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ERIC Number: ED500846
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 211
Abstractor: Author
Increasing High School Student Engagement in Classroom Activities by Implementing Real-World Projects with Choice, Goals Portfolios, and Goals Conferencing
Barnes, Jessica L.; Bramley, Scott A.
Online Submission
The authors of this action research project report were teacher researchers who found student disengagement during classroom activities to have a negative effect on their classroom environments and on their students' achievement. The purpose of this action research project was to increase student engagement in classroom activities by implementing real-world projects that allowed for student choice, goals portfolios, and one-on-one conferencing with teachers about goals. Twelve basic algebra 1 students in all high school grade levels at Site A and 14 sophomore English students at Site B, for a total of 26 students, participated in the study, which was conducted from September 17, 2007 through December 21, 2007. The researchers focused their study on the problem of student disengagement, defined by off-task behaviors, such as talking with other students, blurting out, choosing not to do work, making vocal noises, and tapping pencils, hands, feet, etc. The researchers used a student survey, a faculty questionnaire, and a behavior checklist to document evidence of the problem. Both the student survey (n=25, 96%) and the faculty questionnaire revealed that students were more likely to engage in activities that relate to their lives or the real world. The student survey showed that students were more likely to engage in class when activities offer them choice (n=26, 100%), when they set goals (n=17, 65%), and when they conference one-on-one with the teacher (n=15, 58%). Both the faculty questionnaire and the behavior checklist found some of the most common off-task behaviors to be talking with other students, choosing not to do work, and blurting out. The three interventions the researchers implemented were real-world projects with student choice, goals portfolios, and one-on-one conferencing with teachers about goals. The teacher researchers' were not able to make any significant conclusions based upon their collective pre- and post-documentation, but their individual weekly observations provided insight into their students' behavior. Students were motivated to work on the real-world projects in class, and their engagement increased during the projects as a result. However, this engagement did not continue with other class activities. The goals portfolio seemed to have a negative impact on student engagement. There was an increase in certain off-task behaviors. The researchers concluded that the ineffectiveness of the goals portfolios was a result of students' lack of organizational skills and motivation to complete the work required to keep a portfolio. Thirteen appendixes include: Student Survey; Student Behavior Checklist; Faculty Questionnaire; Goals Portfolio Assignment; Teacher Researcher A's Real-World Project 1 through 4; Teacher Researcher B's Real-World Project 1 through 4; and Student Samples. (Contains 24 tables and 7 graphs.) [Master of Arts Action Research Project, Field-Based Master's Program, Saint Xavier University & Pearson Achievement Solutions, Inc.]
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Grade 10; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A