Curriculum Evaluation Plan:

Are the elementary teachers & students

of the SWASD achieving the

Pennsylvania State Academic Standards

in Technology?

By

Dwight Woodley

 

 

Curriculum Evaluation

C&S 497

Summer 2000

August 12, 2000

Pyeong-gook Kim & Erin Carlin

Overview

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 need’s assessment of the district’s teachers to determine their use of technology in the classroom and how comfortable they are with using the technology. The information gathered in the need’s 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 skill’s curriculum and its application to the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards.

Program Definition

Conceptual Framework

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. Student’s 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 skill’s 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:

We will focus on some of the characteristics that the computer skill’s curriculum already focuses on.

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 teacher’s schedule to allow greater flexibility to work with the teachers with technology integration.

Needs Assessment

Current Situation

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.

Current Resources

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. Today’s 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, I’m 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 haven’t 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 need’s 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 skill’s 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.

Stakeholders

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

Student Criteria

  1. Can the students identify basic computer operations and concepts?
  2. Can the students use basic computer software?
  3. Can the students identify basic computer communications systems?

Teacher Criteria

  1. Are the teachers using computer technologies in their regular classroom?
  2. Are the teachers using the computer lab for student research and student projects?
  3. Are the teachers using the computers to match the Pennsylvania State Standards for Technology?
  4. Are the teachers given enough professional development to achieve the goals in the Pennsylvania State Standards for Technology?
  5. Are the teachers given enough time for planning technology-based lessons?

Administration Criteria

  1. Does the administration feel the faculty is making progress in implementing the state standards?
  2. What other thing’s do you feel you can do to help the faculty in implementing the state standards?

Data Collection Methods

Student Criteria

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.

Teacher Criteria

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.

Administration Criteria

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 thing’s 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.

Data Analysis

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.

Qualitative Data:

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.

Quantitative Data:

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 student’s 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.

Communication Plan

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.

 

 

Appendix

The following are the current student objectives of the South Williamsport Area School District’s Elementary Computer Curriculum as established by the elementary computer teacher.

Grades 1-3

Grades 4-6

  • Identify basic computer parts: computer, mouse, keyboard, monitor, etc.
  • Identify basic computer input and output devices
  • Learn basic mouse and keyboard skills
  • Begin learning proper keyboarding
  • Begin to use basic word processing skills with ClarisWorks for Kids.
  • Begin to learn about the Internet and learn basic searching skills
  • Use Kid Pix to learn basic paint skills.
  • Use some Drill & Practice software for academic skills development
  • Students will use Microsoft Word to develop basic word processing skills
  • Students will learn advanced Internet skills and learn how to use the Internet as a researching tool.
  • Students will develop a multimedia project using HyperStudio.
  • Students will develop a slide presentation using PowerPoint.
  • Students will learn how to use an Encyclopedia CD-ROM for research.
  • Students will be introduced to basic web page development.

 

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:

4th Grade

7th Grade

1.) Identify basic computer operations and concepts.
  • Identify the major parts necessary for a computer to input and output data
  • Explain and demonstrate the basic use of input and output devices (e.g. keyboard, monitor, printer, mouse, etc.)
  • Explain and demonstrate the use of external and internal storage devices (e.g. disk drive, CD drive).
1.) Explain and demonstrate basic computer
  • Operations and concepts.
  • Know specialized computer applications used in the community.
  • Describe the function of advanced input and out devices (e.g. scanners, video images, plotters, projectors) and demonstrate their use.
  • Demonstrate age appropriate keyboarding skills and techniques.
2.) Use basic computer software.
  • Apply operating system skills to perform basic computer tasks.
  • Apply basic word processing skills.
  • Identify and use simple graphic and presentation graphics materials generated by the computer.
  • Apply specific instructional software.
2.) Apply computer software to solve specific problems.
  • Identify software designed to meet specific needs (e.g. Computer Aided Drafting, design software, finance, presentation software).
  • Identify and solve basic software problems relevant to specific software applications.
  • Identify basic multimedia applications.
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of desktop publishing applications.
  • Apply intermediate skills in utilizing word processing, database, and spreadsheet software.
  • Apply basic graphic manipulation techniques.
3.) Identify basic computer communications systems.
  • Apply a web browser.
  • Apply basic electronic mail functions.
  • Use on-line searches t answer age appropriate questions.
3.) Explain basic computer communications systems.
  • Describe the organization and functions of the basic parts that make up the World Wide Web.
  • Apply advanced electronic mail functions.
  • Apply basic on-line research techniques to solve a specific problem.

Bibliography

 

Annotated Bibliography

 

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.