What are the effects of iPads on Teaching and Learning? Description of Research Plan/ Methods

What are the effects on teaching and learning of introducing a 1:1 iPad initiative to Y6?

Methods/Intervention

The best approach to examine the effects the iPad has on teaching and learning shall be to use a mixed-method research design. Following an explanatory design, I will collect quantitative and qualitative data to provide a general overview and use the results to explain certain findings via secondary qualitative methods.

The study will measure a range of areas associated with the effect the iPad has on teaching and learning. The areas I would like to measure include:

1. Teacher use of the iPad – How often teachers use the device in lessons, for what activities the device is used and their feelings as to how the device has impacted on their practice.

2. Student use of the iPad – How often do students use the iPad in school, how often do the students use the iPad outside of school, what activities do the students use the iPad for. Students perceptions about the effects the device has had on their learning.

3. Parent Perceptions. What have the parents felt about the iPad usage. Have they noticed any marked changes in their children’s approach to learning.

The areas I would like to measure do cover a broad sample of those involved in the initiative. However, I feel that in order to collect valid data, I will have to survey the different parties involved in the initiative. The approach I have opted for will provide me with an opportunity to comprehensively do this.

I shall initially be using Survey Monkey to gather data on how teachers and students are using the iPad in a range of different lessons. Questions in the survey will make use of the likert scale in order to collect detailed data. Using the information collected, I would then like to interview a sample of the population about the 1:1 initiative. Interviews will be recorded (using the iPad’s Camera/ Video function). I will be using the data gathered to  examine the effect the devices have had on teaching and learning as part of our programme.

Evaluation

To evaluate my proposal, I shall following a number of steps. Firstly, I will consult with others involved in the initiative to ensure that the survey questions are focused on what we really want to know about our 1:1 iPad initiative and the effect it has upon teaching and learning. Secondly, I will conduct a pilot survey. The pilot will include a small sample of students and teachers involved in the initiative and the results will be analysed and adjusted appropriately before completing the final survey. The same process will be followed for the secondary interviews.

I feel that this research proposal will involve a large number of interested parties and therefore may need to see the formation of a research group. This will involve training in some of the methods involved and this will subsequently provide invaluable support for the project. The group will also assist in the evaluation stage particularly in terms of addressing ethical issues as part of the evaluation. Points for the group to consider will include: Confidentiality issues, proper treatment of comparison groups and obtaining informed consent from participants and preparation of transcripts of interviews. A timeline for different stages of gathering the information for the research will be constructed to assist the process.

(A further consideration would be to look for external help to assist with not only the evaluation but also the data analysis. This obviously would have to be discussed with members of the Senior Leadership. It is a possibility that would have benefits.)

Sample

The research seeks to investigate the effect iPads have on teaching and learning as part of a 1:1 iPad initiative at Harrow International School, Bangkok.  The initiative will involve our Y6 students and teachers (82 Students 12 Teachers). Given the size and number of those involved in the initiative, I feel that the sample should involve all students, teachers and parents involved in the programme. I feel that this sample will be well suited to the research question as it will allow for the collection of valid data which in turn will provide conclusive results.

Study design

This study shall use a mixed-method research design. Following an explanatory design, I will collect quantitative and qualitative data to provide a general overview and use the results to explain certain findings via secondary qualitative methods. The survey process will begin in January. This will allow the students and teachers 4 months to use the iPads as part of their educational toolkit. This time will also allow users to formulate valid opinions on how the device has impacted upon teaching and learning. When initial data is gathered from the surveys, different classes will be compared. As this year group streams different classes according to ability it will be of interest to the study to examine which different sets of data from different levels. This data can also be used to lead into the next stage of interviews.

Data sources

The data sources for this study will come from surveys and interviews.  The surveys are to be completed by all participants in the initiative and interviews will include a section of the sample. Questions in the survey will make use of the likert scale in order to collect detailed data. The surveys for different parties involved in the initiative will seek to gather data on the following:

  • Students – How often are iPads used as part of learning? Which curriculum areas are iPads used in? What tasks are you asked perform using the iPad? Which tasks are you required to perform more often? What do students enjoy using the iPad for? What else students would like to use iPads for? What are students perceptions on the effect the iPad has had on teaching and learning? How are iPads being used beyond the classroom? What impact has the iPad had on student achievement? What technical issues have arisen?

  • Teachers – How often are iPads used as part of their approach? What tasks are the students required to complete? How has the iPad been used as part of their pedagogical approach? What have been the benefits to learning? What have been the benefits to teaching? How are iPads being used beyond the classroom? What impact has the iPad had on student achievement? What effect has the iPad had on teacher effectiveness? What technical issues have arisen?

  • Parents – How often do children use the iPad at home? What types of task do their children use the iPad for? Has the iPad impacted on their child’s approach to learning? Has the iPad impacted on their child’s learning?

Following the collection and analysis of data from the surveys, a section of the parties involved in the initiative will be interviewed. The interviews will be used to provide further qualitative data related to the effect the iPad has had on teaching and learning.

Procedure

The 1:1 iPad initiative will start in September 2012. The research procedure will begin in January as this will allow the students, teachers and parents time to familiarise themselves with using the device (where appropriate) and formulate opinions. This time will also be used to form a Research Group to assist in the research and provide a role as part of the study evaluation. Prior to the procedure commencing, an information meeting will be given to parties involved in the initiative and the different phases will be highlighted. The research procedure will follow the following phases:

Phase 1 – Begin Survey 1 Design. There will be three different surveys for students, teachers and parents. Review survey questions with research group. Conduct pilot survey and review collected data which will be used to refine survey and complete Survey 2 Design. Survey 2 will be the main data source for the initial stage of the study.

Phase 2 – Survey 2 will be put onto Survey Monkey. The survey will be sent to all those involved in the sample to complete. For the students’ survey, lesson time will be allocated to complete the survey. This will be done either on iPads or Computers.

Phase 3 – Collect and analyse data from Survey 2. With Research Group analyse data and begin to design interview focus questions for interviews and decide upon which members of the sample will take part in the next phase.

Phase 4 – Interview sample of the various parties involved in the initiiative. The interviews will be recorded so as to provide more detailed analysis of the total data gathered. Complete transcripts of interviews. Research Group to be involved in the data analyses.

Data analysis

The data collected after Survey 2 will provide mainly descriptive statistics and will be organised and summarised and presented as graphs for analysis by the Research Group. The tools available within Survey Monkey provide solid quantitative analysis of the data. Initially, It is intended that the data gathered can be applied beyond the sample to the larger population and other case studies concerning the effect the iPad has on teaching and learning. The qualitative data collected will allow further examination of the numerical data, determine categories and perhaps develop new categories. The analysis will allow recording of attitudes, feelings and behaviours of the sample and will  create a more detailed picture in relation to the research question. The qualitative data collected when used alongside the quantitative data will be able to explain why particular responses were given. It is expected that after the analysis of the data, patterns and trends will emerge which will clearly highlight the effect the iPad has on teaching and learning, and, that many of these findings will point towards the positive benefits of using the device in educational settings.



1 Comment so far

  1.   Ed Fraser on September 29th, 2013          

    Would be really interested in how you got on? What were your results like? I’ve been asked to suggest how we would measure the impact of ipads in the classroom. I liked your article.

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