(a) reduce the amount of time spent by teachers answering redundant procedural and directional questions which are administrative in nature rather than educational
(b) increase voluntary student writing practice which acts as an indicator of student motivation to learn and has been correlated with improvements in student writing generally,
and (c) increase student writing achievement as measured by standardized writing assessments. Further, the purpose was to describe the differences between how instruction takes place in the designed learning environment when compared with instruction in a more traditional learning context.
Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education. Vol. 41, Iss. 1; Fall 2008. p. 113-140
Two major obstacles to using problem-based learning methods with writing in elementary school classrooms are the time it takes to design the learning environment and the time required for students to interact at their own pace with ill-structured problems used to spur student writing. This study examined whether game elements could be used along with Problem Based Learning (PBL) in a digital learning environment to improve student writing.
Purposes of the Study
The purposes of this study were to determine whether multi-user virtual environments that combine both strong instructional principles and basic game design principles can
The hypotheses addressed by this study included: 1. The amount of time that the teacher spends answering procedural and directional questions regarding the assigned and optional writing tasks in the treatment condition should be, at a statistically significant level, less than the amount of time spent by the teacher providing instruction in a face-to-face, traditional classroom.
2. The number of non-required writing activities completed by students in the treatment condition should be, at a statistically significant level, greater than the number of non-required writing activities completed for writing practice by students in a face-to-face, traditional classroom writing unit that includes the same objectives.
3. The quality of student descriptive writing achievement in the treatment condition should be, at a statistically significant level, greater than the descriptive writing achievement of students who receive instruction in a face-toface, traditional classroom writing unit that includes the same objectives.
The participants included 44 students in two fourth grade classrooms, split evenly between two teachers who commonly used face-to-face problem-based learning environments in their instructional methods. These students were quasi-randomly selected by the school's computer system for assignment to their respective classes; however, the classes constituted a convenience sample.
Results from this study included statistically significant decreases in teacher time spent answering procedural and directional questions, increased voluntary student writing, and improved standardized achievement scores on writing tasks.