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Michelle New Research Synthesis June 19, 2012 EDET 755 Teaching math courses through distance education

Before beginning the Ed Tech program through Aiken, I already had an interested in the world of virtual education but after going through this program, I have gained a substantial amount of information on online education and my interest as only increased. My certification is in math and I have seen first hand how unmotivated students are in math classes. I have made it my goal to find ways to make math fun again for students and to use what they are familiar with and use everyday to help teach math. These articles below discuss varies topics ranging from asynchronous learning environments, fully online courses, and specific technologies that can be used for online math education. Articles Trenholm, Sven. (2007) An investigation of assessment in fully asynchronous online math courses. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 3(2), 41-55. Web. Retrieved June 15, 2012. This study was conducted at the State University of New York and included members of their Learning Network mathematics faculty. These faculty members teach their classes in an elearning environment. This study poses several questions that related to assessments used in e-learning classes. A three-question voluntary survey was sent out via email to each faculty member. The results showed that only 36% of the math e-learning courses are proctored and that developmental math courses had the greatest percentage of proctoring at 78%. The results also showed that if a e-learning math class is fully online, then more formative assessments are needed than summative. Assessment is a topic of great discussion the field of education. Ive witnessed online classes that dont include many assessments and if they do, the assessments are typically summative, not formative. Formative assessments allow the teacher to gauge progress during the course. This really helped me get a better grip on the idea that assessment is so important but may be even more important in online learning environments. Leonard, Jacqueline; Guha, Smita. (2001) Education at the Crossroads: Online Teaching and Students Perspectives on Distance Learning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 34(1), 51-57. Web. Retrieved June 15, 2012. The purpose of this study was to discover students perceptions on online learning in a university setting. The researcher used two education courses from an un-named large urban university in the eastern United States. These classes were taught both online as well as faceto-face. The findings from this study showed that most students were satisfied with their experience in the online course and felt that the class had met all of the requirements. The study also showed that the students in the online class participated more than in traditional classes. 60% of the students said that taking the course online provided them with a better

learning opportunity. This study validates my belief that teaching mathematics in an online environment can help increase math achievement as well as engagement in their learning. Hannum, W. H., Irvin, M. J., Banks, J. B., & Farmer,T. W. (2009) Distance education use in rural schools. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 24(3). Retrieved June 15, 2012. This study involved a 43 question survey (distributed all over the nation) that sought to determine how distance education programs were being used in rural schools. These surveys were completed over the telephone and 394 school districts participated. The study showed that most rural school districts were in fact using distance education in their schools. A large majority of the participants showed satisfaction in using distance education. This study also addressed barriers that might occur with the use of distance education. This study applies directly to my experiences in education. I grew up going to rural schools and went to college and did my preservice teaching experiences in a rural area as well. I was able to participate in a distance education program during high school and I really enjoyed it but in my experiences since, I have not seen many distance education programs being used. If I were to teach in a rural area in the future, this would be a good article to provide my school or district with in bringing in a distance education program. Stevenson, Katherine; Sewer, Louis. (2011) Creating a Learning Flow: A Hybrid Course Model for High-Failure-Rate Math Classes. EDUCASE Quarterly, 34(4). Retrieved on June 15, 2012. This article introduces a hybrid course model created at California State University, Northridge as well as discusses results from an implementation of this model at CSUN in 2008. The researchers gathered data over a span of seven semesters. The results of that study showed that before the implementation of the model, a very small percentage of students received a passing grade in that course and after the implementation of the model, that percentage almost doubled! Not only did the model produce better grades in students at CSUM, but it also increased deeper learning in the students. I found this article to be very interesting. Math is a subject that so many students struggle with and when they have to go back and re-take courses theyve failed, their motivation goes down. This course model really seems to help those students gain more knowledge in math and improve their motivation to learn. I like the flexibility of the course and the interaction with other peers or tutors if needed. Cavalluzzo, L., Lowther, D., Mokher, C., and Fan, X. (2012). Effects of the Kentucky Virtual Schools hybrid program for algebra I on grade 9 student math achievement. (NCEE 2012-4020). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. This study looked to find the effectiveness of the Kentucky Virtual Schools hybrid program for their algebra 1 course which contains both face-to-face classroom time as well as online instruction on student learning and achievement in the 9th grade. 47 schools were used in this study and were randomly assigned to either treatment or control conditions. This study took place over one school year. Surprisingly, the study found that the students participating in the

