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2017

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Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

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Full-Text Articles in Education

A Mixed Methods Exploratory Study Of Digital Literacies In Higher Education, Susan K. Shannon Dec 2017

A Mixed Methods Exploratory Study Of Digital Literacies In Higher Education, Susan K. Shannon

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This exploratory study examines the assessment of digital literacy in higher education using Kurtz and Peled’s (2016) digital literacy framework and assessment instrument. As information and communications technologies have grown over the last part of the 20th century and the first part of the 21st century, so has the socio-cultural environment (Kurtz & Peled, 2016; Roxin & Rusitoru, 2016). Literacy has grown from a simple concept involving the ability to read and write to a complex concept that includes many more competencies. A review of the literature shows the emergence of many new literacies (Šorgo, Bartol, Dolničar, & Podgornik, 2016). While much is written about new literacies in general, little is written specifically on the assessment of digital literacy (Ainley, Schulz, & Fraillon, 2016; Literat, 2014; & Mills, 2010). At the same time, institutions of higher education are attempting to align their educational objectives with the ever evolving digital landscape. The two questions driving this research are:

(1) Based on Kurtz and Peled’s (2016) digital learning domains, how digitally literate are Messiah College’s first year undergraduate students? and

(2) How do supporting digital files and text reflections and explanations extend Kurtz and Peled’s (2016) instrument assessing digital literacy?

Using an embedded mixed methods approach, participants of this study are Messiah College’s first year students who completed a survey instrument with quantitative and qualitative data collection components. Analysis included descriptive statistics calculations of the quantitative data, and qualitative content analysis (QCA) of the qualitative data. Results indicated Messiah College’s first year undergraduate students in the 2016-2017 academic year were digitally literate with a majority of students responding positively to six of seven of Kurtz and Peled’s (2016) digital learning domains (DLDs). One of the seven DLDs, information management, received an unacceptable reliability score of α = 0.53. The qualitative data: (a) added a layer of supporting evidence for all but one of the DLDs, information validation; (b) demonstrated digital literacies complexity; and (c) presented an additional relevant category, emotion; extending Kurtz and Peled’s quantitative assessment. A synthesis of the quantitative and qualitative components extended the independent results providing a detailed assessment of first year students’ digital literacy ...


Effects Of Grouping On 4th Grade Mathematics Achievement, Brian Marinelli Dec 2017

Effects Of Grouping On 4th Grade Mathematics Achievement, Brian Marinelli

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Questions involving the equitable distribution of mathematics instruction have been addressed since at least the early 1990’s. Since this time, little research has been conducted on the antecedents and effects of grouping elementary school students within homogenous mathematics groups. The purpose of this quantitative study was to compare the mathematics achievement of 4th grade elementary school students who were grouped in either homogenous or heterogeneous mathematics classes. A causal-comparative design was utilized in an attempt to find relationships between the independent variables of mathematics grouping level, sex, and ethnicity and the dependent variable of mathematics achievement. Data were ...


Research-Based Stem Educator Professional Development Rubrics For The Selection Of High-Quality Professional Development: A Mixed Methods Study Of Teacher Perceptions And Outcomes, Angela Hemingway Dec 2017

Research-Based Stem Educator Professional Development Rubrics For The Selection Of High-Quality Professional Development: A Mixed Methods Study Of Teacher Perceptions And Outcomes, Angela Hemingway

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Idahoans failed to recognize approximately $240M in 2016 when over 3,800 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs, with a median wage of $30 per hour, went unfilled. This further caused Idaho to lose $14M in state income tax receipts from these unclaimed positions (Idaho Department of Labor, 2016). To mitigate these economic losses, the Idaho STEM Action Center (STEM AC) was created to develop the STEM-skilled workforce that Idaho employers demand. High-quality, STEM-educator professional development (PD) is a critical component in ensuring students are equipped with the skills required to successfully thrive in the workforce and fill industry ...


Seeking Mirrors: A Study Of Student Selection And Use Of Culturally Relevant Texts, Suzanne V. Kromer Dec 2017

Seeking Mirrors: A Study Of Student Selection And Use Of Culturally Relevant Texts, Suzanne V. Kromer

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Despite a growing body of work involving culturally relevant pedagogy, methods for selecting culturally relevant literature, or involving students in the selection process, are poorly understood. The objective of this qualitative study of a seventh grade language arts classroom was to explore a process for students to assess and select culturally relevant literature. This study also probed how the implementation of culturally relevant literature impacted achievement, engagement, and interest. The resulting process utilized cultural relevancy rubrics and book previews, which led to a majority of students finding a culturally relevant novel. During the literature unit, student achievement rates were maintained ...


