19 pandemic, the teacher has also provided practice questions and solutions daily and short video

clips to help with revision of the concepts.

The teacher has also given support in this research project and has been assisting in

providing information, endorsing the support of parents and in giving relevant feedback for the


Research has informed that students lack self-confidence and motivation to learn. A

positive attitude towards work is not seen and revision and homework are not completed daily as

students are not interested. Further investigation showed an average of 30% is below average and

approximately 70% are average students. The teacher has indicated that students were not taught

several of the basic concepts required for standard five and there is a lack of parental


Students are currently having challenges with section three of the Math practice test

paper and difficulty to think critically and problem solve. The research was also conducted

among the students and revealed 70% of students are kinesthetic learners whilst 30% visual. 30%

of students found that section two of the Maths paper was most challenging whilst 70% found
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that section three of the paper was most challenging. 71.5% preferred face to face learning whilst

28.5% preferred learning with technology. 100% of students had access to technology.

Research also showed that all students desired to perform well to either pass for a good

school, be independent in the future or to reach a career goal. Research also revealed that

students are motivated by their teacher, good grades, future career, and technology.
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Literature Review

According to Reigeluth (1983) “Instructional design is concerned with understanding,

improving, and applying methods of instruction. It is the process of deciding what methods of

instruction are best for bringing about desired changes in student knowledge and skills of

specific course content and a specific student population. In summary, instructional design is

concerned with optimizing the process of instructing."

Learning theories proposed for the design solution in this paper were selected from three

major paradigms of learning; behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. According to

Harasim (2017) “A theory is an explanation for why something occurs or how it occurs.

Typically, a theory is generated by a question or by curiosity and offers a response to that

question. A theory is an explanation that has been scientifically developed by scientists and

scholars using sate of the art research methods and information of the day. A theory if learning

aims to helps us to understand how people learn.”

The first theory that underlines this study is the Social Learning Theory. According to

Harasim (2012) "Vygotsky was an early and major force in advancing the importance of

collaboration for knowledge construction; he revised learning theory by moving the unit of

analysis from the individual per se to the individual in relationship to the environment and

interaction with others. He defined learning as a social process, based on language, conversation

and the "zone of proximal development", whereby we learn through contact and discourse with

an adult or peer more competent in the field.”

According to Leonard (2002) “collaborative learning has its basis in Lev Vygotsky’s

social development theory, in which it is postulated that social development and interaction play
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a fundamental role in the development of the individual learner's cognitive abilities, including

thinking, learning and communicating. Through the act of collaboration, learners share

knowledge, pool resources, and interact within the learning group to produce deliverables that

are theoretically more complete and robust than that which would be created by an individual

learner working alone." According to Leonard (2002) "closely related to the theory of enactivism

and co-emergence, collaborative learning also takes as a given, the fact that positive changes and

better learning results occur through the simple but continuous interactions among the learners

over some time.”

According to Harasim (2012) “Online Collaborative learning Theory (OCL) is proposed

as a new theory of learning that focuses on collaborative learning, knowledge building, and

internet use as a means to reshape formal, non-formal and informal education for the knowledge

age.” According to Harasim (2012) “OCL responds to 21st-century knowledge age requirements

and provides a theoretical framework to guide the transformations in instructional design.”

According to Harasim (2012) “Online Collaborative Learning theory provides a model of

learning in which students are encouraged and supported to work together to create knowledge:

to invent, to explore ways to innovate and, by so doing, to seek the conceptual knowledge

needed to solve problems rather than recite what they think is the right answer.”

Another constructivist theory in line with this thought is that of Jonassen (1996).

According to Harvey & Charnitski (1998) “Jonassen (1996) discussed using “mind tools” which

are computer-based tools and learning environments that have been adapted or developed to

function as intellectual partners with the learner to engage and facilitate critical thinking and

higher-order learning'.” According to Harvey & Charnitski (1998) “The functional role of

mindtools is twofold: (a) to extend the learner's cognitive functioning during the learning
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process; and (b) to engage the learner in operations while constructing knowledge that they

would not have been able to accomplish otherwise. According to Jonassen, mindtools support a

learning environment in which students can process information intentionally and meaningfully,

to build on prior learning, to elaborate on new knowledge, to interrelate new knowledge with

their prior knowledge, and to consciously reflect on their learning. He further suggested that

mindtools might be enhanced through collaborative and cooperative efforts between and among

students and teachers in the learning community. Mindtools, therefore, appear to offer a

supportive structure to a Vygotskian approach to mathematics learning.”

According to Harvey & Charnitski (1998) "Vygotsky's sociocultural theories appear to

support the change in the direction of mathematics education that is advocated by the NCTM

Standards. The standards call for students to become literate in a mathematical language through

which they can articulate, communicate and solve problems."

The second theory underlining this study is David Ausubel’s Subsumption Theory.

