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CoInstruction and Adult Learners

An Action Research Study

Thesis (M.A.) 2014 61 Pages

Pedagogy - Adult Education

Excerpt

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Topic and Problem
Topic
Topic choice.
Topic importance.
Problem Statement
Problem background.
Significance of the problem.
Possible causes.
Research Questions
Topic and Problem Conclusion

Chapter 2 Review of the Literature
Prior Research
Best Practices
Summary

Chapter 3 Research Methodology
Overview of the Research Methodology
Research Questions
Hypotheses
Definition of Terms
Research Design
Participants
Permissions.
Evaluation Methods and Tools
Validity and reliability.
Data integrity.
Method Adoption
Differences.
Summary

Chapter 4 Findings
Results Overview
Data Driven Findings Summary
Data Analysis
Answers to the Research Questions
Findings Summary

Chapter 5 Discussion and Conclusion
Overview
Problem Solutions
Strengths
Weaknesses
Problems Encountered
Influential Factors
Implications
Limitations
Recommendations
Improvement.
Further investigation.
Master’s Degree Experience
Implementation
Project Summary and Conclusion

References

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Chapter 1 Topic and Problem

This action-research study consists of 4-hour co-instructional facilitation about the Integumentary (skin) System. Discovering an answer to the following question is this study’s purpose: How beneficial is a co-instructional approach in relation to adult learners? What is the difference between pre-assessment scores when compared to post-assessment scores after a 4 hour co-instructional lecture with adult learners?

Topic

In recent times, co-instruction has become a popular method for educating students with learning disabilities. Co-instruction according to Scruggs is an arrangement between two instructors that collaborates towards accommodating the needs of learners simultaneously, (Scruggs, 2007). The topic of this study is to discover how beneficial is a co-instructional approach in relation to adult learners. Yet, co-instruction as an approach can have numerous variations towards its implementation.

Friend and Cook has sited six co-instructional variations as examples and they are as follows: One instructor facilitates while the other instructor supports the learners by circulating the classroom and offering assistance when needed. During the second variation, instructors will use teaching stations and divide the learners and content into sub- groupings; the instructor will then meet with each group for half of the lesson time. In a parallel variation, the class is divided into two groups and each teacher teaches the same content to one group. Alternative variation organizes the students into one small and one large group in a way that best suits the needs of the learners and each instructor facilitates one of the groups. Both instructor share complete ownership of the lessons and learners and take turns with delivering facilitation in co-teaching. With the one teach, one observe variation, detailed observations of student behaviors, participation, and engagement are observed and analyzed by both instructor, (Friend and Cook 2010). This study will have both co-instructors speaking about Integumentary System concepts simultaneously for 4 hours.

Topic choice.

An analysis of learners perspective through an formative survey has identified two significant viewpoints: The first viewpoint, learners unanimously agree that an innovative approach is necessary to keep their interest. The next viewpoint, learners felt retention of course content would increase if more than one instructor was present in the classroom.

Interestingly enough, co-instruction has become a popular method in recent decades. Its benefits include a higher quality experience for learners and shared responsibilities for instructors. This co-instructional study sets forth to discovering the perceived benefits, if any, in relation to adult learners.

Topic importance.

The purpose of this study is to discover how beneficial is a co-instructional approach through the lens of adult learners. This topic is specifically important since I have a desire to discover how effective is a co-instruction in relation to adult learners. Relevancy of this study will provide a sturdy foundation towards co-instructional approaches in relation to adult learners. Participants of this study will benefit by identifying anatomical structures of the Integumentary System, describing those physiological structures and recognizing their significance within the system.

Problem Statement

A needs analysis for the adult learners of CBT College- Cutler Bay was conducted through an online survey. The survey results highlighted two key facets that may connect to the declining numbers within the classroom: The first of two, learners unanimously agree that an innovative approach is necessary to keep their interest. Second, learners believe retention of course content would increase if more than one instructor was present in the classroom. After analyzing the aforementioned two statements, this research serves to answer the following question: How effective is a co-instructional approach in relation to adult learners?

Problem background.

Adult learners of CBT College are unrolling from the allied health programs. A needs assessment was done to identify a root cause for the declining numbers. After an analysis of learner’s perspective via surveys, learners have echoed two significant viewpoints: The first viewpoint, learners unanimously agree that an innovative approach is necessary to keep their interest. The next viewpoint, learners believe retention of course content would increase if more than one instructor was present in the classroom. After analyzing the aforementioned two statements, this research serves to answer the following question: What are the perceived benefits of a co-instructional approach in relation to adult learners?

Significance of the problem.

Adult learners of the college are often distracted away from course content and as a result, learners unroll from allied health programs at CBT-Cutler Bay. According to a needs analysis survey of CBT College- Cutler Bay Learners, a lack of innovative learning approaches implemented in lieu of traditional lectures has taken a toll on enrollment number. I propose facilitation using a co-instructional approach can be the solution of this problem since there is data on the perceived benefits set forth by previous research. Co-instruction may increase adult learner’s acquisition of skill by synthesizing theory and thought in relation to course content. Moreover, co-instruction may be the solution to interest adult learners on course content and increase their acquisition of skill.

