UH Manoa Curriculum Research and Development Group awarded $998,250 federal grant

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Helen Au, (808) 956-4949
College of Education
Posted: Sep 19, 2007

HONOLULU — The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa was awarded $998,250 from the National Science Foundation for a grant titled "The Effects of Formative Assessment in a Networked Classroom on Student Learning of Algebraic Concepts". The three-year project, a collaborative effort among the Curriculum Research and Development Group (CRDG) in UH Mānoa‘s College of Education, Hawaiʻi Department of Education and Texas Instruments, will involve middle school teachers throughout Hawaiʻi .

The research will investigate the use of formative assessment in a networked classroom as it affects middle school students‘ learning of algebra concepts. The Texas Instrument Navigator system, implemented in the graphing calculator, will create the network.

"This technology was chosen because it enables teachers and students to communicate throughout the lesson via hand-held devices using a variety of formats," said Hannah Slovin, a co-investigator with the project and assistant professor with CRDG. "With it, teachers can tailor problems to meet the immediate needs of students and students are able to share responses to problems in ways that promote class discussion."

Both teachers and students will receive immediate feedback on the level of student understanding. The study examines the effects of teachers using formative assessment with a system of networked technology and will compare it to the effects of teachers using formative assessment without networked technology. In addition, it will focus on the effective implementation of formative assessment practices, student growth in achievement and teacher and student attitudes toward the use of these practices.

In the first year of the study, the project team will pilot the use of formative assessment with the Navigator system in the seventh grade mathematics classes at the University Laboratory School. In years two and three, the project will conduct a two-group randomized study involving teachers throughout the state of Hawaiʻi. During this time, all project teachers will be provided professional development on formative assessment practices. One group will receive training in the Navigator System along with the professional development in formative assessment in year 2 while the other group will receive training in the Navigator System in year 3.

The project will develop research-based formative assessment techniques employing handheld technology and investigate aspects of professional development necessary for successful implementation of these techniques. The project builds on evolving research on formative assessment, the emerging technology of networked classrooms and best practices of reflective teaching that address the most difficult aspects of formative assessment.

Project team members include Dr. Melfried Olson, Principal Investigator; Dr. Hannah Slovin and Dr. Judith Olson, Co-Investigators; and Dr. Paul Brandon of CRDG; and Dr. Yue Yin of the Department of Educational Psychology.

For more information, contact Dr. Hannah Slovin at hslovin@hawaii.edu.

The Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) is an organized research unit in the College of Education at the University of Hawaiʻi. Since 1966, CRDG has served the educational community locally, nationally, and internationally by conducting research and creating, evaluating, disseminating, and supporting educational programs that serve students, teachers, and other educators in grades preK-12. CRDG also actively contributes to the body of professional knowledge and practice in teaching and learning, curriculum development, program dissemination and implementation, evaluation and assessment, and school improvement.