According to Rothwell (2008) "David Ausubel (1963) has developed the subsumption theory,

which has also had a profound impact on training. It is about how individuals master massive

amounts of material in the shortest time possible. New ideas are subsumed under what learners

already know. Ausubel is most famous for introducing the idea of advance organizers in which

learners are given a roadmap by which to navigate through a large amount of material."

According to Leonard (2002) "advance organizers are abstracts, outlines, and introductions of a

large body of content that help structure and organize the content to be taught. Advance

organizers are used to helping students learn a large body of new content more readily by

relating it upfront to previously learned information within the learner’s existing schema.”
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The third theory that underlines this study is intrinsic and extrinsic motivation theories.

According to Palmer (2005) “Motivation has been described as either “extrinsic” or “intrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation refers to doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable, and

extrinsic motivation refers to doing something because it has a separable outcome. Extrinsic

motivation, therefore, focuses on factors external to the individual and the task, such as rewards,

praise, privileges, or attention.”

According to Palmer (2005) “intrinsic motivation theory (White, 1959), a person feels

instinctive pleasure when he/she learns something new or succeeds in a challenging task. This

creates feelings of confidence and mastery that are self-reinforcing, so the student will be more

inclined to engage in future learning activities, simply for the enjoyment of succeeding. Intrinsic

motivation is generally considered to be more effective in promoting learning and achievement”.

According to Palmer (2005) “Lepper and Hodell (1989) proposed that intrinsic motivation could

be enhanced in the classroom by providing challenge, curiosity, fantasy, and control. Challenge

refers to a moderate level of difficulty that will allow students to experience a sense of mastery

and competence when they succeed.”

The fourth theory to be explored is Problem Based Learning Theory. According to Savin-

Baden & Major (2004) “problem-based learning has emerged relatively recently, being

popularized by (Barrows and Tamblyn 1980)”. According to Poikela & Nummenmaa (2006)

“Problem Based learning was first grounded in modern cognitive psychology theory which

suggests that learning is a constructive, not a receptive process, in which the learner actively

constructs new knowledge based on current knowledge." Problem-based learning confronts

students with a messy, ill-structured situation in which they assume the role of the owner of the

situations. They identify the real problems and learn whatever is necessary to arrive at a viable
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solution through investigation. PBL provides authentic experiences that foster active learning,

support knowledge construction, and naturally integrate school learning and real life.”

According to (Azer, 2008), "learning is a process that requires an understanding of its key

elements and continuous practice of its rules. The storage of information in our long-term memory

and our ability to retrieve this information and use it in different situations depends to a large extent

on the way we learn that information." PBL provides an ideal strategy to close some of the gaps

that may be faced in learning by providing an effective application element to education. It must

be noted that there are many teaching/learning options, but this choice depends on the desired


PBL can be incorporated into the instructional design through the use of case scenarios.

According to (Azer, 2008) "case scenarios should suit the learner's age group, culture, prior

knowledge, and expectations, and course designers should ensure that the scenarios are carefully

written with no ambiguity and reflect the educational objectives allocated for the case."

According to (Briggs, 2015), “Problem-based learning (PBL) was first introduced to the

field of education in the 1960s by medical education specialist Howard Barrows, who argued that

the teaching of medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada should be organized in a way

that emulated the reasoning of a skilled practitioner. (Briggs, 2015) Goes on to state “PBL has

been adopted in nearly every discipline imaginable.

According to (Briggs, 2015) “The reality is that learners who are new to PBL require

significant instructional scaffolding to support the development of problem-solving skills, self-

directed learning skills, and teamwork/collaboration skills to a level of self-sufficiency where the

scaffolds can be removed. Problem-based learning may sometimes produce what we call
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"headaches whilst learning" and so the implementation of PBL must be taken with care and


According to Becker (2005) “Many game-based learning environments already embody

the fundamental elements of varying learning and instructional theories. Learning through games

allows students to experiment in non-threatening scenarios and acquire knowledge through

practice and social interaction both with the environment and their peers.”

Pérez, Alba Duque, & García (2018) posit that numerous pieces of research highlight

successful educational outcomes derived from innovative education mediated by video games. The

article focuses on the description of the Game-to-Learn project, which aims not only to promote

the use of serious games and digital mini-games for the development of Multiple Intelligences but

also to analyze whether this methodology results in increased learning. Perez et al. present

extensive information on how the use of game-based learning improves motivation for learning

and the significant increase in student achievement in Math and Science.

Drigas & Pappas (2015) present some of the most representative studies which evaluate

the effects of video games on Mathematics achievement as well as the improvement of memory,

attention and cognitive skills. The authors put forward the notion that video games may

constitute useful tools in Mathematics education as they support children's comprehension of

fundamental concepts, but also motivate them to see positively the course of Mathematics.

