Qualitative Approach Used While Assessing Academic Progress after Introduction of Technological Changes and Professional Development Programsadmin / January 26, 2019
The assessment of effectiveness of students’ academic performance is significant for further improvements and measures that may be taken to change the situation at school or any other educational institution. In this respect, it is necessary to evaluate the current situation and conduct research to evaluate the situation after implementing changes.
The evaluation should concern the methods of teaching as claimed by students (measure if students are satisfied with teaching methods and practical implementation of curriculum using a rubric); instances of technology use in classes, student and faculty attitudes, or changes in teaching practices should be measured as well. Analysis of changes in the situation can show how effective the changes can be and what areas of academic activity should receive more attention even after implementation of changes into academic curriculum.
The purpose of the research consists in the evaluation of situation at an educational institution after the introduction of changes. The research is sure to demonstrate the most vulnerable areas of academic curriculum and technological advancement.
The results of the research will become the evidence for implementation of further practices into academic curriculum and professional development sessions. The purpose of the current research consists in assessment of effectiveness of changes and consideration of their further implementation.
The introduction of changes can affect all parties concerned and it is important to know how effective the changed are in terms of academic progress and satisfaction of students from practical implementation of academic curriculum. If the changes are really effective, researchers should share their experience and claim to make changes at a national level regarding all educational institutions of different academic levels.
If the changes prove to be ineffective, it is necessary to question a necessity of further application of those practices in the educational institution under consideration and prevent other institutions that face similar problems from introducing those changes.
In this respect, it is necessary to evaluate academic progress and effectiveness of teaching methods used by tutors after completion of professional development sessions and skills gained during those sessions to make students interested in class activities and get a feedback and constructive criticism on the strategies used after the reform.
It is necessary to note that every greater change involves minor changes that are sure to affect all areas relevant to the main field that should undergo changes. In this respect, it would be really interesting to take into account Guskey’s (1986 as cited in Walpole & McKenna, 2004, p.188) research and implementation of heuristic approach. “…staff development sessions [should] be targeted directly to changing teacher practice, that data collected to track the effects of that changed practice on student outcomes, and that these changes in student outcomes influence changes in teachers’ beliefs and attitudes” (Walpole & McKenna, 2004, p.188).
As the knowledge gained during professional development sessions can be applicable to real life situation in terms of education, teachers are expected to implement theory into practice during their classes, hence improving students’ understanding of the material and raising their interest and encouraging participation and constructive feedbacks on the curriculum and activities in class.
Significance of the Research
The research is significant due to its original idea to investigate the academic progress of students through their personal assessment of the changed curriculum, technological approach, and design. Analyzing students’ opinion, it is easier to explore the situation from inside, thus, learning the effectiveness of changes implemented after professional development sessions and other alterations introduced into academic process.
The importance of the research concerns the analysis of data and assessment of effectiveness of methods used to improve the academic curriculum, methods of teaching, and students’ involvement into activities.
The qualitative approach should be used for more effective collection and analysis of data. It is necessary to complete a survey so that all aspects were covered. As the research should be designed including two parts such as collecting information and evaluation of gathered data, the surveys and criteria should be designed correspondingly.
Thus, the collecting part should be designed in the form of a survey so that every student, parent and teacher could assess the situation concerning academic curriculum, technological implementation of innovations, and teaching methods.
Lodico, Spaulding, & Voegtle (2010) report about the parents’ participation in evaluation of the situation in academic curriculum ad progress of students (p.36); thereby, parents’ assessment of the situation is of crucial importance as it enables researchers to analyze the situation in general as viewed by all parties concerned.
However, it is necessary to complete questionnaires for parents and distribute those among parents during parents-teachers conferences. This will enable researchers to get a feedback from parents as well as from students.
Surveys can be considered the most appropriate method for applying qualitative approach to the institution (Creswell, 2003, p.5). The assessment criteria should be presented in the form of a rubric to define the practices applied to the academic curriculum as those that appeared to be effective, partially effective, or ineffective.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.
Lodico, M., Spaulding, D. T., & Voegtle, K. H. (2010). Methods in educational research: from theory to practice. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
Walpole, S., & McKenna, M. C. (2004). The literacy coach’s handbook: A guide to research-based practice. New York, NY: Guilford Press.