Curriculum Evaluation Plan:
Are the elementary teachers & students
of the SWASD achieving the
Pennsylvania State Academic Standards
August 12, 2000
Pyeong-gook Kim & Erin Carlin
In this evaluation we will examine the elementary computer skills program currently in place in the South Williamsport Area School District. This will be a formative evaluation of the computer skills program. The computer skills program at South Williamsport is designed to give the students a thorough understanding of the Internet, word processing, presentation skills, and multimedia applications. (I have provide a copy of the current skills required in the elementary computer curriculum and that are required by the state standards in the appendix at the end of the evaluation plan). It is the desire of the District to have the students and teachers take these skills and apply them in classroom projects as defined by the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards. Teaching of the skills is important in the development of computer knowledge, but applying them to use in everyday life is the goal of the standards. To complete this evaluation, the evaluator will be using the Provus Discrepancy Model of Evaluation. The discrepancy model was chosen because program performance is compared with selected standards to determine the discrepancy. This information is then used to identify any program weaknesses and to take corrective action to fix it. The evaluator will gather all necessary information through observations, interviews, surveys, and student projects. The evaluator will also be conducting a needs assessment of the districts teachers to determine their use of technology in the classroom and how comfortable they are with using the technology. The information gathered in the needs assessment will be used to further develop teacher in-service programs for the district. Through this evaluation, my hope is to demonstrate to others the successes of the elementary computer skills curriculum and its application to the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards.
The elementary students in the South Williamsport Area School District are required to attend computer class once a week for 30 minutes, for students in grades 1-3, and 50 minutes for students in grades 4-6. Students academic progress in computer class is recorded on their report cards twice a year for students in grades 4-6. Students in grades 1-3 do not receive any grades at this time.
The computer skills curriculum is designed to teach the students basic computer skills. The students are taught basic mouse skills, keyboarding, word processing, and Internet skills in grades 1-3. By the time the students complete the 4th grade they are expected to have the basic skills to use the computer for research and to be able to type a simple word processing document well. The 5th and 6th grade years the students refine those skills and also begin to explore multimedia skills in programs like HyperStudio and PowerPoint.
With students having these basic skills already being taught to them, the District is looking for a way to record student achievement and match those achievements with the new state standards. This evaluation plan will look at the achievements our students are completing, compare them to the state standards in technology, and revise our computer curriculum to match the desired state standards.
Essential Program Elements
The computer skills program is designed to allow our students to be successful computer users. It is also the desire of the District that our students not only know how to use the computer, but also to understand when to use a computer. As the students progress through the grades their computer skills should become very good, and we need to test their understanding of how and when to use them. The students will be engaged in multiple opportunities in computer class and in their regular class to use the computer to complete an assignment.
We will also be requiring the classroom teacher to begin to integrate the computer more and more into their everyday lessons to help facilitate the idea of using the computer more. We will begin the process this year by requiring the classroom teachers to do the following:
- Stay in the computer lab with their class to either help facilitate students in the lab or to sit down and learn right along with the students.
- To complete a small computer lesson every nine weeks in which they are integrating the computer lab into their everyday curriculum. Among the ideas the teachers may use as integration techniques are Internet research, PowerPoint presentations, basic word processing, and multimedia projects.
- Begin to use the lab outside of their scheduled computer class time for any one of the above ideas.
- Begin to assign students independent research projects that require the Internet or an online encyclopedia.
We will focus on some of the characteristics that the computer skills curriculum already focuses on.
- Help students to be independent researchers on the computer.
- Instruction is based on projects that allow the students to demonstrate their understanding of the required skills.
- Instruction will be differentiated to each childs ability level.
- Students will be taught correct keyboarding and mouse skills.
- Students will practice presentation skills using PowerPoint.
- Students will be taught Internet skills and how to use the Internet as a research tool.
- Students will be taught basic word processing.
Support Resources Essential for Implementation
Indirect: The administration has been very supportive of this program. At all levels, administrators have been advocates for this by giving support to the instructional staff through encouragement and professional development. They have worked with the school board and the technology committee to come up with the money necessary to support the program.
Direct: One immediate change that has occurred is more in-service and Act 80 days for teacher training and curriculum development. The administration has also required that the teachers now attend weekly computer classes with their classes to help with technology integration. The last thing that has occurred is a change in the computer teachers schedule to allow greater flexibility to work with the teachers with technology integration.
Population to be Studied
We will be assessing the needs of the elementary teaching staff in the South Williamsport Area School District. We will focus on the needs of the teaching staff to better prepare them to use technology in the classroom to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards in Technology. There are 29 elementary teachers in grades 1-6 and another 14 teachers that are designated as learning support or fine arts that must also comply with the State Standards.