Possible causes.

Before the start of winter 2014 Term, very similar to the needs analysis, 16 instructors were invited to a workshop. Throughout the first hour, instructors reflected on the needs analysis results of adult learners done prior. During the subsequent hour, learning designs and teaching approaches were explained to instructors of CBT College. Afterwards, closed-ended questionnaires were distributed to reflect instructional approaches within the classroom. As a result, instructors were described as having a foundation on innovative learning approaches. Yet regrettably, 4 out of 16 educators have chosen not to implement any varied teaching strategy or approach. Even more interesting, 0 out of 16 educators has never heard of co-instructional teaching.

Research Questions

Action-Research Question. How beneficial is a co-instructional approach in relation to adult learners?

Quantitative Question. What is the difference between pre-assessment scores when compared to post-assessment scores after a 4 hour co-instructional lecture?

Qualitative Question. What are adult learners perception to the co-instructional approach utilized within the classroom?

Topic and Problem Conclusion

This study can be described as a 4 hour co-instructional approach about the Integumentary system. The first stage of this process begins with completed applications submitted by study attendees. Attendees are required to complete a simple application that will ask for basic information. This information not only includes full name and date of birth, but also further areas of interest (i.e. education level and reasons for attending). Imagine an application coupled with a survey. This data collection method will gather the most quantifiable demographic data in a shortened period of time, (“Quantitative Analysis. “ Def. Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, 2014). Moreover, I will have direct insight towards subtopics and points of interest from participants that may refine this instructional unit in the future.

Participants selected for this study will benefit by identifying anatomical structures of the Integumentary System. Participants of this study will also be able to describe physiological structures of the Integumentary System. Moreover, participants of this study will also be able to recognize the significance of structures within the Integumentary System. At the beginning of the study, an assessment to measure prior knowledge must be performed under the following conditions of learning: answering 25 multiple-choice post-assessment questions under direct supervision of researcher. The following are standards of performance that must be met: Attendees will attempt in recognizing integumentary system content with no more than a 10% performance error, within 30 minutes, and under direct supervision of researcher.

The second stage of this process begins subsequently after the first stage. A brief survey is to be distributed after the first two out of 4 hours for feedback purposes. This survey will consist of 10 questions assessing an attendee’s current reaction towards the study that was facilitated using the co-instructional approach. Attendees are to select their reaction using a 4-tier scale (i.e., highly ineffective, ineffective, effective, highly effective). Feedback is then to be extrapolated and compared as so the overall perceived benefits can be recorded.

During the final stage of this process at the study’s conclusion, an assessment to show understanding must be performed under the following conditions of learning: answering 25 multiple-choice post-assessment questions under direct supervision of researcher. The following are standards of performance that must be met: Attendees will recognize integumentary system content previously discussed on a post-assessment exam with no more than a 10% performance error, within 30 minutes, and under direct supervision of researcher. Afterwards, a brief survey is emailed to participants for feedback. This survey will consist of 10 questions assessing a participant’s final reaction towards the study that was facilitated using a co-instructional approach. Participants are to select their reaction using a 4-tier scale (i.e., highly ineffective, ineffective, effective, highly effective). Feedback is then to be extrapolated and compared as so the overall perceived benefits can be recorded.

Chapter 2 Review of the Literature

The purpose of this study is to explore co-instructional teaching and its several variations as an effective strategy for learners. Gathering information pertaining co-instructional delivery along with its requirements and efficacy is the foundation of this study. In retrieving the reviewed literature for this study, the researcher utilized the Educational Resource Information Center and Google Scholar.

The review of literature explores co-instructional teaching and several ways it can be delivered towards learners. The concentration of the literature is divided into three key angles. The first angle of the literature review focuses on co-instruction and its several variations. The second angle of the literature review involves the instructor requirements for co-instructional teaching. The last angle focuses on the efficacy of co-instructional teaching for its learners.

Co-instructional Teaching and its Several Variations

Co-Instruction as according to Scruggs is where two instructors work collaboratively in addressing learners needs, (Scruggs, 2007). Yet, co-instruction can be facilitated through a multitude of ways. Computer-assisted instruction is one variation to co-instructional teaching that may increase learner’s acquisition of skill, (Jeff, 2006). One year later, Chen whom pioneered a formative research on computer-assisted instruction echoed a similar hypothesis, (Chen 2007).

In another study, conducted by Friend and Cook, they have cited six other co-instructional teaching approaches that can be utilized towards learners. Their first approach begins with one instructor that solely facilitates while the second instructor supports the learners by circulating the classroom and offering assistance when needed. A second co-instructional teaching approach describes the instructors using teaching stations and dividing the learners, and content into sub- groupings. Each instructor will then meet with each sub-group for half of the lesson time.

