Effect of computer-assisted instruction on middle school music students' achievement

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Material Information

Title:
Effect of computer-assisted instruction on middle school music students' achievement
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis
Creator:
Sparrow, Willie Earl Jr. ( Dissertant )
Robinson, Russell L. ( Thesis advisor )
Reed, S. Alexander ( Reviewer )
Publisher:
College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
2010

Notes

Abstract:
While technology is an integral part of education in the 21st century, not many music teachers are incorporating music technology into their classroom instruction. This study investigated the role, if any, that computer assisted instruction (CAI) plays in students' retaining musical concepts. Randomly selected groups of middle school students received instruction on the names of the notes on the treble clef staff in two different styles. The control group received traditional classroom instruction using traditional classroom teaching methods (worksheets and lecture/class participation) while the experimental group reviewed the material using the free online music programs www.musictheory.net, www.happynote.com, and www.emusictheory.com. After three treatments, the students were administered a post test created by the researcher. While both groups made learning gains, the CAI group made the highest learning gains overall. Results of a t test revealed that the CAI group's gains when compared to the control group were statistically significant with a P value of 0.0044.
General Note:
Music education terminal project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Author retains all rights.
System ID:
AA00000316:00001


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1 THE EFFECT OF COMPUTER ASSISTED INSTRUCTION ON MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC STUDENTS ACHIEVEMENT By WILLIE EARL SPARROW JR. PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF MUSIC UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Willie Earl Sparrow Jr

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3 To my family, my friends, my music teachers, my current and former students and to their students in the f uture

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4 A CKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank God for granting me the wisdom and knowledge to complet e this research. I thank my wife, Jannelle, for her patience over the last two years as I purs ued my m aster s degree. I thank my professors at the University of Florida for guiding me along during the last two years in the classroom and out. I especially thank Dr. Timothy Brophy for creating the summer music m aster s program for professional educators like myself. Finally, I thank the staff, students and parents of the Quality Life Center who allowed me to do this research.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 page LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 6 ABSTRACT ..................................................................................................................... 7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................... 8 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE .............................................................................. 9 3 METHOD ................................................................................................................ 11 Participants ............................................................................................................. 11 Instruments and Procedure ..................................................................................... 11 4 RESULTS ............................................................................................................... 13 Discussion .............................................................................................................. 13 Future Research ..................................................................................................... 15 APPENDIX: R AW TEST DATA ..................................................................................... 17 REFERENCES .............................................................................................................. 18 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................ 19

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6 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 First comparison of learning gains of the CAI group compared to the control group. ................................................................................................................. 13 4 2 Unpaired t test minus outlier ............................................................................... 13 A 1 CAI subjects raw data ........................................................................................ 17 A 2 Control subjects raw data .................................................................................. 17

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7 Abstract of Project in Lieu of Thesis Presented to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music THE EFFECT OF COMPUTER ASSISTED INSTRUCTION ON MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC STUDENTS ACHIEVEMENT By Willie Earl Sparrow Jr December 2010 Chair: Russell L. Robinson Major: Music Education While technology is an integral part of education in the 21st century, not many music teachers are incorporating music technology into their classroom instruction. This study investigated the role, if any, that computer assisted instruction (CAI) plays in students retaining musical concepts. Randomly selected groups of middle school students received instruction on the names of the notes on the treble clef staff in two different styles. The control group received traditional classroom instruction using traditional classroom teaching methods (worksheets and lecture/class participation) while the experimental group reviewed the material using the free online music pro grams www.musictheory.net www.happynote.com and www.emusictheory.com After three treatments, the students were administered a p ost test created by the researcher. While both groups made learning gains, the CAI group made the highest learning gains overall. R esults of a t test revealed that the CAI groups gains when compared to the control group were statistically significant wit h a P value of 0. 0044.

