Making it Stick! Mobile Apps to Pedagogically Support Retrieval Practices
This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by employing mobile technology to help up to 530 teachers and more than 9,000 students use proven retrieval experiences to improve STEM learning. The project will design and implement pedagogical and technological retrieval experiences as well as test the hypothesis that these experiences will encourage students to learn, retain, and apply newly acquired scientific knowledge in novel settings. The project will accomplish this goal through the development and use of simple to complex mobile Apps ranging from basic retrieval strategies to interactive problem solving approaches involving interleaved and generative practices. Through an interdisciplinary approach this project will combine STEM content with technology and pedagogy to support more meaningful and in-depth learning. Culturally-oriented, low-threshold technologies along with cognitively effective retrieval practices will be used to increase students' computational thinking as well as their scientific processing and critical thinking skills associated with careers in the future STEM workforce.
Deductive and inductive reasoning will underpin a mixed-methods research design involving pre-post surveys, rubric-scored annual competitions, classroom observations, reflective journal entries, video recall and face-to-face interviews, activity logs, and classroom artifacts. These measures will capture changes in student and teacher attitudes, beliefs, and classroom instructions brought on by the use of mobile technologies. Data analysis of information from these sources will provide a robust characterization of the validity of research findings inclusive of inter-rater reliability, internal consistency, and testing and retesting of the stability of the study design. Project outcomes will include computational models and patterns common to multiple STEM fields developed through mobile Apps in physics, chemistry, biology, Earth science, and mathematics at different educational levels. A database will be created to maintain and disseminate newly developed mobile Apps. Developed resources and research findings will be shared with Finger Lakes Learning Network of 80 regional school districts as well as STEM practitioners and policymakers elsewhere through conferences and the project's website.