hybrid program (treatment) did not achieve higher math scores than those in the control group. I was shocked by this study. I would have assumed that those students in the treatment condition would have higher achievement than those in the control. I feel that this study needs to be extended and conducted again in different settings and maybe with different conditions. I believe this type of program being offered to 9th graders could be very beneficial in their success in the rest of their high school career. Wadsworth, Leigh M.; Husman, Jenefer; Duggan, Mary Anne; Pennington, M. Nan. (2007) Online Mathematics Achievement: Effects of Learning Strategies and Self-Efficacy. Journal of Developmental Education, 30(3), 6-14. Retrieved on June 15, 2012 from This study was conducted to show what strategies college students use as well as the selfefficacy they demonstrate when enrolled in online math courses. It also discusses the relationship between strategies, motivation, self-efficacy and achievement. 89 students were chosen for this study and were all students in a online development math course. Surveys were used periodically throughout the semester to get student feedback along with ongoing assessment done by the professor. The results of this study showed that there is very little difference in male and female achievement scores. Self-efficacy, motivation, concentration, and information processing showed to have a significant effect on a students final grade. The researchers also found a negative relationship that occurred between self-testing and achievement. I think this study has a good viewpoint in looking to what the students think of the online courses rather than just the teacher. In order to make online learning the most effective, we need to first know what the students want and need out of it. Bottge, B. A., Heinrichs, M., Mehta, Z. D., Rueda, E., Hung, Y., & Danneker, J. (2004). Teaching mathematical problem solving to middle school students in math, technology education, and special education class- rooms. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 27(1), 43-68. Retrieved on June 15, 2012. This study focused on sixth grade math students and which teaching approach works best for teaching students how to solve math problems. 17 students with disabilities were selected as well as 76 students without disabilities. These students were either taught using an enhanced anchored instruction or text-based instruction. The results of the study showed that the students who received the enhanced instruction were able to remember as well as transfer what they learned. Students with disabilities showed lower performance levels for each type of instruction. I liked how this study showed which method of instruction worked better for certain types of problems and assignments. This just proves that one type of instruction implementation is not best for all material. Differentiated instruction is key to having a successful learning environment. Akdemir, Omur. (2010-11) Teaching Math Online: Current Practices in Turkey. Journal of Educational Technology Systems. 39(1), 47-64. Retrieved on June 15, 2012 from This study was conducted to find the current practices of teaching used in Turkish Universities. The researcher studied design, teaching of material, assessment, and effectiveness of the online courses. Interviews were conducted with the faculty members to gather qualitative data. Results showed that math courses could be successfully taught online

and that Learning Management Systems were popular among the universities. The results also showed that universities with more advanced facilities effect the structure of online courses. My college did not offer any online courses and I think this article helps show how beneficial online education can be at that level. Its a great article to use when looking to begin a online learning program at a university or college. Phillip, Amara. (March 2011) The Online Equation: Can Online Developmental Math Courses Succeed Where Traditional remedial Courses Fail? Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, 28(3), 20. Retrieved on June 15, 2012 from This article addresses the issue of college students having to take developmental math classes when they first enter into college. The solution (so to speak) offered is to offer these courses in an online environment. The article discusses the many negative issues that are trending with online courses such as simply putting all material on the web and adding a discussion board. It also discusses programs that are making the necessary advancements to have successful online math development courses. I really think this is a great idea! So many students get so discouraged their freshman year of college because they have to take the remedial or easy math classes before they can move on to required courses. I think having these types of classes offered online could help with the self-esteem issues that come with having to take these classes. These types of courses also allow the students to pace their learning according to their needs. Allen, Elaine I (Ph.D); Seaman, Jeff (Ph.D). (2004) Entering the Mainstream: The Quality and Extent of Online Education in the United States, 2003-2004. The Sloan Consortium, 1-27 Web. Retrieved on June 15, 2012 from This study was conducted to determine the state of online eduction in the U.S. This study mainly focused on the nature of online education as well as the extent of online education. The study posed 5 research questions based on different aspects of online learning such as student satisfaction, growth of online courses, the role of online learning, etc. The results of the study found that the enrollment in online courses continues to grow and that most students seem to be satisfied with their online learning experiences. I think this study just goes to show that the field of education is continuing to become more technology based and that it is just as effective, if not more, than the traditional style of education that has been seen for so long. I believe that if this study is conducted continuously over the next few years, it would still show a growth in online course offerings as well as student participation in these courses. Roblyer, M. D. (1999). Is choice important in distance learning? A study of student motives for taking Internet-based courses at the high school and community college levels. Journal Of Research On Computing In Education, 32(1), 157. Retrieved on June 15, 2012. This study looked at changing from face-to-face courses to distance learning courses at the community college level. This study focused on gathering data on what factors motivate students to take online courses or traditional courses. The findings showed that the students who chose distance learning motivation was that they can control their learning. The findings also showed that those who chose the traditional, face-to-face, classes were motivated by being able to interact with their instructor and other classmates. This is a very informative

