Study Of Classroom Learning Environment Essay

The intent of this survey was to look into the schoolroom larning environment of a group of instructors who are taking a faculty for the Professional Development Continuum Model ( PDCM ) -Master ‘s degree strategy. This faculty, “ Classroom Learning Environment ” required participants to larn collaboratively utilizing online collaborative platforms such as Wetpaint, Google Documents and Blogspot every bit good as face-to-face coaction. A sum of 25 instructors participated in the survey which used the modified What is Happening In this Class ( WIHIC ) questionnaire. Consequences indicated that internal consistence dependability of all the graduated table except for existent Student Involvement. There were besides important differences in the existent and preferable perceptual experiences of all the graduated table except for Cooperation. There was nevertheless small difference in the perceptual experience between gender. Suggestions were besides made on how to better the acquisition environment of a similar class in future.

Introduction

At MOE Work Plan Seminar 2009, the Minister of Education, Dr Ng Eng Hen, mentioned that the ministry would go on to back up instructors who would desire to upgrade their makings and there were presently 1000 instructors who made usage of the assorted strategies to upgrade themselves ( Ministry of Education, 2009 ) . One of these strategies was the Professional Development Continuum Model ( PDCM ) -Master ‘s degree strategy that aimed to fit instructors for their professional patterns. As portion of the demand of the class, instructors would necessitate to go to and finish 10 faculties.

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A group of instructors signed up for the faculty “ Classroom Learning Environment ” . This faculty aimed to present instructors to the field of psycho-social acquisition environment, every bit good as the different elements of a learning environment. They would besides be introduced to instruments that are used by research workers to measure the acquisition environment. The class was conducted over 6 yearss and its manner of lesson bringing involved a mix of online acquisition and traditional face-to -face tutorials. To ease the online acquisition, the instructors were required to larn how to do usage of Web 2.0 tools for online coaction. Wetpaint, Google Documents, Blogspot and Facebook are tools that were introduced to the instructors for them to organize online communities every bit good as to back up each other during the class.

In order to look into instructors ‘ perceptual experiences of the acquisition environment that was created during this class, the trainer decided to utilize a peculiar schoolroom environment instrument, a modified What is Happening In this Class ( WIHIC ) questionnaire. The findings from this survey would so let the trainer to find the effectivity of the manner of instructions and to do any polish to the class if necessary for future batches of participants. The aims of this survey are:

What are the perceptual experiences of participants in the category utilizing WIHIC?

Are there any perceptual differences between ( a ) pretest and posttest and ( B ) gender?

Literature Review

Herbert Walberg and Rudolf Moos are regarded by Fraser as the innovator in the field of developing questionnaires to measure the acquisition environment ( Castillo, Peiro, & A ; Fraser, 2005 ) . Since so, there has been considerable advancement made in the advancement of in the country of conceptualisation, appraisal and look intoing the construct of larning environment. In the yesteryear, the most common agencies of deriving penetrations of the effectivity of an acquisition environment is through the perceptual experience in of the participants instead than that of an external perceiver. However it is the usage of qualitative methods in larning environment research that provided greater in-depth apprehension of it ( Aldridge, Fraser, and Huang, 1999 ) .

Research has besides shown that the quality of the acquisition environment is an of import determiner of pupil acquisition. Students do execute better and have better academic result when they perceive the schoolroom environment positively ( Den Brok, Fisher, Rickards & A ; Bull, 2006 ) . Furthermore, pupils ‘ perceptual experience of their instructors ‘ behaviour besides act as a set of of import go-between between the existent instructor ‘s behaviour and the existent public presentation of larning activities by each pupil. Hence it is of import for both instructors to be cognizant of the pupils ‘ perceptual experience of the environment and the factors that affect it so that to guarantee that the larning procedure can be optimized ( Den Brok, Fisher, Rickards & A ; Bull, 2006 ) .

The WIHIC questionnaire was developed by Fraser, Fisher and McRobbie in 1996 and they based the questionnaire on Moo ‘s conceptual model for human environment. This model suggests that the acquisition environment would hold three different dimensions: relationship, personal growing and system care and alteration dimensions. The relationship dimension is concern with the nature of personal relationship in the environment while the personal growing dimension would stand for the chances for personal development every bit good as self-enhancement. Having an environment that is orderly with clear outlooks, holding control yet antiphonal to alter is portion of the system care and alteration dimension ( Den Brok et al. , 2006 ) .

WIHIC is one of the more popular instruments that are used to look into pupils ‘ perceptual experience of the acquisition environment because it combines the relevant dimensions of a acquisition environment and has been validated in many states. It had besides been cross-culturally validated ( Aldright et al. , 1999 ) . Furthermore, WIHIC is able to show prognostic cogency on both cognitive and affectional pupil result. Having a little figure of points ( 56 in entire ) and graduated table ( 7 in sum ) , makes it easy to utilize and requires less clip to administrate. ( Den Brok et al. , 2006 ) .

