Chapter 1 – Introduction
Tier III mathematics intervention are provided to students who need extra support in the area of mathematics beyond classroom instruction. Intervention time is spent supporting current classroom math skills as well as building foundational skills to ensure success now and in the future. It is important this time is efficiently spent by providing effective interventions that target student needs. One method to address these targeted skills is with instructional videos. Instructional videos gained popularity in flipped classrooms, but also can be used as a means to provide instruction in intervention settings. This study sought to answer the question: What effect do using instructional videos in these settings have on student learning?
This was an action based research study intended to improve Tier III interventions under SRBI (Scientific Research Based Interventions) in a medium sized suburban middle school in Eastern Connecticut. The Tier III intervention setting makes it imperative that intervention instruction is effective and tailored to meet student specific needs. With the past SRBI program, it was difficult to measure increases in student knowledge as well as their retention. Therefore, scientifically testing different methods of intervention to find the most effective means of instruction will lead to a stronger SRBI program. It was anticipated that using instructional videos, specifically Khan Academy Coach’s program, would provide students the opportunity to prove they mastered a topic and provide the interventionist with a clearer picture of which skills the students have mastered and those they have not.
Therefore, this investigation examined the use of instructional videos in a middle school Tier III mathematics intervention setting. The use of instructional videos with students who received Tier III interventions was intended to increase student learning as measured by comparative analysis of pre-and post-assessments and pre- and post-tests. The following research questions were addressed with descriptive statistics:
Research Question 1: Does the use of high quality instructional videos have an effect on the intervention learning of mathematics students?
Research Question 2: Is it more effective to use direct instruction or instructional videos to address student needs?
The research design had qualitative and quantitative data analysis. The learning and teaching process were studied and monitored through several assessments and a teachers’ log. The pre- and post-topic tests before and after each lesson ensured students were progressing as expected. Interview protocol included the attitudinal survey and an interview with the students. Observational protocol included the teacher’s log which was used to monitor the students’ behavior, including progress, observations, issues that arose, and insights into the child’s learning process.
The study used mixed methods design and methodology with analysis of measures of central tendency and text analysis of interviews to address the research questions above. The target populations of the study were middle school students receiving Tier III mathematics interventions. The researcher worked with them over a period of 9 to 12 weeks collecting data. The sample was selected and data was collected from an Eastern Connecticut middle school. Located in a suburban town, the school has 700 students in grades 6-8. The percent of students who received free and reduced lunch during the 2011-2012 school year was 13.3. An average of 79.4 percent of the school across all three grades met goal on the mathematics CMTs in 2012 (Connecticut Education Data and Research, 2011-2012, p. 1, 5). Additionally, on the 2013 CMTs, the school had an SPI of 90.0, placing the school in the Excelling category. The School Performance Index (SPI) for Mathematics was 88.2, meeting the goal, but was lower than reading and writing. However, all represented subgroups in mathematics, including Hispanic/Latino, Free/Reduced Lunch Eligible, Students with Disabilities, and High Needs, failed to meet their target SPIs (Connecticut Bureau of Data Collection, Research and Evaluation, 2013, p. 1-3).
Convenience sampling technique was used in this study. The expected sample size was between 10 to 15 students but the actual number of students was 8. Data on students was collected through pre- topic tests and post- topic tests on for each lesson, as well as a pre-assessment at the beginning of the study and a post-assessment at the end of the study. All data was reported anonymously through coding of student names, marking their grade, gender, and a random number. For example, a sixth grade girl would be coded as 6G3 to ensure anonymity. Specific instructional topics were chosen based on student data, which included Renaissance Place STAR benchmark test results, classroom progress, and a researcher administered assessment. For each topic, there was at least one student who received experimental instruction and one student who received control instruction.