According to Drigas & Pappas (2015) “video games seem to contribute to socialization

through collaborative playing. Players learn to think critically and solve problems through trial

and error. At the same time, video games give the users the opportunity for experiential learning
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within the acts and experiences gained, they broaden their knowledge and they get familiar with

new environments and situations.”

Ucus (2014), shows how Game-based learning can help students improve problem-

solving skills and makes it possible for them to interpret their society, nature and the world

around them through experiences. The author posits that using gaming in educational courses

encourages reflection and comprehension in learning. The resource provides pertinent

information relative to the research being conducted as it elaborates on the greater importance of

game-based learning in recent years indicating the importance a game has in a child’s world and

that learning is an internal process and that is why games are natural learning instruments in a

child’s life.

Dr. Patrice Juliet Pinder is a Bahamian born, noted international STEM (Science,

Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) based Researcher who has produced more than 30

research and teaching scholarly products, such as a STEM research book, book chapters, journal

articles, conference papers, and grant proposals.

Dr. Patrice Juliet Pinder recently conducted the Bahamas' 1st STEM GBL research study.

According to Pinder (2018) "The USA, China, Malaysia, Jordan, Turkey, and even some of the

Bahamas' Caribbean neighbors are using game-based learning (GBL) as a platform to deliver

interesting and innovative lessons in primary and secondary schools. The traditional "chalk and

talk" is no longer considered the norm in the teaching-learning process; but rather, creative fun-

filled game activities, which can be incorporated into lessons, are now considered the "way to

go" in teaching."
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Pinder (2018) reveals that "specifically, neighboring countries to the Bahamas such as the

United States of America (USA) and Jamaica are wholeheartedly embracing GBL as a way to

improve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) based learning within

Primary and Secondary Instruction. In a 2017 U.S. study, "K12 Embraces Video Games," it was

revealed that GBL can serve several critical functions: "can engage students, lead them to better

performance on tests, and can improve critical thinking skills (Whitmer, 2017).

Plass, Homer & Kinzer (2015) is a helpful resource that examines various learning

theories related to game-based learning and a useful model for designing game-based learning.

According to Plass, Homer & Kinzer (2015) "there are several ways that games can facilitate

cognitive processing; the situatedness of learning, transfer of learning, scaffolding and feedback,

dynamic assessment, information design, interaction design, and gestures and movement.” Plass,

Homer & Kinzer (2015) explains that “a cognitive approach to game-based learning is primarily

concerned with optimizing cognitive processing in the construction of mental models and with

the cognitive demand of processing the meaning of the various game elements, that is, the

cognitive load experienced by the learner during gameplay.”

Plass, Homer & Kinzer (2015) further posit that "a motivational approach to game-based

learning emphasizes that games can engage and motivate players by providing experiences that

they enjoy and want to continue. A focus on motivation considers learners' reasons for wanting

to play a game (e.g., their drives, interests, goals, etc.), and investigates how games can be

designed to enhance learners' motivation. Several key concepts from motivational theories are

relevant to the design of educational games, including intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation,

situational versus individual interest, and mastery versus performance goal orientations."
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Another approach mentioned is the affective perspective of game-based learning which

focuses on players' experienced emotions, attitudes, and beliefs and considers how the design of

the game environment impacts learners' affective state via affective engagement. According to

Plass, Homer & Kinzer (2015) "models and theories such as the differential emotions theory, the

control value theory of achievement emotions, and the integrated cognitive-affective model of

learning with multimedia, highlight the inseparable relation and mutual influence of cognition

and emotion during learning.”

The last approach mentioned is the sociocultural perspective on game-based learning

which acknowledges that learning is socially constructed and motivated. According to Plass,

Homer & Kinzer (2015) "This perspective also acknowledges the opportunities for social

engagement and contexts that games can provide when social interactions occur and investigate

to what extent these interactions can enhance learning.”

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Existing Solutions

The first existing solution used by standard five teachers is online learning. Teachers utilize by registering their students in the online program. is an online

educational program that offers practice and revision exercises for primary and secondary school

students working towards writing their SEA and CSEC exams. has created

several instructional videos that can be found on the website and YouTube, allowing students to

learn through technology. The program also follows the New 2019-2023 SEA framework by the

Ministry of Education. However, the program is filled with resources that are not specific to the

students and it is not interactive and engaging. Some hyperlinks and screenshots of this program

are shown below;
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The second existing solution is the use of Edmodo. Edmodo gives teachers the tools to

share engaging lessons, keep parents updated, and build a vibrant classroom community. The app

offers the opportunity for students to have access to teachers and students from various schools

across Trinidad and Tobago which offer various expertise. The environment also allows for the

electronic upload of assignments and questions that students may have. However, whilst the site

is very interactive and collaborative, it contains too many students and too many conversations,

taking away from a personalized space for students and teachers to interact. Secondly, it lacks

educational resources to aid in scaffolding.
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The third existing solution is ‘SEA Results’ which can be viewed at the following link; SEA Results is a live interactive program designed

specifically for SEA students as an after-school lessons program. Students sign in to the program

between 5 pm and 7 pm weekly to join in the live video tutorials and have the opportunity to call

in and answer questions during the program. The program includes a wide network of students

across the country who join in daily to participate in the live interactive sessions. The program is

also linked to Edmodo where students are given assignments throughout the week and graded.

