Improving Student Learning through Classroom Engagement:
Criminal Justice Database introduces students to Database Operations which is often taught in Computer Science curriculums. Due to the technical nature of the course material, some students can be overwhelmed. Based on the results from Student Evaluations of the course in the Fall Semester 2017, 81% of students who responded strongly agreed that the Instructor encouraged student participation. In the Fall Semester of 2016, 78% of students in one section strongly agreed and in another section, 84% strongly agreed. While these results are favorable, it was evident that some students were reluctant to respond to questions asked in class and it is hard to tell whether it was due to fear of failure or some other force.
There has been research related to integrating technology into the pedagogy of difficult subjects like Integral Calculus. (International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science & Technology. Dec2016, Vol. 47 Issue 8, p1261-1279. 19p.) Other research gathered student’s opinions about the implementation of Classroom Response Systems in university lectures. (Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences Volume 228), 20 July 2016, Pages 183-189. The findings of the Procedia research showed that students gave an overall positive evaluation of the Classroom Response System (CRS). It also identified CRS’s as enhancers of attention, participation, classroom dynamics, and learning. The success of the Classroom Response Technology (CRT) implementation is assessed by both Qualitative and Quantitative methods. The Qualitative methods uses data from the Student Surveys that are taken at the end of each semester. The Existing Survey has a question that asks about whether or not the Instructor encouraged student participation.
Prior to the implementation, the results from the surveys taken indicated that on average, about 80% of students strongly agreed. The expectation is that this metric should increase after the CRT implementation. Additional questions could also be added to the existing survey to gather additional qualitative data. Quantitative analysis was conducted based on the average student grade results before and after the implementation. If the CRT has the expected impact, the average results will improve over time.
The scholarly work completed during the summer of 2019 involved researching some of the secondary objectives identified during Phase I which was implemented during the Fall Semester of 2018.
The Phase II implementation was completed during the Spring Semester of 2019. During the summer of 2019, the Phase II results were analyzed and documented. In Phase II, there was a continued emphasis on using Top Hat to allow all students to answer every preplanned question asked during a classroom lecture. The Lecture room used for Phase II was much larger and there were no computers so students had the option of using either their own laptop or smartphones in order to participate. Top Hat was also used as a mechanized way to take attendance in class. A comparison of the manual attendance process that is normally used was made to the automated processes available in Top Hat.
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