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IES Grant

Title: Classroom Connectivity in Promoting Mathematics and Science Achievement
Center: NCER Year: 2005
Principal Investigator: Owens, Douglas Awardee: Ohio State University
Program: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years Award Amount: $2,995,261
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305K050045

Co-Principal Investigators: Abrahamson, Louis; Demana, Frank; Irving, Karen; Pape, Stephen; Herman, Joan

Purpose:  In this project, researchers evaluated the impact of connected classroom technology with interactive pedagogy and professional development on mathematics and science achievement in students from grade 7 through grade 10. This project focused U.S. high school students because they compared relatively poorly internationally, while U.S. elementary school students performed as well as or better than those of other countries at the time of this project. By gathering this evidence, the researchers aimed to improve mathematics and science instruction and achievement.

Structured Abstract


Setting: Teachers will be drawn from a national sample rather than a single district, region, or state. They will be recruited from the pool of teachers participating in a nationwide technology program.

Sample: Two samples will be recruited, a math teacher sample (n = 120 algebra teachers) and a science teacher sample (n = 24 physical science teachers). The number of participating students will be approximately 18,000 (assuming up to 5 classes per teacher, 25 students per class).

Intervention: In a traditional classroom, student work is assigned, turned-in, manually graded, and handed back days after completion. At this point it is disconnected in time from the students' thinking when they did the work, and in the meantime the class may have moved on to a new topic. In connected classrooms, as soon as student work is submitted it is instantly aggregated and available on the teacher's computer. Displays can provide powerful clues to what students are doing, thinking, and understanding. The teacher has immediate information and can use this to adjust instruction. The proposed intervention consists of six parts: (1) provision of connected classroom technology (TI-Navigator), (2) professional development consisting of a weeklong summer institute to be held at Ohio State University, (3) teacher experiential learning in their own classrooms and growth in expertise with agile adaptive teaching, (4) online web-based training available as needed, (5) online discussion forum for the teacher community to exchange experiences, problems, and curricular materials, (6) follow-up professional development at an annual conference.

Research Design and Methods: A wait list controlled randomized trial design will be employed, with teachers as the unit of randomization. During summer of 2005, teachers will be randomly divided into two cohorts. Cohort 1 algebra teachers will attend a one-week summer institute on pedagogy in the connected classroom focused on appropriate teaching strategies and implementation of the hardware and software necessary for the connected classroom. Algebra teachers in cohort 2 will serve as a control group in the first phase of the project. During the summer of year 2, teachers will then attend the summer institute and implement the intervention. For the small-scale pilot study investigating the impact of the classroom network system on science achievement, a sample of 24 physical science teachers will be randomly assigned to treatment/cohort 3 and control/cohort 4 in phase 2 of the study. The classroom practices of a sub-sample of participant teachers (n = 30) will be observed. The sample will include 15 teachers in the intervention group and 15 in the control group. The teachers will be selected to provide a range in geographic location and teacher background within each of the two groups. Each teacher will be observed twice during the school year.

Control Condition: Teachers in the control group must agree to forgo system use during the first year of implementation. They will continue to teach their standard curriculum during phase 1.

Key Measures: Researcher-designed student achievement tests for algebra assessment and physical science assessment, teacher surveys, classroom observations, and technology logs will be collected.

Data Analytic Strategy: To examine the impact of teacher professional development and use of the TI-Navigator system on student achievement, hierarchical linear models (HLM) will be used. Pretest data will serve as a covariate to control for any initial differences in the two groups.


ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.

Select Publications:

Book chapter

Pape, S.J., Irving, K.E., Bell, C.V., Shirley, M.L., Owens, D.T., Owens, S., Bostic, J.D., and Lee, S.C. (2012). Principles of Effective Pedagogy Within the Context of Connected Classroom Technology: Implications for Teacher Knowledge. In R.N. Ronau, C.R. Rakes, and M.L. Niess (Eds.), Educational Technology, Teacher Knowledge, and Classroom Impact: A Research Handbook on Frameworks and Approaches (pp. 176–199). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Journal articles

Irving, K.E., Pape, S.J., Owens, D.T., Abrahamson, L., Silver, D., and Sanalan, Vehbi A (2016). Classroom Connectivity and Algebra 1 Achievement: A Three-Year Longitudinal Study. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 35(2): 131–151.

Irving, K.E., Sanalan, V.A, and Shirley, M.L. (2009). Physical Science Connected Classrooms: Case Studies. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 28(3): 247–275.

Shirley, M.L., Irving, K.E., Sanalan, V.A., Pape, S J. and Owens, D.T. (2011). The Practicality of Implementing Connected Classroom Technology in Secondary Mathematics and Science Classrooms. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 9(2): 459–481.


Morton, B.L., and Owens, D.T. (2010). An Investigation of Developing Representations of Linear Functions in the Presence of Connected Classroom Technology. In Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Volume 6 (pp. 1562). Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University.

Owens, D.T., Irving, K.E, Pape, S.J., Abrahamson, L., Sanalan, V., and Boscardin, C.K. (2007). The Connected Classroom: Implementation and Research Trial. In Proceedings of the ED-MEDIA World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (pp. 3710–3716). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.

Owens, D.T., Irving, K.E., Pape, S.J., Sanalan, V.A., Owens, S.K., and Abrahamson, L. (2009). Professional Development for Teaching in Connected Classrooms. In Proceedings of the 31st Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Volume 5 (pp. 1024–1032). Atlanta, GA: Georgia State University.

Owens, D.T., Pape, S.L., Irving, K.E., Sanalan, V.A., Boscardin, C.K., and Abrahamson, L. (2008). The Connected Algebra Classroom: A Randomized Control Trial. In Proceedings of the 11th International Congress on Mathematical Education (pp. 1–7). Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University.

Owens, S.K. (2010). Professional Development: A Case Study of Mrs. G. In Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Volume 6 (pp. 1428–1436). Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University.

Owens, S.K. (2010). When Professional Development Produces Teacher Change: A Case Study of Mrs. G. In Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Volume 6 (pp. 1399). Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University.

Pape, S.J., Irving, K.E., Owens, D.T., and Abrahamson, L. (2005). Classroom Connectivity in Promoting Algebra I and Physical Science Achievement and Self-Regulated Learning. In Proceedings of the TACONET Conference: Self-Regulated Learning in Technology Enhanced Learning Environments (pp. 143–158). Herzogenrath, Germany: Shaker Verlag.