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8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION With the use of internet, anyone can download music or pictures or videos from anyone across the world. Programs like Skype ( www.skype.com ) provide free computer to comput er video conferencing and phone services are changing how people communicate across the world. Teenagers spend a l ot of time on the internet. The website www.infoplease.com (2007) says 94% of all teens in America use the internet. Deleons (2009) study of American teens found that teens spend 31 hours a week on the internet In summer 1990, a survey titled The Michigan Computer Music Survey was sent out to music teachers in elementary and secondary schools in Michigan. Of the 1,026 surveys mailed out 72.5% ( 744 surveys ) were returned. Results showed that while 80% of computer us e was for administrative purposes, only 4.6% of teachers used computer assisted instruction (CAI) in their music classroom s. Dunnigan (1993) reports that teachers who did use CAI were very satisfied with their students results. Besides the traditional method of lecture/note taking to teach musical concepts, is there a way to use the internet to improve students understanding of musica l features like treble clef note names ? This study is an examination of the effects of computer assisted instruction with middle school music students versus traditional teacher led classroom music instruction.

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9 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Dahl loef (1971) says General music teachers face many problems. We must instruct students of various ages and various levels of aptitude and motivation, often without adequate resources and within an inadequate schedule. There is little time available to work with individuals or small groups of students or time for authentic, meaningful assessment and feedback on individual performing abilities. The pace of instruction is usually geared to the steering g roup (the group of students the teacher perceives is ready to move to new material), which can lead to frustration in students who need more time to succeed, while simultaneously stifling the progress of faster learning students. Another advantage o f CAI is immediate feedback (Muscat, Lorton, & Orler 1977) I mmediate feedback forces students who would not volunteer to answer questions in a traditional classroom to rely on their own knowledge to answer questions Suppes (1985) says the biggest advantage in computer assisted training is individualized instruction (p.1). He cites fo ur major benefits of CAI: individualization of pace, individualization of response, i ndividualization of feedback and presentation of different skills. He also cites problems with CAI. The biggest problem with CAI i s threefold. First, administrators must change their own negative attitudes about CAI. Second, teachers must be trained to include technology and some teachers are wary about learning a new style of instruction. Third, computers may malfunction. Smith (2009) investigated th e effect of CAI on rhythm accuracy with middle school instrument students and found no evidence to conclude that the use of CAI caused any of the subjects to improve at a greater rate than subjects not receiving CAI but found

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10 over the course of eight weeks the rhythm sight reading performance of all participants improved significantly ( p 66). Kasner (2003) said by using a system that integrates a variety of instructional delivery modes and methodically calls for monitoring student achievement, the teacher can help students acquire knowledge and be aware of each student's progress at all times. This researcher believes that music software should be a vital part of that process. Chew (2005) used a CAI to assess 3rd grade students and their ability t o play rhythms. S tudents involved with the CAI showed a marked improvement compared to a control group. Musical literacy software is abundant on the internet. From simple game sites like Happy Note ( www.happynote.com ), which feature games appropriate for elementary and middle school music students ; to w ebsites like Music Theory.net ( www.musictheory.net ), Music Tech Teacher ( www. musictechteacher.com ), and Practice Spot ( www.practicespot.com ), which provide bass and treble clef drills, piano keyboard drills, meter recognition, interval recognition, music quizzes, and a variety of other musical literacy skills with which students can practice their musical knowledge. While subscriptions are available to be purchased on some sites, the previously mentioned websites all have free music drills readily available and easily accessible.

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11 CHAPT ER 3 METHOD Participants Subjects were selected from the Quality Life Center (QLC) summer camp in summer 2010. These subjects are rising 6th through 8th grade students in the public, charter, and private middle schools in Lee County, Florida. In 2009, mus ic instruction at the public elementary schools was reduced from a full year of music and art instruction to half a year of music and half a year of art. Middle school subjects only received music instruction if they were enrolled in a music elective during their school schedule. The racial background of the subjects is predominately AfricanAmerican. The QLC is a community center in an urban AfricanAmerican neighborhood. Instruments and Procedure Two instruments were used to collect data. The researcher c reated the pre and post test to measure the students learning before and after the treatments. Subjects from one female single sex classroom and one male single sex classroom received a pre test consisting of 20 questions to measure prior knowledge of t reble clef note names. The subjects were to write the appropriate name of the letter note on the treble clef staff on the space provided. Next, the subjects received the same introduc tion to the subject matter in traditional lecture notetaking fashion. Af terwards, the two singlesex classrooms were combined into two multi sex classes using a random assignment graph ( http://www.graphpad.com/quickcalcs/randomize2.cfm ). One group received the CAI treatment and the control group received traditional classroom instruction. Both classes received the treatment (CAI or classroom instruction) for fifteen minutes. After three treatments, the subjects in the experiment took a post test

