The study took place in more than 100 elementary and middle school classrooms in over a
dozen school districts in three states during the 2004–05 and 2005–06 school years.
In this quasi-experimental study, the treatment group included students of teachers who used the
TEEMSS curriculum during the 2005–06 school year. The comparison group included students
from the prior school year (2004–05) of the same teachers, who taught the same topics but used
their regular teaching methods. For this review, the analysis sample consisted of 181 students in
grades 3–4 (97 treatment and 84 comparison) who received instruction on the topic of sound.
The curriculum received by the treatment group was Technology Enhanced Elementary and
Middle School Science (TEEMSS) for grades 3–8. The curriculum included 15 units that were
customized to grade levels. Of the 15-unit TEEMSS curriculum, the study examined eight
science units, including three units for grades 3–4 (sound, electricity, and sensing), three units
for grades 5–6 (water and air temperature, levers and machines, and monitoring a living plant),
and two units for grades 7–8 (air pressure and motion). Among the eight unit outcomes, the
only findings that met WWC evidence standards with reservations were those for the sound
unit test for grades 3–4. The unit contained two one-week investigations of sound and vibrations
with the sound grapher, a software program that is used with a microphone to record
the pattern of sound vibrations, and included a discovery question, several trials, analysis,
and ideas for further investigations.
The comparison group included students who were taught the same science unit topics using
current teaching practices. The authors indicated to the WWC that there was no single comparison
curriculum, and the comparison group curricula addressed science education standards.
Authors did not state if the comparison curricula were inquiry-based or used technology.
For the pretest and posttest, students completed the sound unit test. The pretest was given
to students before the teacher taught the unit, and the posttest was given upon the completion
of the teaching of the unit. The posttest differed slightly from the pretest in the order of
the response options and the values of the prompts (e.g., temperature) in the questions. For
a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
Teachers had access to an online training course that provided information about the TEEMSS
curriculum and technology. The study did not discuss additional support or training for teachers.