Posts Tagged "research"

Print Versus Digital Materials: What the Research Says

Print Versus Digital Materials: What the Research Says

If your district is gearing up for an adoption this year, part of your selection calculation likely will be whether to purchase print or digital/online materials.  An article in the Hechinger Report  titled, “A Textbook Dilemma: Digital or Paper?” may be useful.

The article discusses Patricia Alexander’s review of research on this topic. Ms. Alexander is an educational psychologist and a literacy scholar at the University of Maryland. Despite numerous (878) potentially relevant studies on the topic, Ms. Alexander pointed out that “only 36 [studies] directly compared reading in digital and in print and measured learning in a reliable way.” Despite the need for further research on this topic, Ms. Alexander found that numerous studies affirm the finding that: “if you are reading something lengthy – more than 500 words or more than a page of the book or screen – your comprehension will likely take a hit if you’re using a digital device.” This pertained to college students as well as students in elementary, middle, and high school.    

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New Review: The University of Chicago’s The Craft of Research

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[Source: The University of Chicago Press]


 

 Learning List has reviewed The University of Chicago’s The Craft of Research –a supplemental print resource for Advanced Placement (AP) Seminar and AP Research courses. The book helps students identify and frame research questions, construct and support logical arguments, and draft and revise effective written reports.

The Craft of Research is divided into five sections that address the progressive components of the research process (e.g., “Asking Questions, Finding Answers”; “Making a Claim and Supporting It”) and the complementary roles of reading and writing in the process. Instruction emphasizes the value of knowing how to find, evaluate, and use information in a broad range of academic and professional contexts. The final section covers research ethics, including plagiarism, the use of inaccurate data, and the misrepresentation of alternate or opposing views. This section includes a “Postscript for Teachers” that discusses the importance of teaching research skills and provides guidance in creating meaningful research projects and assignments.

In conducting its review, Learning List interviewed university faculty who have used The Craft of Research in the classroom with students. Faculty underscored the product’s value in developing students’ ability to think critically about information, its sources, and its uses. They particularly valued the text’s treatment of argument, explaining that it helps students evaluate claims, collect reliable evidence, clarify the logic of their thinking, and respond to objections and alternate views.

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[Source: The University of Chicago Press]

About The University of Chicago Press*

Since its origins in 1890 as one of the three main divisions of the University of Chicago, the Press has embraced as its mission the obligation to disseminate scholarship of the highest standard and to publish serious works that promote education, foster public understanding, and enrich cultural life. Through our books and journals, we seek not only to advance scholarly conversation within and across traditional disciplines but, in keeping with the University of Chicago’s experimental tradition, to help define new areas of knowledge and intellectual endeavor.

In addition to publishing the results of research for communities of scholars, the Press presents innovative scholarship in ways that inform and engage general readers. We develop reference works and educational texts that draw upon and support the emphases of our scholarly programs and that extend the intellectual reach of the Press. We publish significant non-scholarly work by writers, artists, and intellectuals from within and beyond the academy; translations of important foreign-language texts, both historical and contemporary; and books that contribute to the public’s understanding of Chicago and its region. In all of this, the Press is guided by the judgment of individual editors who work to build a broad but coherent publishing program engaged with authors and readers around the world.

The Press also recognizes the obligation to match the form of our publications to our readers’ needs by pursuing innovations in print and electronic technologies. In our books and journals programs as well as in our distribution business, the Press pioneers new ways of extending the availability and accessibility of knowledge, and the intellectual exchange that thrives on them.

*The content in this section is provided by or adapted from The University of Chicago Press.

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Student Engagement Series (Part 2)

As discussed in our previous post on student engagement, educators hold different views of what it means for students to be engaged in learning. Not surprisingly, research has identified several dimensions of student engagement. These include behavioral engagement, emotional or psychological engagement, and cognitive engagement.  When students are behaviorally engaged, they participate in the academic as well as the social and extracurricular components of schooling.  When students are emotionally engaged, they feel good about their school and learning experiences, as well as their relationships with teachers and peers.  When students are cognitively engaged, they are invested in academic tasks and motivated to learn.  While behavioral and emotional engagement help to set the stage for learning, cognitive engagement has the strongest connection to improved academic outcomes.

There is some overlap between behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement in the six teacher conceptions of engagement identified by Harris  (2008) (i.e., behaving, enjoying, being motivated, thinking, seeing purpose, and owning); however, seeing purpose in learning and owning one’s learning are most closely aligned with cognitive engagement.  In our next post in this series, we will explore how educators can design lessons and select instructional materials that facilitate students’ ability to (1) see purpose in their learning and (2) own what they learn.

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Student Engagement: A Multifaceted Construct

Most policy makers and educators agree that student engagement is a critical to improving learning outcomes. However, as we have learned, student engagement is a multifaceted construct that lacks a clear definition. In developing Learning List’s editorial reviews, we interview educators who have used featured products with students, and we ask interview respondents to explain how products engage students in learning.  Some educators explain student engagement in terms of students’ on-task behavior and participation in class activities, others recognize engagement when students enjoy learning, and still others say students are engaged when they want to learn and value what they are learning.  Our experience is not unusual.  A 2008 study by Lois Ruth Harris that explored teachers’ understandings of student engagement concluded that “teachers do not hold similar understandings of what student engagement means.”  Through a set of semi-structured interviews with teachers, Harris identified six qualitatively different categories of student engagement among teachers’ views. These included:

  1. Behaving: Students are well behaved and participate in class activities,
  2. Enjoying: Students enjoy school and have fun while learning,
  3. Being motivated: Students are motivated and confident in their ability to learn,
  4. Thinking: Students think about  what they are learning,
  5. Seeing purpose: Students see the purpose in what they are learning, and
  6. Owning: Students own and value their learning.

Over the next few weeks, this blog will consider the concept of student engagement with a focus on how school administrators and teachers can recognize meaningful engagement and select instructional materials that support and enhance efforts to improve engagement.

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Grants and Funding Update

As a means to support educators in identifying resources that will meet their students’ needs, Learning List provides periodic updates about grants and funding opportunities focused on improving education. Today’s post highlights some opportunities that are currently accepting applications and proposals.

Take a Trip

Recognizing that some of the best educational experiences take place outside of the classroom, Target is currently accepting applications from educators for Target Field Trip Grants. The program provides grants of up to $700 to support field trips to museums, historical sites and cultural organizations for K-12 students nationwide. Applications for the 2013-14 school year are due by noon CST on September 30, 2013.

Be Creative

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation sponsors an annual mini-grants program for public schools and public libraries. The program provides up to $500 in funding for projects that foster creative expression in diverse communities. Grant applications for the 2014-15 school year will be accepted through March 15, 2014. More information is available on the Foundation website.

Get Some Action Research

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is offering collaborative grants of up to $3,000 for pre-service teachers, classroom teachers, and university faculty to conduct action research focused on improving the understanding of mathematics instruction in the PK-8 classroom. NCTM is currently accepting proposals for the 2014-15 school year with a deadline of May 2, 2014. More information about the grant program is available at the NCTM website.

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