Top performers are then mentioned on the TV show and exceptional pieces of writing are shared

with the viewers as a form of reward. In the collaborative space on Edmodo, students also can

interact with these same lecturers on the program and ask questions in an open forum which are
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also guided by the lecturers. This solution, however, lacks resources as offered in

and is a vast learning space unable to meet specific learning needs of the students.
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Another existing solution is the design of various interactive Math games available on

play store that are based on scaffolding and rewards. These games offer fun learning

environments that aid Math students. However, these apply to the United States-based schools,

are not specific to a curriculum and lack a collaborative space.

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Proposed Designs

The proposed solution is to combine and improve on the existing solutions, to create a

unique learning space specific to the needs of the SEA students at Point Fortin Roman Catholic

Primary School. The aim is to join the resource space in, the collaborative space

in Edmodo, the game apps for Math problem solving and the interactive video tutorials as used

in SEA results when creating this space. The intention is to create a learning exchange specific to

the standard five class of 33 students to assist with topics in the third section of the paper.

The solution seeks to improve, memory retention, critical thinking skills, problem-

solving skills, and application, with the overarching goal to improve students' performance in

Math. The aim is to create a collaborative, interactive, organized tool that involves the use of

technology and learning resources. The design of the environment would be based on Vygotsky's

social learning theories, Ausubel's Subsumption Theory, Motivation Theories, and Problem

Based learning Theories.

The first thought in creating this design involved the creation of PowerPoint presentations

for each strand tested in section three of the SEA Mathematics test paper. The aim of this design

was to provide a summarized resource on each topic being tested for students to easily utilize for

revision purposes.

Next an LMS template was used in the development of this solution which was

Schoology. Schoology is a web-based networking and communication tool with features to

support student engagement, assignments, attendance, grades, homework features share lessons

and resources among faculty, student and administrators. It is also known as a cloud-based

learning management system.

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Schoology provides a free and easy to use online learning environment for teachers and is

excellent for first time users. The course space allows for an organized upload of resources,

creation of assignments, assignment of badges for performance, and collaborative spaces through

discussion forums. This space was thought to be best suited given the size of the class and

because of the way the LMS is designed.

Now having created PowerPoint presentations and selecting an LMS to input those

resources, the most challenging aspect of this solution was the inclusion and organization of

resources and the creation of assignments and discussion forums based on identified learning

theories in order to meet the needs of the students and thereby improve test scores in section

three of the Math paper. PowerPoint presentations were designed along with topic summaries

and graphic organizers. Collaboration environments were created by including group work

among students.

The first two screenshots below show the course page “SEA Mathematics: Section 3”. At

the center a folder was created for each strand in section three of the Math paper. Under each

strand objectives, resources, discussions and assignments were uploaded. The app allows for the

easy upload of course material and the options to compete the unit or to save course to resources.

The resources are also easily accessible as one simple needs to click each resource to open.

What is emphasized here is organized resources with graphic organizers for each strand,

clear objectives, collaborative assignments and personalized learning with the use of an online

learning environment.
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SCREENSHOT 1 – Course layout

SCREENSHOT 2 - Objectives
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The third screenshot below shows the various awards that can be granted to students who show

exceptional performance in various areas. The honor of awards motivates students to perform

well and work hard in different aspects. The application also allows the teacher to create

different badges specific to the desired outcome.

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The next screenshot below demonstrates the easy to use attendance register for teachers to record

participation for the course.

SCREENSHOT 4 – Attendance Register

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Screenshot number five illustrates a tab where updates from the lecturer can be posted at any

point of the course.

SCREENSHOT 5 - Updates
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Screenshot number six reveals the gradebook. Students can be assigned grades for each

assignment and this can be easily tracked and tallied in a gradebook to show progress and


SCREENSHOT 6 - Gradebook
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SCREENSHOT 7 – Participants
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Screenshot eight demonstrates one of the discussion forums asking students to work in groups of

two to complete the question, providing adequate working and explanations for answers. The

aim of this assignment was to use group collaboration as a form of learning. The multiple

explanations provided will also aid in students reasoning as varying attempts to the question will

be presented.

SCREENSHOT 8 – Collaborative Assignment

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The next screenshot shows an example of an individual assignment. The individual assignment

gives the student the opportunity to apply the knowledge learnt, practice answering the questions

and it also allows for personalized learning. The teacher is able to directly liaise with the students

and the students with the teacher and here personal attention can be given.

