< See All News

Research Festival Winners Focus on Technology

Though the 2020 College of Education Research & Pedagogy could not be held on campus due to coronavirus concerns, festival chairs Steve Przymus and Jennifer Smith moved the event to a virtual format. They shared student research posters online and announced the winners on Monday, April 20.

Thank you to all students who submitted their research, to judges Dr. Amber Esping, Dr. Miriam Ezzani and Traci Pettet, as well as all the faculty who supervised and encouraged submission of the displays of research and pedagogy activities conducted throughout the college.

2020 College of Education Research & Pedagogy Festival Winners

Undergraduate Category

Brooklyn Baldwin
Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Spanish; will pursue Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, Language and Literacy (Accelerated Master’s)
Mentor: Karrabi Malin

Encouraging Interaction Within Online Discussion

Baldwin investigated how interaction varies from online instruction to face-to-face instruction, something that became very timely and impossible to explore as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up around the world. She concluded that students interacted more in small groups, based on available data from a previously conducted study, but future research is needed when schools re-open to compare online and face-to-face discussions.

Master’s Category (tie)

Alyssa Livingston
Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, Mathematics
Advisor: Dr. Sarah Quebec Fuentes, Andrews Institute faculty

The Use of Technology in Elementary Mathematics Classrooms

Livingston researched how elementary mathematics teachers used and perceived technology in their classrooms. She interviewed 10 teachers from seven Texas school districts, finding that while many teachers use technology in their classrooms, they aren’t always able to choose and implement purposeful resources for mathematics applications. While technology offers many benefits, she found that there are also drawbacks such as privacy, device reliability and long processes from identification to classroom use.

Ali Smith
Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, Mathematics
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Matt Switzer, Andrews Institute faculty

Selecting and Implementing Manipulatives for the Elementary Mathematics Classroom

Smith wanted to research how elementary teachers select and implement manipulatives for mathematics lessons. She surveyed teachers from 30 schools in varying size school districts and blindly selected three teachers to interview and observe. While there were some limitations to the study, she found that within districts there was not a common consensus on how teachers chose math manipulatives, and that teachers used concrete manipulatives much more often than virtual. As expected, teachers most often chose manipulatives that were student-centered, aligned with their lesson and were pedagogically appropriate.

Doctoral Category

Megan Clawson, Lara Charles-Kuhlman and Jayme Simlin
Worked with Dr. Molly Weinburgh, Andrews Institute Director, Justin Botros, TCU IT Department and Dr. Clark Jones, TCU Biology Department

A Pilot Study: Investigating Science Discourse in STEM Undergraduate Classes Using Decibel Analysis for Research in Teaching (DART)

The group explored the use of DART analysis, developed by an NSF-funded project at San Francisco State University, and its classroom audio recordings to learn the relationship between productive discourse and student performance. DART recordings measure classroom sound and report the percentage of class time with no voices, one voice and multiple voices. They used two DART analyses and classroom observation visits, with more observation and data needed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Their limited data showed that students generally performed better and more consistently on exam questions when they had extended discussions in class on the topic. The group found that while further research is needed, DART could be a valuable tool to increase student discourse and performance.