Methodology

Sample

The survey involved a sum of 25 participants who enrolled in the “ Classroom Learning Environment ” faculty. 9 were males while 16 were female. In footings of figure of old ages in service, 6 of the participants had less than five old ages experience in learning while those holding six to ten old ages of experience formed the largest group of 13. There were two participants in the other three classs ( 11 to 15 old ages, 16 to 20 old ages and more than 20 old ages ) each.

Instrument

A modified version of the WIHIC was used. The dimension and the figure of points in each graduated tables ( in bracket ) were as follows ; Student Cohesiveness ( 3 ) , Teacher Support ( 4 ) , Involvement ( 3 ) , Task Orientation ( 4 ) , Cooperation ( 4 ) and Equity ( 3 ) . Two signifiers, a student- existent signifier and student- preferable signifier were used and the points were measured on a 4-point Likert-type graduated table. The four-point frequence response format of Strongly agree, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree were utilized. Table 1 below gives an overview of the six graduated tables and a sample point for each graduated table of the WIHIC.

Procedure

The trainer administered the questionnaire personally with the preferable signifier given to participants. The intent and the points were explained and clarified to the participants by the research worker. The participants were allowed to finish the questionnaires before the existent lesson were carried out in the designated acquisition environment. After the lesson, the existent signifiers were so distributed and the whole procedure was repeated utilizing it. Datas from both the existent signifiers and preferable signifiers were so captured utilizing Google papers in

Table 1

Scale Description for Each Scale and Example of Items in the Modified “ What is Happening in This Class? ” ( WIHIC ) Questionnaire.

WIHIC Scale

Description

Item

Student Cohesiveness ( SC )

Extent to which pupils know, aid and are supportive of one another

I would assist other pupils in this class when they have problem with their work.

Teacher Support ( TS )

Extent to which instructor helps, befriends, trusts and shows involvement in pupils

The instructor would assist me when I have problem making my coursework.

Student Involvement ( SI )

Extents to which pupils have attentive involvement, take part in treatments, perform extra work and bask the category

I explain my ideas about the lesson to other pupils.

Undertaking Orientation ( TO )

Extent to which it is of import to finish activities planned and to remain on the capable affair

Geting my work done in the class is of import to me.

Cooperation ( CO )

Extent to which pupils cooperate instead than vie with one another on acquisition undertakings

I cooperate with other pupils on the class activities.

Equity ( EQ )

Extent to which the instructor treats pupils every bit

My thoughts would be treated as being merely every bit of import as other pupils ‘ thoughts.

and Excel spread sheet. The response of WIHIC was coded in the undermentioned mode. Strongly agree was awarded 4 points, Agree was awarded 3 points, Disagree was given 2 points and Strongly Disagree was awarded 1 point. The information is so entered in SPSS version 17.0, a statistical computing machine plan for informations analysis.

Data Analysiss

To reply the first research inquiry, descriptive statistical trial was done to find the mean and the standard divergence, at 95 % assurance interval for each graduated table. Independent ( gender ) and paired T-test ( preferable and existent ) was done to reply the 2nd research inquiry. Cronbach ‘s alpha dependability trial was besides done to find the internal consistence dependability of the informations.

Consequences

In the statistical analyses, both the existent and preferable tonss and the graduated table and point agencies were used as the unit of analysis to find the internal consistence ( Cronbach ‘s alpha coefficient ) . The consequences are reported in Table 2.

All points had a minimal average mark of 3.13 ( Actual Student Involvement ) and a maximal average mark of 3.83 ( Preferred Student Cohesiveness ) . This indicated that most likely that for most of the point were rated as either “ Strongly Agree ” or “ Agree ” . This might bespeak that there might be a extremely positive schoolroom larning environment in this faculty.

Estimates of the internal consistence of the WIHIC graduated tables were calculated

utilizing Cronbach ‘s coefficient alpha ( see Table 2 ) . All but one graduated tables had good internal consistence with coefficient alphas runing from 0.77 ( Actual Task Orientation ) to 0.97 ( Actual Equity ) . The graduated table of existent Student Involvement had low internal consistence dependability with its Cronbach ‘s alpha being calculated as 0.41. This could hold arise because certain participants might be coping on how to do sense on the use of the online collaborative platforms and therefore unable to concentrate on the other facets of the faculty. The might hold prevent the participants to concentrate on the lesson at manus and therefore take parting every bit to the full as desired.

Table 1 displayed the difference in point agencies between the perceived and the existent signifier. Using a mated sample T-test, it was discovered that there is important difference at for all points at 95 % assurance interval for all points except for Cooperation ( see Table 1 ) . This could bespeak that although the participants perceived the acquisition

Table 2

Cronbach ‘s Alpha Reliability, Scale Means and Item Means of Actual and Preferred Forms of Modified WIHIC.

Scale

Cronbach ‘s alpha coefficient

Scale Mean

Std Deviation

Item Mean

Average Difference

Act

Pref

Act

Pref

Act

Pref

Act

Pref

A

Student Coherence

0.87

0.84

10.52

11.48

1.36

1.00

3.51

3.83

0.32*

Teacher Support

0.81

0.86

13.28

14.96

1.62

1.49

3.32

3.74

0.42*

Student Engagement

0.41

0.78

9.40

10.52

0.91

1.26

3.13

3.51

0.38*

Undertaking Orientation

0.77

0.87

13.52

15.20

1.64

1.47

3.38

3.80

0.42*

Cooperation

0.87

0.96

14.68

15.08

1.63

1.63

3.67

3.77

0.10

Equity

0.97

0.96

9.56

10.68

1.16

1.46

3.19

3.56

0.37*

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

* P & gt ; 0.05 N= 25

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

Figure 1. Item means for pupils ‘ perceptual experiences of schoolroom larning environment as measured by modified WIHIC graduated tables.