There is currently some professional development opportunities available to the teaching staff to better prepare them in the use of technology. They also have the opportunity to sit down and work with the Technology Coordinator or the Elementary Computer Teacher on technology integration into their existing curriculum.
Academic Indicators of Need
Our teachers have had a history of being slow in adapting to change. This requirement of integrating technology into the curriculum is no different. With the state now requiring technology in the classroom and students to use technology to develop assignments, preparing teachers to use the technology to meet the state standards is essential.
Social Indicators of Need
The social factors of how technology influences the teaching of our students is unknown at this time. Todays students have been brought up in a technology age in which 80% of our elementary student body has a computer at home. Technology education is a major concern of the community of South Williamsport, as indicated by the recently completed Strategic Planning Committee, and the State of Pennsylvania, as indicated by the adoption of the State Science and Technology Standards.
Groups for Needs Assessment
Teachers: All district elementary teachers will be surveyed in grades 1-6. Example questions that could be asked on the survey are:
How comfortable are you with using technology to teach a lesson in your classroom?
_____ Very Comfortable
_____ Somewhat Comfortable
_____ Not Comfortable at all
Have you ever used the computer lab on your own to teach a lesson with your class?
_____ Yes, quite often
_____ Yes, a couple of times
_____ No, Not at all
_____ No, Im afraid to use it
Are you familiar with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Technology and how they are to be applied?
_____ Yes, I understand them
_____ Yes, I know of them
_____ No, I havent even looked at them
Some additional questions may be developed by the Technology Committee, and the Professional Development Committee to get a better understanding of what type of training the teachers feel they would need to meet the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Technology.
Use of Results
Through the needs assessment, we will get a better understanding of the teachers knowledge of the state standards and what training they feel they need to implement them into their curriculum. This survey of the teachers will give the two committees a foundation on which to build future staff development classes. The information gathered will also allow the committee to better serve the students in their curriculum. By finding the weaknesses of the teachers with technology will only allow us to better serve the students.
Model of Evaluation
Provus Discrepancy Model
The Provus Discrepancy Model of Evaluation will be used in evaluating the computer skills curriculum in the South Williamsport Area School District. The evaluators will look at the existing computer curriculum that is in place in the elementary schools and compare it to the state standards that the Pennsylvania Department of Education says students should have at the appropriate grade levels.
This model was chosen because at each of the four stages of evaluation, they correspond to the four developmental stages of educational programs (Gredler, 1996). It was also chosen because at each of the four stages, program performance is compared with selected standards to determine the discrepancy. This information is then used to identify any program weaknesses and to take corrective action to fix it.
Students: All students will benefit from the computer skills curriculum. It will allow each student to acquire the skills necessary to meet the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards in Technology and become independent life long learners in the use of a computer.
Teachers: The computer skills teacher is responsible for giving the students the necessary skills needed to achieve the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards in Technology. The regular classroom teacher will be responsible for using the technology and helping the students in applying it to their regular classroom assignments.
Administration: The administration is responsible for making sure that the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards for Technology are being implemented as it is suppose to be. In the end the success or failure of the program will be the responsibility of the administration.
Criteria of Evaluation
- Can the students identify basic computer operations and concepts?
- Can the students use basic computer software?
- Can the students identify basic computer communications systems?
- Are the teachers using computer technologies in their regular classroom?
- Are the teachers using the computer lab for student research and student projects?
- Are the teachers using the computers to match the Pennsylvania State Standards for Technology?
- Are the teachers given enough professional development to achieve the goals in the Pennsylvania State Standards for Technology?
- Are the teachers given enough time for planning technology-based lessons?
- Does the administration feel the faculty is making progress in implementing the state standards?
- What other things do you feel you can do to help the faculty in implementing the state standards?
Data Collection Methods
1.) Can the students identify basic computer operations and concepts?
Measured by: Observations & class projects
During the observation of the students in the computer lab, the evaluator will observe the students as they are presented with opportunities to use basic computer concepts. The evaluator will pay particular attention to how the students apply the opportunities they are given to the correct concepts. The students will also be given the opportunity in class to complete a class project that will demonstrate their knowledge of basic computer concepts.
2.) Can the students use basic computer software?
Measured by: Observations & class projects
During the observation of the students in the computer lab, the evaluator will observe the students as they are presented with opportunities to use basic computer software. The evaluator will pay particular attention to how the students apply those opportunities in choosing the correct software application. The students will also be given the opportunity in class to complete a class project that will allow them to pick a computer software application to use.
