Creating online access as a communication bridge : impact and effectiveness on middle school science
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The purpose of this study was to create a sense of accountability in eighth grade science students. The project was designed to assess whether students who were required to access information needed in class by using a teacher created website showed academic improvement. Data on student and parent perceptions regarding the efficacy of the website were also measured. The intent was to see if students could become more independent learners as they are being prepared to enter the high school system in the fall of 2013. The results of this study demonstrated that there was a modest improvement in overall academic achievement of students required to use the website compared to those who did not. Parent and student perceptions regarding online education were more difficult to measure quantitatively due to low numbers of surveys returned. Qualitative methods led me to conclude that the website was not only effective, but it gave students a chance to experience mixing their academic expectations with their frequent use of online tools. Parents informally reported that the website provided a platform for them to oversee their student's academics while allowing the student to maintain some degree of autonomy.