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12 covering the ex act same material as the pre test. The test had 20 test items in a different order with the same number of notes. The subjects were exposed to similar material with the same amount of time each lesson. The first treatment exposed the subjects ( via computer or via paperback ) to the story of King Treble Clef to teach them about the names of the treble clef notes. The second treatment exposed the subjects ( via computer or via lecture/notes ) to drills and word games that spell words like dad, cab, and bag, made up of whole notes on the treble clef staff. The third treatment included treble note drills ( where the students had to identify the names of the notes ) similar to the pre test/post test.

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13 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The CAI group made much higher learning gains than the control group. An unpaired t test on the learning gains is shown in Table 4 1. The twotailed P value equals 0.0376. By conventional criteria, this difference is considered statistically significant. Table 4 1 First c omparison of learning gai ns of the CAI group compared to the control group Group CAI group Control Mean 88.33 60.71 SD 8.76 27.30 SEM 3.57 10.32 N 6 7 The control group has a high standard deviation because of the inclusion of the scores of an outlier. One of the subjects in the control group scored 5 of 100 on the pre test and 10 of 100 on the post test. When I take out the outliers scores and make the number of subjects in the c ontrol group 6, the data become significant. The two tailed P value equals 0.0044. The s econd unpaired t test is shown in Table 4 2. R aw d ata ar e shown in Tables A 1 and A 2 Table 4 2. Unpaired t test minus outlier Group CAI group Control Mean 88.33 67.50 Standard Deviation 8.76 10.84 SEM 3.57 4.43 Number of subjects 6 6 Dis cussion The CAI students were encouraged not to share the websites and instructional material with students in the control groups. To neutralize the John Henry effect, the researcher daily reminded the students this was not a contest between the boys and t he girls or the computer vs. the noncomputer students. The researcher informed the

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14 students that the results of their study would not be released to them until well after the summer camp was over and students would only learn how they personally improved, and not how their class improved. S ubjects in the CAI group were much more involved in their music lesson than their counterparts in the control group. It was observed that what Saracho (1982) said in her research appeared to be true. Saracho s aid Stude nts easily adapt to the language and the demands of computer technology and, most important, students seem to enjoy learning through the computer. S ubjects who received the CAI treatment attacked the assignments like it was a game or entertainment instead of something they h ad to learn. S tudents in the control group were very uninterested in completing the assignment, and since the burden was on the researcher to teach, the burden was on them to l earn. Unlike the control group, students in the CAI group helped each other and went out of their way to show off their new skills. The biggest challenge of this research was trying not to overcompensate with the control group and bias their learning. To compensate for that factor, the order of instruction to t he groups was switched. The researcher would teach the CAI group first and the control group second, on the first treatment and would alt ernate which group that went first. There was also a tendency for subjects in one group to conveniently stop by th e other groups class in session to see what was going on Most of resour ces used for this study were more than 10 year s old. If more researchers find this study valid, more money might be invested in technology in the music classrooms. This research supports the findings of Chew (2005) that students make larger gains with computer assisted instruction. Some difficulty was experienced with the

