Name: Brandy Shelton
Research Article # _2_ Critique.
The following form will be used to evaluate your critiques. Please attach this
rubric to the front of your critique.
APA Citation of the author (s) and title.
Swan, K., Schenker, J. & Kratcoski, A. (2008). The Effects of the Use of
Interactive Whiteboards on Student Achievement. In J. Luca & E. Weippl (Eds.),
Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and
Telecommunications 2008 (pp. 3290-3297). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
Edmonds, K., & Li, Q. (2005). Teaching At-Risk Students with Technology:
Teachers' Beliefs, Experiences, and Strategies for Success. Online Submission,
Retrieved from ERIC database.
Type of design or methodology was used.:
Quantitative (compared language arts and math scores from state testing), and
qualitative (teacher’s comments were examined).
Qualitative data analysis.
Educational issue being researched.:
Interactive whiteboards and their affect on student achievement in language arts
At-risk students and their success with technology based learning.
Research hypothesis, question or area of inquiry.:
Do students whose teachers use interactive whiteboards to assist in math or
reading/language art instruction perform better academically (on standardized
tests of mathematics and reading achievement) than those who do not?
Among classes where interactive whiteboards were used, were there differences in
usage between classes whose average test scores were above grade level means
and those who weren’t?
Explore the experiences and approaches of teachers who use technology to
instruct struggling students, and to examine the difficulties that teachers encounter
when using technology with at-risk learners.
Dependent variable(s) (if applicable.). :
Instructing with an interactive whiteboard in language arts or math.
Independent variable(s). (if applicable). :
Instructing without an interactive whiteboard in language arts or math.
Where does the research take place and who were the participants?
The research took place in a small city school district in northern Ohio. The
subjects were students enrolled in 11 elementary schools, 3 junior high schools,
and 1 alternative school. One-third of the school district’s student population
were minorities, with the largest number (21%) being African-American. Eight
percent of the district’s students live below the poverty line.
Research took place in a school district within Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The
participants were nine female teachers who work closely with at-risk students
using technology. These teachers have worked with secondary and adult students
who face learning barriers such as lack of English skills, repeated failure at
school, aboriginal descent, learning disabilities, and academic or developmental
challenges. Three teachers taught courses exclusively at a distance through online
learning, while the other six teachers taught at-risk learners in blended learning
How were data collected? Who collected it?
Researchers obtained scores from the Ohio Achievement Test (OAT) in language
arts and math from school administrators for the 2006-2007 school year.
Administrators also provided demographic information for the participating
students including students’ school, teacher(s), grade level, sex, race/ethnicity,
and IEP status. In addition, data concerning teachers’ use of interactive
whiteboards was obtained through an online survey completed weekly (for 10
The data collected were teachers’ reflection on their experience and beliefs about
teaching at-risk learners with technology. Participants answered 5 open-ended
questions: 1) How have you used technology with at-risk learners? 2) How
effective or successful was this mode of delivery with these students? 3) What
problems and key concerns did you have using this method with these learners?
Were you able to address any of these? How? 4) What suggestions and/or
recommendations do you have for other teachers in working with at-risk students
using technology? 5) Do you have future plans for continuing this kind of work?
How was the data analyzed?
In order to determine the relationship between interactive whiteboard use and
student achievement in math and language arts, the scores of students whose
teachers used interactive whiteboards in math and/or language arts instruction was
compared with the scores of students whose teachers did not use them using
analysis of variance (ANOVA). Average OAT math and language arts/reading
scores for each teachers’ students was also computed. Researchers also collected
data from teachers regarding their interactive whiteboard usage using an online
survey for 10 weeks. Teachers self-reported the frequency of interactive
whiteboard use in math, language arts/reading, and/or for classroom management.
Respondents were also asked to note effective or otherwise interesting uses made
of interactive whiteboards during the previous week in math instruction, language
arts/reading instruction, and/or classroom management.
To find more effective uses of whiteboards, whiteboard teachers whose students
scored above overall means on standardized tests of math and/or language arts
were identified. Self-report data for these teachers was descriptively compared
with self-report data from teachers who used interactive whiteboards but whose
students scored at or below the general mean in math and/or reading. Weekly
frequency of whiteboard use was averaged for each teacher across the ten week
reporting period. Average use in three categories was then compared between
high-achieving teachers and all other: frequency of use for math instruction,
frequency of use for language arts/reading instruction, and frequency of use for
classroom management. Teachers’ comments concerning whiteboard usage in
each category was qualitatively examined for themes and trends and similarly
compared between high achieving and average and/or below average classes.
Qualitative data analysis was used to identify emergent themes. These emerged
salient themes were extracted to answer research questions.
What were the results of the study?
Results show a small achievement increase among students whose teachers used
interactive whiteboards for language arts and math instruction. The increases
were quite small and statistically significant only in math. Positive results were
especially pronounced in fourth and fifth grade levels and significant interactions
between achievement gains and grade levels were found in both math and
language arts. In addition, when teacher were grouped by their students’ math
and language arts performance, teachers whose students scored above the mean on
both assessments were found to use the whiteboards more frequently (almost
every day) than the teachers whose students scored at our below the means on
these tests. The analysis of the self-reported use of whiteboards from teachers
whose students scored above the mean on one or both assessments also showed
that interactive whiteboards are most effective when used to support visualization
and interactivity, and using whiteboards for more student-centered activities.
Researchers found that the use of technology contributes to the increased success
rates for at-risk learners, but exclusive online learning may not work for everyone.
For some students, the use of technology offered independent learning
opportunities, but this could also be overwhelming for some. Researchers also
found six different themes that make good strategies for using technology with at-
risk learners. The six strategies were choice, diverse curriculum, structure,
customization, blended learning, and safe learning environments. They also
mentioned that teachers looking to teach and connect with at-risk learners may
find technology offers the means to deliver modified programs that focus on the
learners’ needs. At-risk learners will also need more scaffolding, examples and
explanations, and a variety of tools to construct their work. They should feel a
sense of belonging, safety, and support as well.
Critique of the design and methodology of the study. Evaluation of the
Were the clients adequately described? Please explain.
Yes, student subjects in the study were adequately described although details were
not offered. I do feel that teacher participants could have been better described
especially the grade levels and subjects that performed better in language arts and
No, the clients could have been better described by adding how long they had
been working with technology and at-risk students, along with what specific
subjects / technology they taught and used. The researchers gave minimal
information about the participants and their background with the subject.
Was the setting adequately described? Please explain.
Yes, the setting was described well with demographics and general information
about the school district and demographics.
No, the setting could have been better described by explaining what kinds of
schools the nine participants worked at and when/how they communicated or
taught their students using technology.
Was the research design appropriate? Please explain.
Yes, the research design was appropriate but it would have been helpful to know
more about the ways whiteboards were being used using a graph to show trends or
themes found amongst all of the teachers in the district.
Yes, the research design was appropriate but there could have been more details
regarding how answers were coded and themes were found and checked amongst
researchers involved in the study.
Were the dependent variable (s) and independent variables (s) adequately
described? Please explain.
Yes, the variables were both straight forward and appropriate for the study.