The Use Of Visual Arts In World Language Instruction To Increase Student Motivation And Attitude, Marilena Bevilacqua Martello Dec 2017

The Use Of Visual Arts In World Language Instruction To Increase Student Motivation And Attitude, Marilena Bevilacqua Martello

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Because of the complexity and changeability that characterize languages, language learners face a number of various factors in their quest to acquire a new language. Nevertheless, it is the level of motivation and personal attitude toward language learning that will determine their rate of success (Dörnyei & Csizér, 1998). The purpose of this study was to find out (1) whether there was a relationship between the use of visual art in world language instruction and student motivation, and (2) whether student writing skills improved when visual art was used for Content Based Instruction. The study used a mixed method research design ...


We Aren't Living Happily Ever After: Embodying Characters In Readers Theater To Promote Comprehension, Cassandra Angley Dec 2017

We Aren't Living Happily Ever After: Embodying Characters In Readers Theater To Promote Comprehension, Cassandra Angley

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Readers Theater is an old genre of Theater integrating oral interpretation and presentational Theater. The high interest of the scripts chosen for a Readers Theater production and the repetition of rehearsing text promotes fluency, expressiveness, and motivation. Readers Theater is one method that may support comprehension by developing students’ understanding of character. Very few Readers Theater studies measure comprehension. I set-up a study where nine fifth and sixth-grade students from a summer literacy program each embodied a character. I wanted to know if Readers Theater could help teach character comprehension. I created a comprehension assessment tool, called a Character Map ...


The Effects Of Pair-Programming In A High School Introductory Computer Science Class, Ken Manship Dec 2017

The Effects Of Pair-Programming In A High School Introductory Computer Science Class, Ken Manship

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

The following describes my research into pair-programming in a high school introductory computer science class. Research exists that shows the benefits of pair-programming in industry and post-secondary education. For example, in industry, well respected programmers often prefer pair-programming to a more individual approach and often produce better solutions. Furthermore, in post-secondary education, students show higher academic achievement and rely less on staff and instructors when paired with another student. There is not much research that investigates pair-programming in high school.

From January 2017 to March 2017 I explored the effect of pair-programming on my Exploring Computer Science class at Ridgevue ...


Form, Function, And Relevance Of Contemporary Language Resource Centers, Paul L. Sebastian Dec 2017

Form, Function, And Relevance Of Contemporary Language Resource Centers, Paul L. Sebastian

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation was conducted in order to better understand the interplay between form, function, and relevance regarding contemporary language resource centers (LRCs). Five language centers housed by four different institutions of higher education in the western region of the United States were examined. Two representatives from each of the five centers were interviewed either in-person or over the phone (N = 10). Data were collected in the form of semi-structured interviews, on-site visits, and research journal entries. The data were analyzed using a flexible combination of multi-level qualitative coding, descriptive statistics, and narrative analysis. This study confirms recent findings that have ...


Education: Ancient And Modern, Kyle Edward Eidson Aug 2017

Education: Ancient And Modern, Kyle Edward Eidson

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

John Dewey’s progressive education differed from the classical model. The entrenchment of Dewey’s progressive education at all levels of education has led to a decline in academic performance. The modern ideas of American education hardly resemble the ones it was founded on. This paper looks at a model of classical education adopted by the American founders—as well as classical education itself—and to Dewey, the preeminent scholar and philosopher of American, progressive education, whose aim was to develop an egalitarian society trained in non-traditional academics. The paper also looks at Dewey’s child-centered model that contributes to ...


Instructional Strategies For High School Ell Refugee Students In Mathematics, Seoyeon Lee Aug 2017

Instructional Strategies For High School Ell Refugee Students In Mathematics, Seoyeon Lee

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This study investigates instructional strategies used in high school mathematics classrooms to learn the way teachers modify their lessons to teach late-entry ELL students, including refugees with little or no formal education. Two separate ELL classes, two mainstream classes with mixed groups of ELL students and monolinguistic students, and one mainstream class without late-entry ELL students are observed for this study. Both qualitative analysis regarding teaching English language while using mathematics content, specifically vocabulary acquisition, and quantitative analysis as to how teachers spend their instructional time are used to present the findings of this study. The findings provide a forum ...


Implementation Of An Avid Elementary Program In A Technology-Rich Environment, Molly J. Large May 2017

Implementation Of An Avid Elementary Program In A Technology-Rich Environment, Molly J. Large

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to explore the innovations that occurred as the AVID Elementary program was implemented in a technology-rich school environment and the ways in which those innovations were communicated and adopted across the school. It examined how the AVID Elementary program functioned at the site and how teachers developed technology-enabled alternatives to traditional AVID strategies and materials.

The primary question for this study was “How is AVID Elementary implemented in a technology-rich environment?” A qualitative ethnographic case study methodology was appropriate for this study, and the study was conducted through an ethnographic lens that explored the ...


Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions Of Their Abilities For Technology Integration: A Mixed Methods Case Study, David James Mulder May 2017

Pre-Service Teachers’ Perceptions Of Their Abilities For Technology Integration: A Mixed Methods Case Study, David James Mulder

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This case study was developed to understand pre-service teachers’ perceptions of their abilities to integrate technology into the classroom, and to understand their perceptions of how those abilities developed. The case that was investigated in this study is the teacher preparation program at a small comprehensive college located in the upper Great Plains region of the United States. Utilizing a convergent parallel mixed-methods design, both a survey as well as semi-structured interviews provided data to understand pre-service teachers’ perceptions of their preparation for technology integration. The TPACK framework for technology integration (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) and self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1986, 1997 ...


Adaptation And Acceptance In Online Course Design From Four-Year College And University Instructors: An Analysis Using Grounded Theory, Sally J. Baldwin May 2017

Adaptation And Acceptance In Online Course Design From Four-Year College And University Instructors: An Analysis Using Grounded Theory, Sally J. Baldwin

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This study investigated the perspective of tenured and tenure-track instructors at public four-year colleges and universities involved in online course design. Using a classic grounded theory approach, 21 tenured and tenure-track instructors who had designed online courses for public four-year colleges and universities were interviewed about their experience. A pilot study was performed on this subject earlier that tentatively suggested instructors rarely use formal instructional design principles, yet their design tasks show a striking similarity to those formalized in the ADDIE model. In this study, the findings of the pilot study were expanded. Additional data helped develop a theory of ...


Using Learning Analytics To Predict Academic Success In Online And Face-To-Face Learning Environments, Lisa Janine Berry May 2017

Using Learning Analytics To Predict Academic Success In Online And Face-To-Face Learning Environments, Lisa Janine Berry

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This learning analytics study looked at the various student characteristics of all on-campus students who were enrolled in 100 and 200 level courses that were offered in both online and face-to-face formats during a two-year period. There is a perception that online education is either not as successful as face-to-face instruction, or it is more difficult for students. The results of this study show this is not the case.

The goal of this study was to complete an in-depth analysis of student profiles addressing a variety of demographic categories as well as several academic and course related variables to reveal ...


Students Perceptions Of Interactions In A Blended Synchronous Learning Environment: A Case Study, Sheri Lyn Conklin May 2017

Students Perceptions Of Interactions In A Blended Synchronous Learning Environment: A Case Study, Sheri Lyn Conklin

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

Social presence has been analyzed in online asynchronous environments within higher education. The current study was designed to garner insight into students’ perceptions of social presence within the Blended Synchronous Learning Environment (BSLE). This environment is unique since it includes both the face-to-face classroom and an online synchronous classroom in one environment. The research described in the current paper was a case study designed to examine the experiences of graduate students in two blended synchronous classes. Specifically, the research examined students’ perceptions of interactions within the BSLE. Analysis included an examination of how students described interactions with their peers, the ...


Higher Education: The Impact On Bosnian Women Who Came As Refugees To The United States, Belma Sadikovic May 2017

Higher Education: The Impact On Bosnian Women Who Came As Refugees To The United States, Belma Sadikovic

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This study examines the impact college education has on Bosnian refugee women who resettled to the United States. The research findings help us better understand the effect higher education has on female students who came to the United States as refugees, their self-sufficiency and their overall integration into their new society. Using Kunz’s refugee theory and Bourdieu’s theory on social and cultural capital as a theoretical framework, the study explores socio-cultural factors that enable and constrain the ability of Bosnian women to navigate the facets of higher education, and how those factors affect their self-sufficiency and overall integration ...


Impacting Instructional Practice In The Secondary Mathematics Classroom: Does Mindset Matter?, Tatia Totorica May 2017

Impacting Instructional Practice In The Secondary Mathematics Classroom: Does Mindset Matter?, Tatia Totorica

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

National and international testing data reveal that current mathematics achievement falls short of the mark, supporting the claim that existing mathematical practice is insufficient to meet our students’ needs. Research shows that experiential, social learning which emphasizes mathematical understanding over procedural mastery has more impact on student achievement, while widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics further supports the call for transformational shifts in pedagogy. Despite all this, the behaviorist orientation which dominates much of current mathematical practice persists. The barriers to change and the ways in which various interventions address those barriers was the focus of ...


Investigating College Instructors’ Methods Of Differentiation And Derivatives In Calculus Classes, Wedad Mubaraki Mar 2017

Investigating College Instructors’ Methods Of Differentiation And Derivatives In Calculus Classes, Wedad Mubaraki

Boise State University Theses and Dissertations

This case study investigates three college instructors’ instructional approaches and their mathematical discourses in the context of calculus (e.g., concepts of limit and derivatives). The analyses focus on ways in which instructors communicate limit and derivative concepts that are observed in the classrooms, using Sfard’s discursive framework (a communicational approach). In particular, instructors’ use of mathematical words while introducing derivative and limit concepts are analyzed, as well as instructors’ ways of using visual mediators such as symbols, numbers, expressions, and graphs are investigated. The findings of the study indicate instructors’ different instructional approaches and differences in their mathematics ...