3.) Can the students identify basic computer communications systems?
Measured by: Observations & class projects
During the observation of the students in the computer lab, the evaluator will observe the students as they are presented with opportunities to identify basic computer communications systems. The evaluator will pay particular attention to how the students apply those opportunities in choosing the correct communications system. The students will also be given the opportunity in class to complete a class project that will demonstrate their knowledge of basic computer communications systems.
1.) Are the teachers using computer technologies in their regular classroom?
Measured by: observations and surveys
The evaluator will observe the classroom teachers in their regular classroom and observe what type of technology the classroom teachers are using. The evaluator will pay particular attention to what technology the teacher is using and how they are using that technology. The teachers will also be given a survey that asks them about their use of technologies in the classroom and what technologies they use.
2.) Are the teachers using the computer lab for student research and student projects?
Measured by: surveys
The teachers will be given a survey that asks them about how they use the computer lab for student research. They will also be questioned about the types of projects they are assigning the students and if the computer lab is used to complete those projects.
3.) Are the teachers using computers to match the Pennsylvania State Standards for Technology?
Measured by: interviews
The teachers will be questioned about their knowledge of the state standards and what they are doing to help the students achieve the standards. They will also be questioned about what lessons they are developing to match those standards.
4.) Is the administration giving the teachers given enough professional development to achieve the goals in the Pennsylvania State Standards for Technology?
Measured by: surveys
The teachers will be given a survey that asks them about their feelings on the technology training that is occurring. They will also be asked if the training is helping them in achieving the standards.
5.) Is the administration giving the teachers enough time for planning technology-based lessons?
Measured by: surveys
The teachers will be given a survey that asks them their opinion on the amount of planning time they have. They will also be asked if they feel they need more planning time to develop technology based lessons.
1.) Does the administration feel the faculty is making progress in implementing the state standards?
Measured by: interviews
The administration will be interviewed to see how they feel their teaching staff is doing in implementing the state academic standards.
2.) What other things do you feel you can do to help the faculty in implementing the state standards?
Measured by: interviews
The administration will be interviewed to see what other things they feel need to done to help their staff in implementing the state academic standards.
The following section will identify how the all the data that is collected will be analyzed to help improve the elementary computer curriculum in the South Williamsport Area School District.
The above information will be analyzed and then categorized into sections that relate back to the criteria we were looking for. This information will be color-coded to help with categorizing it. After all the information was been categorized, we will look for reoccurring themes that will help us come to our conclusions.
- Class Projects
The above information will be analyzed and categorized into sections that relate to the desired outcomes of the standards. These projects will be color-coded by the desired outcomes of the standards. The students grades will be used to calculate a mean to see if the students are understanding the desired state standards. This information will then be used to help us come to our conclusions.
To communicate the findings of the evaluation plan, a written summary will be prepared by the evaluator(s). The evaluation summary will include a copy of the evaluation plan and the results that were recorded through the evaluation process. The evaluation findings will also be summarized through a PowerPoint presentation to the administration and faculty. We will also provide all members with a hard copy of the narrative report and the PowerPoint presentation to use for further reference. We will also review the report with the Technology Committee and the Professional Development Committee so they can use the information to improve their respective programs. All the stakeholders will be encouraged to provide feedback and to ask any questions regarding the findings of the evaluation plan.
The following are the current student objectives of the South Williamsport Area School Districts Elementary Computer Curriculum as established by the elementary computer teacher.
The new Pennsylvania Academic Standards for Science and Technology list the following skills that students should master by the time they complete 4th and 7th grades. They are:
|1.) Identify basic computer
operations and concepts.
||1.) Explain and demonstrate basic
|2.) Use basic computer software.
||2.) Apply computer software to solve
|3.) Identify basic computer
||3.) Explain basic computer
This book provides a detailed description on assessing curriculum in schools. The focus of my use of this book was on chapter 6: Program Evaluation. This chapter provided a great resource for planning and writing an evaluation plan. Chapter 6 takes the reader through a step-by-step process of planning a curriculum evaluation. It also provides the reader with many ideas in which to think about when developing your plan.
This handbook was developed by the National Science Foundation to give a basic understanding of selected approaches to evaluation. The book is aimed at people who need to learn more about both what evaluation can do and how to do an evaluation. The handbook discusses both quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods, but emphasis is placed quantitative techniques for conducting outcome evaluations. This book takes the reader through an indepth process to writing an evaluation plan. The book was developed as a way for the Federal Government to evaluate programs in which agencies are looking for money from them.