SCREENSHOT 9 – Individual Assignment

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Screenshot number 10 provides and example of the Reflection assignment designed to help students

correlate all that was learnt from the resource section and from the assignments. Reflections also allow

students to make connections of past knowledge, new knowledge and knowledge that was gained.

SCREENSHOT 10 – Reflection Assignment

The following resources were created for each strand in section three of the Mathematics practice

test paper;
Prospectus 39

Evaluation of the design using suitable research methods

The method used for the evaluation of the design was pre and post testing. A test on section three

of the Math paper was given before implementing the design and presented in a table format to

illustrate students’ performance prior to the design. The design was then implemented by sharing

via watsapp and creating a performance support system to guide students in using the app. Once

students were given enough time to navigate the site, use the resources and complete

assignments a post test was given to measure whether there was an improvement in test scores.

An evaluation form was also used to obtain feedback on the designed solution so that

modifications can be made to the design.

Contact was first made with the school’s principal and class teacher, and permission was

granted before proceeding with any research conducted at the school and among the student

population. An explanation was also provided on the project and it was communicated that a

solution was being designed and to be tested among the students. Initially the plans made were to

conduct the implementation and evaluation of the solution face to face. Interacting with the

students face to face would have given the advantage of sparking interest into using the app,

motivating the students to working towards higher performance and somehow gaining their

commitment to participate in the project.

The presence of COVID 19 posed some major challenges in testing the design. Firstly,

the inability to meet physically with the teacher and students, secondly the inability to retrieve

pertinent research information in the school that was already collected by the teacher. Thirdly the

challenge of physically presenting and explaining the design to students. Last the inability to

physically conduct the pre and post testing. In light of these, new methods of testing had to be

explored. Students would be new to the schoology application and so face to face explanations of
Prospectus 40

the purpose and use of the design would have been ideal. Also, the inability to meet face to face

to conduct testing presented participation issues. Some students and parents were very inactive

and unresponsive during the period.

To combat this problem interviews were conducted within the class watsapp group with

permission of the teacher, in order to make up for the lost data that could not be accessed in the

school. Three tests were then given on section three of the Mathematics paper to again make up

for inaccessible data.

Research Methodology

The research design selected was a mixed method approach of both quantitative and qualitative

research. The Quantitative Method is best suited for measuring, ranking, categorizing,

identifying patterns and generalizing. The qualitative method however is better suited for

describing and interpreting. The quantitative design was suited to the research because the

research aimed to measure improvement in Mathematics and therefore a more numerical

approach was required. The qualitative design was suited to assist in gathering data about the

students, their weaknesses, preferences and options. This research helped with describing the

target audience and with developing modifications to the design based on suggestions.


In conducting the tests via watsapp, there were challenges. The pre-testing was

administered by the class teacher Ms. Samaroo, but not all students would have completed the

tests given. Between 10 and 12 students participated in the pre-testing. Each test consisted of five

questions, each question worth four marks each, totaling twenty marks for the section. Three

tests were conducted by the teacher in intervals and results were analyzed. The results showed
Prospectus 41

that 90%, 70% and 60% of students scored 16/20 and below over the three tests respectively,

whereas 30%, 50%, and 40% scored between 17/20 and 20/20 over the three tests respectively.

Therefore, the majority of students scored 16/20 and below whereas few students scored between

17/20 and 20/20 before implementation of the design.


Marks out of 20 Test 1 Test 2 Test 3

20/20 0% 0% 20%

19/20 10% 0% 10%

18/20 10% 30% 10%

17/20 10% 20% 0%

16/20 50% 30% 30%

15/20 30% 0% 0%

14/20 0% 0% 20%

13/20 0% 20% 10%

12/20 0% 20% 0%

6/20 10% 0% 0%

Out of 20 Marks 12 Students (120%) 12 Students (120%) 10 Students 100%

To implement the design, the Schoology link together with a performance support tool

was shared with the class to aid with registering and navigating the learning exchange. Due to

the challenge of not being able to explain the use of the app face to face, a performance support

system had to be created to combat the issue. Once the students were given time to navigate the

app and use the resources a post test was executed to test for improvement in test scores. The
Prospectus 42

post test scores are presented below. Surveys were also done via the watsapp chat to record

students experience and any recommendations. This survey helped with deciding on

modifications for the design.

In the post testing illustrated below. The design proved to be a success with room for

improvement. Based on the results 40%, 50% and 40% of students respectively scored between

17/20 and 20/20. On the other hand, 60%, 50% and 60% students scored between 16/20 and

6/20. Whilst students did not have a 100% improvement in test scores there was a slight

improvement in performance. What the research revealed is that more time spent with the

learning exchange is required and more interactive resources.