study that can really help those developing online courses understand what the students need and want from it. It can also help the developers to try to bring in the motivation to choose face-to-face classes into online courses. Online classes have a sufficient amount of opportunities for communication and interaction, if the developer chooses. Jessica Heppen (AIR), Elaine Allensworth (CCSR), Kirk Walters (AIR), Amber Stitziel Pareja (CCSR), Anja Kurki (AIR), Takako Nomi (CCSR) and Nicholas Sorensen (AIR). (2012) Efficacy of Online Algebra 1 for Credit Recovery for AtRisk Ninth Grade Students: Evidence from Year 1. SREE Spring 2012 Conference. This study was an efficacy trial used to determine the effectiveness of using online courses for credit recovery compared to traditional face-to-face credit recovery classes. The study took place in several Chicago Public schools and the target population was first-time freshman who failed Algebra. Students either got assigned to the online course or the face-to-face to course. The online courses were completed in a computer lab with a Algebra teacher present and the face-to-face course was presented as a typical credit recovery class would. The results of this were not available at the time of this annotation. My prediction for the results of this study is that those students participating in the online credit recovery class will have higher achievement. Students who fail and have to take a course again tend to develop an attitude about that subject and the teachers also develop an attitude about the types of students they will have in the credit recovery classes. Online courses allow the students to take hold of their learning and complete it at their own pace. It helps give them ownership, in a way. Heppen, J.B., Walters, K., Clements, M., Faria, A., Tobey, C., Sorensen, N., and Culp, K. (2012). Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students. (NCEE 20124021). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. This report provided the findings from a trial that was conducted to present the decisions of policymakers on making Algebra 1 available to eight graders online. This study was conducted in order to cater to the interest of the public and policymakers on making online courses available to K-12 students. The results found that students who participated in the Algebra 1 course online performed better than those who did not as well as these students then participating in advanced math courses when they entered high school. The results of this study show that my prediction for the previous is probably true. I would expect that using online courses in credit recovery would show higher achievement. Not only do students get to be in charge of their learning, but having it online and on a computer also intrigue the students as it is something they use everyday and are interested in using. Rauh, W. J. (2011). The utility of online choice options: Do purely online schools increase the value to students? Education Policy Analysis Archives, 19 (34), 1-18. Retrieved on June 15, 2012. This study looked at the value that is placed on the student in an online charter school in South Carolina compared to the value placed on them in a traditional school setting. (Value was defined as the likelihood of performing better on a standardized test). Results of this study showed that the students from lower poverty levels will achieve higher in a traditional

