Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Education, Leadership and Public Service

Program

Science Education

First Advisor/Chairperson

Carolyn Lowe PhD

Second Advisor

Judith Puncochar PhD

Third Advisor

Mitchell Klett PhD

Abstract

This qualitative study's purpose was to integrate virtual classroom assignments with traditional classroom activities. The integration of these virtual classroom assignments were used to assess the benefits of technology integration in a science classroom. Thirteen fifth and sixth grade students learned about the evolution and traits of organisms in accordance to the State of Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations. This unit followed a unit on animal systems.

Students were given a pretest and posttest (in concept map form and unit test in essay form). Objectives were taught using a combination of lecture, discussion, and in class activities. The unit also contained three virtual world activities. Following each virtual world activity, students were given a questionnaire to give feedback regarding the retention of subject matter and presentation of material.

The virtual world activities enhanced the animal systems unit. Students were able to learn the objectives and then extend their knowledge through interactive simulations and presenting their creations. Students also greatly benefitted from the social aspect of Biome. Students were able to understand big picture ideas and make real world connections through social expression, artistic expression and the sharing of their ideas.

Available for download on Monday, May 01, 2017

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