Marks out of 20 Test 1 Test 2 Test 3

20/20 0% 0% 0%

19/20 10% 0% 10%

18/20 10% 30% 10%

17/20 20% 20% 20%

16/20 40% 40% 30%

15/20 20% 0% 10%

14/20 0% 0% 10%

13/20 0% 0% 10%

12/20 0% 10% 0%

6/20 10% 0% 0%

Out of 20 Marks 10 Students (100%) 10 Students (100%) 10 Students 100%

Prospectus 43

As part of the evaluation of the deign an evaluation form was also filled to get information on the

students’ feelings, experiences, feedback, suggestions etc. The questionnaire was filled in by 10

students and nine questions were asked. 70% of the students responded that their experience

with the site was good but could have included more fun. The other 30% just responded good.

65% of the students recommended explanations of the material while 35% recommended more

videos and games. 60% of the students said the statistics resources was most helpful while 20%

said the measurement resource and the other 20% Geometry. All of the students interviewed

found number was the least helpful. 75% of the students found the site was wordy whilst 25%

had difficulties navigating. 60% of the students said the site was motivating and enjoyable whilst

40% did not find it motivating and enjoyable. 40% of the students found it was good to get help

from other students, 10% found it was good for company while 50% found it was a common

feature and not of much help.

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Modifications for the design based on the evaluation of proposed designs

Research conducted among the students hinted ideas for modifications of the design. The first

modification of the design was creating a performance support tool to aid with students

registering and navigating the webpage. This was not initially planned but proved very needful

due to not being able to implement the design in a face to face forum and guide students with the

registration process. The second modification was adding voice to the resources using a tool

named Camtasia. This tool allowed me to present the resources in the form of a video, with voice

and explanations. It also allowed me to upload these resources on the class watsapp page for

direct access and so that the teacher can remind the students to use the resource and so that

parents are also aware. This was important as one of the reviews coming out of the evaluation

was that students were not using the resources but instead attempting the questions without them.

The evaluation forms filled also showed that students desired more interactive resources and so

voice was introduced to the resources and uploaded in the form of a video. The videos were

created using Camtasia and can be viewed on the links below;

Modification 1

Modification 2
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The first limitation to the design and implementation of project was the prompt closure of

schools in the country due to the Covid 19 pandemic, which disallowed face to face access to the

teacher and students. This posed many challenges in gathering data, implementing the design and

testing the design. I was not able to get the full participation of class of 33 students via watsapp

and some students were inactive. Also, I was not able to explain the use of the learning exchange

and the use of the resources face to face. Hence, I had to depend on students looking at the

videos. Unfortunately, without the supervision as would be given in a classroom setting many

students did not interact with the app or use the resources. According to Ramlal in an article

written by Hunte (2020) “education has not been very effective during this period. Many

teachers have been using watsapp to communicate with pupils and parents but there are no

systematic programmes being used. Our teachers were doing different things. Some are doing

enrichment and remedial exercises, some doing curriculum. The once area where people tried to

stick with the curriculum and do work was the SEA classes, but education is just not effective at

this time.”

The second limitation to be discussed is the limitation of modifying the display of the

schoology app. Students this age preferred the use of attractive colours, animated characters and

sound etc. The website at least at the trial option does not allow for the inclusion of an avatar or

voki character. Moodle therefore was the first preferred option but was not available due to cost.

The third limitation was the culture of students. Research showed that students do not

know how to revise and instead depend on teaching in the classroom or after school lessons. It
Prospectus 46

also showed that most students had little parental intervention and supervision regarding their


The fourth limitation was the multifaceted nature of the project undertaken. Some

teachers interviewed during this time together with research, showed that even the Pennacool and

Edmodo sites were being upgraded during this time to improve the platforms. As students and

teachers use the platforms, suggestions are made, and hiccups resolved. As with the prototype

presented in this project their proved to be many pedagogical issues to be addressed among the

student population and creating a solution will demand more research, various testing and

evaluation of interventions proposed. It was also proven that as the prototype was being tested

more and more issues continued to arise that would aid in the improvement of the site. Therefore,

it was resolved that online learning will take time before results can be seen.

The last limitation to be discussed was limited technological knowledge. Today

technology can do so many things and so I believe the instructional designer may definitely have

to work alongside an IT specialist in creating instructional material for the 21st century. Some

examples of this is the creation of games, quizzes, virtual reality etc. Whilst the course MSc

Instructional Design and Technology provided an excellent introduction to education technology,

practice, experience and further training in the creation of material using technology is required.
Prospectus 47

Discussion and Conclusion summarises the solutions for the problem

In conclusion the research conducted at Point Fortin Roman Catholic Primary School proved to

be a very successful one. The research and observation from liaising with the principal, teachers

and students proved that there is plenty room for improvement in many areas that should be

explored. It also proved that the desired changes will not happen overnight but will take time, re-

assessments, more research, implementation, evaluation, and repetition of the process in order

successfully develop a working model. The research proved that online learning though

becoming very prevalent and needful, requires careful implementation and time so that students

can adapt to the new learning environment. Online learning requires discipline and commitment.