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15 computers in the computer lab at Quality Life Center. Other difficulties were similar to those stated by Suppes (1985). There was an issue getting the computers in the computer lab online and CAI students had to share a computer. This research does not support the finding s of Smith (2009) who reported that CAI tests did not make a significant difference in the post test results. E i ght students in each group were randomly selected, but only six in the CAI group and seven from the control group were present for all of the treatments. D ata fr om the students who were not present for all treatments were not included in thi s study. This study should be replicated with a larger pool of par ticipants to validate results While all students made learning gains, teachers who use computers to assist them in music instruction will help the students make higher learning gains. This researcher thinks this project was significant because with only three treatments, middle school students were able to learn musical concepts. The researchers anecdotal experience as a high school choral director suggests that most of incoming freshmen s ingers ( whether or not they participated in choir in middle school ) have low musical literacy skills If middle school music teachers knew how easy and how fun the free mus ical literacy programs are, I am certain more students would learn how to read mus ic using CAI. Research like this could help music teachers convince t heir administrators to pro vide computers in the music classroom. Although CAI can never replace a teachers experience this research strongly suggests that students can master a concept faster with CAI. Future Research This study should be replicated with a larg er pool of participants While all students made learning gains, teachers who use computers to assist them in music instruction

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16 will help the students make higher learning gains. A nother area of future research should focus on how students grasp concepts like inter val recognition, key signature recognition, rhythmic dictation and/or melodic dictation using CAI compared to the traditional method. More studies need to be done on computer instruction in the music classroom with the advent of so many great and free res ources available considering with how much fun students have using technology

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17 APPENDIX RAW TEST DATA Table A 1. CAI subjects raw data Pre test Post test Gains CAI 1 0 100 100 CAI 2 5 90 85 CAI 3 20 95 75 CAI 4 10 100 90 CAI 5 15 100 85 CAI 6 0 95 95 MEAN 8.33 96.66 88.33 Table A 2. Control subjects raw data Pre test Post test Gains Control 1 30 90 60 Control 2 15 85 70 Control 3 15 65 50 Control 4 15 90 75 Control 5 15 100 85 Control 6 0 70 70 Control 7/Outlier 5 10 5 Mean w/Outlier 13.57 72.85 59.28 Mean w/o Outlier 15.83 83.33 68.33

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18 REFERENCES Beckstead, D. (2001). Will technology transform music education? Music Educators Journal, 87 (6), 44 49. Chew, Deborah Yvonne (2005). Computer assisted instruction for music theory education: Rhythm in music. M.A. dissertation, California State University, Dominguez Hills, United States California. Retrieved June 26, 2009, from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text database. (Publication No. AAT 1430814). Dahlloef, U. (1971). Ability grouping, content validity, and curriculum process analysis. New York: Teachers College Press. Deleon, Nicholas. (February 10, 2009). www.crunchgear.com. In How do you c ompare? Teens spend 31 hours a week online. Retrieved June 14, 2009, from http://www.crunchgear. com/2009/02/10/how doyou compareteens spend31hours a week online/. Infoplease. (2007, November). Teen Internet Usage. Retrieved June 12, 2009, from Infoplease: http://www.infoplease.com/science/computers/teeninternet usage.html Kassner, K. (2003). Technology for Musicianship: Organizing Instruction Using the TRIMM System. General Music Today pp. 2831. Michlin, A. (2008). All things technology. Music Educators Journal, 94 (4), 2627. Muscat, E. G., Lorton, P., & Orler, A. K. Educational technology in bilingual education. Educational Horizons, 1977, 55(4), 191 195. Saracho, O. N. (1982). The effects of a computer assisted instruction program on basic sk ills achievement and attitudes toward instruction of S panish speaking migrant children. American Educational Research Journal, 19 (2), 201 219 Smith, K. H. (2009) The effect of computer assisted instruction and field independence on the development of rhyth m sight reading skills of middle school instrumental students International Journal of Music Education, 2009; vol. 27: pp. 59 68 Suppes, P. A (1985). Computer Assited Instruction: Possibilities and Problems. NASSP Bulletin 3034.

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19 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH My name is W. Earl Sparrow Jr. I received my undergraduate degree in Music Education from Florida A & M University in 2002. I participated in several organizations during my undergraduate years including the FAMU Concert Choir, the FAMU Jazz Band, the FA MU Connection, FAMU Essential Theatre, the FAMU Percussion Ensemble, the FAMU Gospel Choir and the Omicron Gamma chapter of Phi Mu Alpha SINFONIA. After graduating I began my career as a music educator in Lee County in 2002. I am currently the D irector of Choral Activities at Lehigh Senior High School Center for the Arts where I teach Chorus, Keyboard I III and Musical Theatre.