The effect of using Nearpod as a tool of active learning in the high school science classroom
Lowry-Brock, Margaret Rebecca
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A good portion of what must be learned in the introductory science classroom is most easily conveyed during lecture. Unfortunately students tend to be more passive during lecture than active. This often results in the instructor being unsure of what students understand until it is time for a summative assessment. When active learning strategies are implemented during a lecture some students feel uncomfortable participating and the instructor is unable to determine how successful the lecture has been. This project investigated the impact of the interactive presentation tool Nearpod on the success of high school science students. Classes were introduced to new material using Nearpod or PowerPoint with active learning strategies. Student achievement was measured using Pretests and Posttests, daily quizzes, classroom, and laboratory activities. Student and teacher attitude was measured using surveys and journals. Data collection for this project included Pretests and Posttests to measure any differences in the amount of information learned between the two types of presentations. Grades on daily assignments were considered to see if there was any difference between Treatment and Nontreatment groups. Student surveys were given to see if students had any preferences on which presentation program they felt more comfortable with, learned more with, and which one their teacher taught better with. The students were also given the opportunity to express what they liked and disliked about each presentation program. Teacher interviews were conducted to determine how successful and helpful Nearpod was in the classroom. A teacher journal was created to follow the morale of the teacher through this process. The results of this project indicated that Nearpod does not have a great effect on student grades when compared to active learning with the presentation program PowerPoint. However, students and teachers both prefer the active learning opportunities provided by Nearpod. Active learning seems to be a common factor of how much students learn, not a computer program with opportunities for active participation.