Especially for students at the primary level it requires supervision. Despite this, students liked

online learning, it is very needful, and it is up to us instructional designers to create a space that

is organized in such a way to monitor progress, supervise, teach and motivate.

The solution in this paper gave a good model that can be improved on and proved how

easy it can be for teachers to set up such an environment especially in this particular case where

physical schools were closed. The design did show a percentage of success as students test scores

improved by 30% and 20%. Students now still have an average of four months to prepare for the

SEA exam and as they continue to use the resources provided and the revision tips given it is

hoped that with the help of the teacher and the practice tests that Point Fortin Roman Catholic

Primary School will have very good results at the exam.

Prospectus 48


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Briggs, S. (2015, May 23). 10 Tips For Effective Problem-Based Learning: The Ultimate

Instructional Solution. Retrieved from

Becker, K. (2005). How Are Games Educational? Learning Theories Embodied in Games.

DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing

Views: Worlds in Play, (pp.1-6).

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Mathematics. International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering, 11(4), 62-67.

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Technology: A Vygotskian Perspective. US Department of Education.

Hunte, C. (2020, June 05). Online teaching ‘not very effective’ . Retrieved from



Leonard, D. C. (2002). Learning Theories A to Z. Greenwoord Publishing Group Inc.

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Palmer, D. (2005). A Motivational View of Constructivist Informed Teaching. International

Journal of Science Education Vol 27, No15,16, 1853-1881.

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American Psychological Association. 258 – 283. DOI: 10.1080/00461520.2015.1122533

Poikela, E., & Nummenmaa, A. R. (2006). Understanding Problem-Based Learning. Tampere

University Press.

Reigeluth, C. M. (1983). Instructional-design Theories and Models: An overview of their current

status. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

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Ucus, S. (2014). Elementary School Teachers’ Views on Game-based Learning as a Teaching

Method. 5th World Conference on Learning, Teaching and Educational Leadership,

WCLTA 2014. 401-409. Turkey: Elsevier Ltd. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.216

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What is GBL (Game-Based Learning)? (2013, April 23). Retrieved from EdTechReview:

(n.d.). Retrieved from

(n.d.). Retrieved from

(n.d.). Retrieved from

(n.d.). Retrieved from

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(n.d.). Retrieved from


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Appendix 1

Research Project Title: Design Project for MSc Instructional Design and Technology

Research investigator: Shenelle Mohammed

Research investigator contact: 319-4210

Research Participants Name: Ms. Branker Baptiste (Standard 5 Teacher)

Purpose of Research: This research is being conducted as a requirement for the completion of a

Design Project for the course; MSc Instructional Design and Technology at the University of the

West Indies Open Campus. The paper is aimed at investigating a potential challenge in an area of

interest, to identify a specific problem and create an instructional design solution for the

identified problem. The paper will be submitted to the University of the West Indies Open

Campus in fulfillment of the course requirements.

1. What would you say are the major challenges experienced in preparing students for

the SEA Math paper?

The major challenge I believe in preparing students for the S.E.A Math paper is the fact

that a lot of them have not been fully prepared and exposed to major concepts and skills

at the lower levels. Students are promoted to Standard four and have either not been

taught prerequisite skills and concepts or these skills and concepts were not explored and

reinforced in its entirety, therefore, creating gaps in students learning and understanding.

These gaps created in students learning make it very difficult to prepare students

adequately for the exam

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2. What section of the Math Practice Test Papers have students been performing


Students tend to perform poorly in Section 3 of the paper.

3. Why do you think students are having challenges with the Math Practice Test


The papers require critical thinking and problem solving, For a long time the culture of

our teaching and learning has not been centered around creating thinkers and problem

solvers or innovators, but merely regurgitators of information. This kind of requirement

requires a major shift in teaching style. What teachers do in the classroom matters. How

they do it matters. Strategies and methods must be shifted to accommodate this new

requirement in the exam coupled with adequate resources and proper physical


4. What do you suggest can be done to improve Math Test scores?

Math is the proper pedagogy and practice of concepts and skills. Proper planning of

pedagogy, properly executed at every level and adequate opportunities for practice and

reinforcement, from infants to standard five, I believe can improve Math scores, but it

must be a collective effort.

5. What new methods of learning do you suggest students will be most responsive to?

Students always respond to concrete ways of teaching and learning. They respond better

when they are provided with experiences that they can relate to. A student-centered

classroom where they feel safe to explore and respond. Activities that place them in a
Prospectus 53

mathematical situation. The use of technology in mathematics also adds flavor to their

learning, this is their digital era. When we empower students in these ways they respond.

6. Would you say that improvement in students Math test scores are important and if

Yes Why?