school setting while the students in high poverty settings will achieve higher in the online charter school. This study intrigued me because I went to a extremely rural and poverty stricken school in high school. I was somewhat surprised at the results, but after some thought, it become more clear to me. I would have assumed that the students with higher poverty levels would not be as familiar or comfortable with the technologies used in online education which may make it more difficult for them. However, I can now see how these types of students would rather take courses online; these courses are more convenient and dont require physical interaction between students and teachers. Lower poverty level students enjoy the social scene of going to school and class and that is the one thing online courses do not offer as much of. Barbour, Michael K. (2010) State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada. International Association for K-12 Online Learning. Retrieved on June 15, 2012. This study had already been going on for four years and this edition of the study continues examining the regulation of K-12 distance education in Canadian provinces. This edition was used to update information on the provinces and territories and the activity of K-12 distance education in each. The researchers sent a survey to each of the Ministries of Education as well as conducted follow-up interviews. Detailed data for each province and territory was included in the study. The overall national results showed that participation in some of the provinces and territories decreased from 2009 to 2010. Overall, however, the number of students enrolled in distance education rose from 2009 to 2010. This study can be used to help states all over the US understand that online education is effective and is becoming ever so popular! Graves, Laura; Asunda, Paula A.; Plant, Stacey J.; Goad, Cheser. (2011) Asynchronous Online Access as an Accommodation on Students with Learning Disabilities and/or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders in Postsecondary STEM Courses. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability. 24(4), 317-30. Retrieved on June 15, 2012. The purpose of this study was to determine if having asynchronous online access to course recordings is beneficial to students that have learning disabilities. Interviews were conducted during this study with 11 students. The results of the study showed that the students gained more from the asynchronous online environment. I really like this idea of giving students with disabilities access to course recordings! These students, specifically, tend to need extra help in remembering what was said or what the instructions were and this gives them the opportunity to take it upon themselves to get what they need. This also prevents them from having to get embarrassed to have to ask for the material again or instructions again. Dreon, Oliver; Kerper, Richard M; Landis, Jon. (2011) Digital Storytelling: A Tool for Teaching and Learning in the YouTube Generation. Middle School Journal. 42(5), 4-9. Retrieved on June 15, 2012. This article describes a first year teachers idea of tuning in to his students interests and chose to use YouTube as a teaching tool. This tool is considered to be digital storytelling. The authors of this article discuss how courses on instructional technology and specific content can benefit a teacher education program. The author goes into detail on the importance of digital storytelling and what the main elements are. The authors also offer some issues and

challenges that might occur with using digital storytelling. I LOVE THIS! I cant wait to look at his videos and find a way to do something similar in my own classroom! I think this is a great way for teachers to tap into what is trending right now! Barkand, J and Kush, J. (2009) GEARS a 3D Virtual Learning Environment and Virtual Social and Educational World Used in Online Secondary Schools. Electronic Journal of e-Learning. 7(3) V, 215 - 224. Retrieved on June 15, 2012. This article discusses the many opportunities that virtual learning environments and virtual social and education's worlds can be used in online secondary schools. The article discusses numerous virtual learning environment available to use in online or traditional classrooms. The authors also offer reasons why these virtual worlds and environments can be beneficial to use in the classroom. Ive never really looked into 3D worlds or virtual worlds and I really learned a lot from this article! I think these environments and worlds can be really beneficial in a classroom setting. These would definitely catch a students attention and get them more motivated to learn! Huffier, Scott. (2008) Succeeding at Math. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(3). 34. Retrieved on June 15, 2012. This articles main focus is on motivation in math classes. The author gives her personal experience in using Aping Learnings SmartHelp. She had her IT department merge NetOP and SmartHelp in order to best fit her students needs. One gives the teacher the ability to monitor what each student is doing (NetOP) and the other gives the students opportunity to work through lessons and problems and receive feedback (SmartHelp). A detailed description is given on SmartHelp and how it can be effectively used in a classroom. What a great idea for credit recovery or remedial classes. This is also a great idea for classes that may have more trouble prone students and need to be monitored. Tuttle, Harry Grover. (2007) Making Math Work. Technology & Learning, 27(8). 32. Web. Retrieved on June 15, 2012. This article discusses the different technologies available for math teachers of all all grades to use in order to help their students become more engaged and have meaningful learning. The author breaks the article down into the three levels of schooling: elementary, middle, and high. He gives numerous examples and descriptions of technologies that work best in that age level. I love this article! I really liked that they broke it down into the levels of schooling which makes it easier for a reader to find specifically what they need! Having access to all the technologies, however, allows the reader to explore technologies that may not be listed under their level but could be manipulated to fit in their level as well!

Conclusions Our field of education has changed dramatically over the past years and the changes do not seem to be letting up! These articles help educators see the many advances and opportunities that are available for incorporating technology into education. Most will agree that math classes are the classes that are least looked forward to in school as well as the classes that students have the worst attitude about. These articles help show math teachers that these new technologies can help change the view that students have about math and also help improve the level of achievement in math. Incorporating online components into the classroom or moving to a fully online math course can significantly increase students motivation as well as achievement. Making courses available fully online is not the only way to incorporate the internet into the classroom. Some articles discussed virtual worlds and environments that can be used in math education. There are many ways that teachers can incorporate what the current trends are into their classroom, they just have to be willing to do the research!