Table 3

Independent Sample T-Test to Determine If There is Any Difference Between Actual and Preferred Perceptions Between Gender.

Scale

Gender ( Prefered Mean )

A

Gender ( Actual Mean )

Female ( Pref )

Male ( Pref )

Significant

A

Male ( Act )

Female ( Act )

Significant

Student Coherence

3.84

3.82

0.88

A

3.56

3.48

0.70

Teacher Support

3.76

3.72

0.83

A

3.44

3.25

0.26

Student Engagement

3.48

3.55

0.69

A

3.04

3.18

0.25

Undertaking Orientation

3.83

3.75

0.61

A

3.33

3.41

0.65

Cooperation

3.80

3.72

0.67

A

3.58

3.72

0.44

Equity

3.58

3.52

0.77

A

3.30

3.13

0.30

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

A

environment as extremely positive, it might non hold met their outlooks and there were still spreads that needed to be bridged. This is illustrated in Figure 1.

An independent sample T-test was conducted to find if there is any difference in the perceptual experience between genders. The consequences indicated that there is no important difference for all points for both existent and preferable. However as the sample size is little, there might be an existent difference but the consequences might non be important in this instance.

Restrictions

This survey is done on a little sample of participants taking merely one faculty. To better find the effectivity of the acquisition environment, the survey could include a larger sample size every bit good as across different categories in order to observe if there is any existent difference between gender.

Discussion

The design of the class involve the both the traditional face to confront interaction every bit good as online treatment. There was a important difference in footings of the preferable and the existent for all the graduated table except Cooperation. This give rise to the inquiry whether the there is a mismatch between outlook of the participants and the existent lesson. In the preferable signifier, the participants ranked Student coherence, Task Orientation and Cooperation top. The three strands were besides reflected in the existent signifier whereby Cooperative, Student Cohesiveness and Task Orientation were ranked in the order of penchant. This provides penetration that for grownup scholars, there is a greater demand for them to work together as a group and to finish a undertaking. Their degree of adulthood would besides let them to be willing to work together and lend to back up one another.

With cognition of their demands and their existent working manner, the design of future such faculties could integrate undertakings that allow participants to work together. This is apparent in this faculty in which there were important sum of online undertakings that the participants were required to execute. Not merely the participants were required to lend their ideas and larning point in the wiki site ( Wetpaint ) , for each lesson, they were besides besides required to put up a web log to document their acquisition journey. The participants were besides tasked to work in groups to make a presentation on two of the articles that they had read. As these activities took topographic point over a period of a hebdomad, it forces the participants to encompass new accomplishments and support another.

Student Involvement and Equity were both ranked lowly in WIHIC for both the preferable and existent signifier. There comparative low ranking could be attributed to the support that the participants received during the class. The demand of the class is such that the it required the participants to be good verse in the usage of certain on- line coaction platform. Although most participants did pick up the accomplishments finally, during their acquisition journey, their chief concern could be one of that to larn and be familiar with the platform foremost instead than completion of undertaking. Participants who struggled with the platform and might non acquire the aid at that point in clip might comprehend that they were non treated every bit.

The average difference between the preferable and existent is the largest in the graduated table of Teacher ‘s Support. As the class is run by a lector, the instructor to student ratio for the class is 25:1. This might non be sufficient to supply merely -in-time aid when the participants were coping with the elaboratenesss of the platforms. Although there was an helper to steer and present the assorted platform to the participants, the helper was present for merely 2 half session, which might be deficient. Despite these findings, it is besides of import to observe that the participants of the class felt that there was a extremely positive schoolroom larning environment. The participants were willing to work together and collaborate that made the acquisition environment a pleasant one to work in. Every participants besides grew in their profession cognition as they would hold pick up relevant IT skills that they could implement in their ain pattern back in school.

Decision

The findings of the modified WIHIC allowed the research worker to be more cognizant od what is go oning in the category and what could be done in future to better on the class. For illustration, the usage of WIHIC in this survey had shown that there were important differences between the existent and preferable mark. This could bespeak that possibly the outlooks of the participants were non to the full met in some facet of the class and an interview might be conducted with the participants so that the design and executing of the class could be better improved. An illustration of betterment could be the use of an helper to steer and hand-hold scholars who are less technologically grok so that the Student Involvement and Equity mark might better.

Although WIHIC has the advantage of being a simple instrument to utilize, it merely provides quantitative informations in which the research worker needs to do sense of. To do more sense of the information, this survey could affect the usage of the participants ‘ web log to derive more penetration of the acquisition environment. Using the qualitative information from the web log, the research worker could for illustration, elicit grounds why the mark of existent Equity was the lowest in this survey.