Improvement in student scores is indeed important. Scores indicate student's

accomplishments and abilities to progress through levels of reasoning and problem-

solving. It helps to inform planning and teaching strategies.

7. Why would you say students’ performance at the SEA exam is important?

Students performance and the S.E.A. level is important because it forms the foundation

for their secondary school level. Although it is a placement exam, their performance is

still an indication of their ability to function and build on the primary math foundation.

8. Please describe your students and challenges they may be facing in preparing for

the upcoming SEA exam.

I would describe my students as willing and talented in their unique way. The challenges

they face in preparing is the flipside of what I highlighted in my response to question one

above. There are a lot of gaps in the students learning and with the constraints of time,

this poses a great challenge for them in understanding deeper concepts. This group of

students has been afforded more time as a result of the current world pandemic however

the mad rush to move teaching and learning brings with it its layers of challenges.

Signature Interviewee: _____________________________

Research Project Title: Design Project for MSc Instructional Design and Technology
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Research investigator: Shenelle Mohammed

Research investigator contact: 319-4210

Research Participants Name: Ms. Indira Samaroo (Standard 5 Teacher)

Purpose of Research: This research is being conducted as a requirement for the completion of a

Design Project for the course; MSc Instructional Design and Technology at the University of the

West Indies Open Campus. The paper is aimed at investigating a potential challenge in an area of

interest, to identify a specific problem and create an instructional design solution for the

identified problem. The paper will be submitted to the University of the West Indies Open

Campus in fulfillment of the course requirements.

1. What would you say are the major challenges experienced in preparing students for the

SEA Math paper?



2. What section of the Math Practice Test Papers have students been performing poorly?


3. Why do you think students are having challenges with the Math Practice Test papers?


4. What do you suggest can be done to improve Math Test scores?
Prospectus 55




5. What new methods of learning do you suggest students will be most responsive to?




6. Would you say that improvement in students Math test scores are important and if yes






7. Why would you say students’ performance at the SEA exam is important?





8. Please describe your students and challenges they may be facing in preparing for the

upcoming SEA exam.


Prospectus 56













Signature Interviewee: Mrs. I.Samaroo

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Appendix 2

Online Survey for Students

1. Male or Female?

2. Age?

3. What is your favorite subject and why?

a. Math’s

b. Language

c. Creative Writing

4. Do you prefer learning face to face in a classroom or via online technology?

5. What is your preferred learning style?

a. Seeing

b. Listening

c. Doing

6. What would you say are your challenges with the SEA Math Paper?

7. What would you say is the hardest section in the Math’s SEA practice test paper?

8. What motivates you to learn?

9. Why is performing well at Math in the SEA exam important to you?

10. If you were to suggest an improvement to your classroom what will it be?
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Appendix 3

The Principal
Point Fortin Roman Catholic Primary School
Reyes Street,
Point Fortin.
Request to Conduct Research

Dear Ms. Adela Amour,

This letter serves to request permission to research your school. I am requesting permission to

review students' test scores for Math Practice Test Papers completed in standard five and to

complete interviews with the teachers of standard five classes at the school. The research is

geared towards investigating a potential instructional problem of interest and designing a

solution to solve the same. Kindly note that each student's name would be kept anonymous.

Kindly indicate whether permission will be granted for the same.

Permission granted Yes Permission not granted No


Shenelle Mohammed
Prospectus 59

Appendix 4

Research Project Title: Design Project for MSc Instructional Design and Technology

Research investigator: Shenelle Mohammed

Research investigator contact: 319-4210

Purpose of Research: This research is being conducted as a requirement for the completion of a

Design Project for the course; MSc Instructional Design and Technology at the University of the

West Indies Open Campus. The paper is aimed at investigating a potential challenge in an area of

interest, to identify a specific problem and create an instructional design solution for the

identified problem. The paper will be submitted to the University of the West Indies Open

Campus in fulfillment of the course requirements.

Letter of Parental Consent

Dear Parent,

This letter serves to request permission to view your child's test scores for Math Practice Test

Papers completed in the standard five class of Point Fortin Roman Catholic Primary School.

Kindly note that each child's name would be kept anonymous. The purpose of this request is to

empirically review test scores in the completion of a course requirement at the University of the

West Indies Open Campus. Kindly indicate whether permission is granted for the same.

Permission granted Yes Permission not granted No


Shenelle Mohammed
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Appendix 5
1) How was your experience of using the site?


2) What would you recommend that can improve the site?


3) Which resource was the most helpful?


4) Which was the least helpful?


5) What major challenge did you encounter using the site?


6) Did the resource help you improve you improve your understanding of section three of

the Mathematics practice test paper?


7) Was using the site motivating and enjoyable?

_______________________________________ ______________________________________

8) Were the discussions with other students helpful?


9) Would you like to continue using this forum of learning to help with revision for the

exam? If not, what medium would you prefer to use?