STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT USING WEB 2.0 TECHNOLOGIES: A MIXED METHODS STUDY
Dallas R. Malhiwsky
A DISSERTATION PROPOSAL
Presented to the Faculty of
The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska
Major: Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education
Under the Supervision of Dr. Aleidine Moeller
December 8, 2008
TABLE OF CONTENTS i
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 3
Purpose of the Study 4
Research Questions and Instrumentation 5
Mixed Methods Questions 6
Quantitative Questions 6
Qualitative Questions 6
Quantitative Data 7
Qualitative Data 7
Problem Context 7
Definition of Terms 8
Limitations of the Study 11
Significance of the Study 12
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW 14
Summary of the Literature Review 25
CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH DESIGN 26
Purpose of the Study 27
Mixed Methods Questions 27
Quantitative Questions 28
Qualitative Questions 28
Population and Sample 32
Limitations of a Concurrent Triangulation Design 35
Research Permission and Ethical Consideration 36
Appendix A: Model of Interaction 43
Appendix b: Asynchronous online interview 44
Appendix C: Classroom Community Survey 45
Appendix D: IRB approval from Community college 46
Appendix E: Informed Consent form 47
Appendix f: Beginning spanish pretest & posttest 49
Appendix G: Intermediate Spanish pretest & posttest 60
Appendix H: Irb proposal 75
Appendix I: diagram of research 78
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
“Fastest way to learn a language guaranteed” “Learn Spanish now!” These phrases, commercialized by various language software companies, poignantly reflect the marketing desires of these companies to play to people’s need for instant language learning. People want to be able to speak another language NOW! The impetus for this study was the realization that there are approximately 500 million Spanish speakers in the world, according to El Mundo the online newspaper version, likely making it the fourth most spoken language by total number of speakers. Spanish is the third most common language in use on the Internet, after English and German. Less than 20% of people in the United States know at least one other language. This is a language people need to know and they need to know it NOW.
As society continues to struggle with the realization that it is not monolingual, but rather a mixture of many ethnicities and languages, the dominant language of English increasingly dismisses the need to enrich lives with other languages and cultures. Language educators seek to design vehicles for language learning that are successful—beyond the surface of just language exposure.
The “melting pot” metaphor (Booth, 1998) was first used to refer to the assimilation of immigrants arriving in the United States. The term suggested that immigrants should adjust their cultures, values, beliefs and language to those of the dominant culture and language, English. Today, advocates for diversity favor the “mixing bowl” or “salad bowl” metaphor to visualize that even as individuals retain their identity, combining distinctive cultures can make our society stronger (Booth, 1998). This combination of cultures does not take into account the retention of mother tongues. It is still a common assumption for immigrants to learn English especially if they intended to become citizens.
The challenge is to realize this cultural metaphor while encouraging the existence and teaching of various languages in our departments of higher education. The development of language requirements aligns with the growing recognition of the world polyglot community. It is important to incorporate this fundamental need for language learning in teacher training programs because it will trickle down to language learning in K–12 classrooms where it is the most effective at becoming near native in multiple languages. This is particularly important as statistics show that K-12 classrooms are being taught by a dominant culture of White, middle class, monolingual, monocultural, Euro-American female teachers (Strizek, Pittsonberger, Riordan, Lyter, & Orlofsky, 2006). It is imperative that the growing future work force be well educated and multilingual to function in the global society. This, however, is not happening. Currently, over 90% of U.S. teachers represent the dominant White culture, and adhere to attitudes, beliefs, and values different from those of global community. This result is a problematic cultural mismatch between home, school and the larger world (E. Garcia, 2001).
This mixed methods study will address the impact of Web 2.0 technologies on the student achievement. A triangulation mixed methods design will be used, a type of design in which different but complementary data will be collected on the same topic and the results will be compared and contrasted. In this study, survey data will be collected using the CCS (Classroom Community Scale) created by Dr. Alfred Rovai (2002) and pretest and posttest data will be collected to measure the relationship between the factors which effect student achievement. Concurrent with this data collection, qualitative online interviews will explore the perceptions about Web 2.0 technologies and their use in online language learning for students at a Midwestern community college. The reason for collecting both quantitative and qualitative data is to bring together the strengths of both forms of research to compare the results from two different perspectives.
The pretest is designed to establish prior knowledge of the students in order to compare to the posttest data in order to measure student achievement. The pretest will be carefully designed to accurately access student achievement of a language.
Throughout the class, students will use Web 2.0 technologies in the course for assignments, communication and practice. After 10 weeks of working with the language and using Web 2.0 tools, students will be given the posttest to measure their achievement.
Along with the posttest students will also be given an online asynchronous interview where they will share their experiences and perceptions about the use of Web 2.0 technology in language learning. These interviews will be closely analyzed and themes built from student responses. Students will also be asked to complete an online classroom community survey to measure the level of classroom community built in their online language class.
During this experience, students will reflect on their use of Web 2.0 technologies, their achievement in the language and the level of classroom community. The study will measure student achievement before and after using Web 2.0 technologies.