In parallel co-instructional teaching, the class is divided into two groups and each teacher teaches the same content to one group. Alternative co-instructional teaching organizes the students into one small and one large group in a way that best suits the needs of the learners and each instructor facilitates one of the groups. Both instructors share complete ownership of the lessons and learners, and take turns with delivering facilitation in co-teaching. With the one teach, one observe co-instructional approach, detailed observations of student behaviors, and engagement are observed and analyzed by both instructors (Friend and Cook 2010).

Requirements for Co-Instructional Teaching

In a narrative study according to Scruggs, it is cited that co-instructors have additional factors to take into account other than another able body instructor. Participants of Scruggs’s study spanned across 1996-2005 and were further subdivided among the following categories: 454 co-instructor, 42 administrators, 142 students, 26 parents, and 5 support instructors. As a result to Scruggs study, instructors required the following for successful co-instruction: Administrative support of from the school principle, voluntary participation in co-teaching, and choice of co-teaching partner. Additional requirements include compatibility of instructors, time-management, student behavior and training. The outcome of Scruggs study echoed an increase of learner’s participation for the acquisition of required skill, (Scruggs, 2007).

The Efficacy of Co-Instructional Teaching

Co-instruction has been an effective tool towards adolescent learners and those with disabilities. To measure its affectivity in relation to classroom disruption, Taranto pioneered a quantitative study that sought the effectiveness of co-instruction by observing behavior. Classroom disruptions or lack thereof were tabulated. As a result, during the 2009–10 school years, there were 66 out of 67 classroom disruptions. However, during the 2010–11 school years, there were 24 classroom disruptions out of a possible 57; this is a 65% decrease. Taranto’s study leads one to believe it was co-instructional teaching that may be the cause of the decreased classroom disruption, (Taranto, 2011).

Prior Research

Qualitative and quantitative results in regards to co-instructional studies have since been deduced; however, that data has yet to be properly synthesized and summarized, (Scruggs, 2007). Friend and Cook’s study has discovered improved intra-personal behavior because of an implemented co-instructional approach, (Friend and Cook, 2010). Further research is needed to determine if co-instructional teaching is truly beneficial for adult learners. Methodologies for measuring learner’s acquisition of skill during and after co-instructional teaching need to be explored to determine for its possible efficacy.

Best Practices

Friend and Cook conducted a co-instructional action research that sought improved behavior rather than assessments. Best practices utilized throughout their study can be subdivided into six approaches. First, one instructor facilitates while the other instructor supports the learners by circulating the classroom and offering assistance when needed. During the second approach, instructors will use teaching stations and divide the learners and content into sub- groupings; the instructor will then meet with each group for half of the lesson time. In parallel teaching, the class is divided into two groups and each teacher teaches the same content to one group, (Friend and Cook, 2010).

Alternative teaching organizes the students into one small and one large group in a way that best suits the needs of the learners and each instructor facilitates one of the groups. Both instructor share complete ownership of the lessons and learners and take turns with delivering facilitation in co-teaching. With the one teach, one observe approach, detailed observations of student behaviors, participation, and engagement are observed and analyzed by both instructor, (Friend and Cook, 2010).

Chen conducted a formative research on computer-assisted co-instruction in relation to first time drivers. Throughout the study, there were 4 best practices for data collection: Personal Observations/Journal, Participant’s Observation, Assessment, and Interview, (Chen, 2007). Having multiple venues to collect data can triangulate connections and increases reliability of results.

Best Co- Instructional Practice

Guerrilla Teaching is a co-instructional approach that uses rapid-fire burst of questioning. Benefits of a co-instructional includes conditioning learners mind for quicker knowledge retrieval. It is an excellent method for students to retain information that have shortened attention spans. Quintessentially, Guerrilla Teaching provides an innovative yet cost-effective means to meet course competencies while cultivating meaningful discussions by another instructor, (Anderson and Micah, 2014).

The process of initiating Guerilla Teaching begins by the following: An instructor voluntarily places a mutual sign outside one’s lecture hall to signal others an invitation for Guerrilla Style Teaching. Next, a guest instructor briefly observes the classroom for 5 minutes as so they may acquaint themselves on current events in discussion. Shortly thereafter, the invited instructor may interject themselves into the course discussion and begin rapid-fire questioning. This should not last longer than 10 minutes for it may pose to mentally strenuous. Once time has concluded, the invited instructor is suggested to leave as so course discussion may continue with the actual course instructor, (Anderson and Micah, 2014).

Although there were no data included to reflect on how beneficial this variation of co-instruction is towards learners; it is considered an innovative practice. Similarly to a Constructivism Learning Style, the aforementioned learning approach collaborates with another instructor for a shorten hands-on lecture, (“Constructivism.” Def. American Heritage Dictionary. 4th ed. 2003).

Annotated Bibliography of Similar Literature

Fox, Deborah M. "Education and Consumerism: Using Students' Assumptions to Challenge Their Thinking." Faculty Focus Education and Consumerism Using Students Assumptions to Challenge Their Thinking Comments. Faculty Focus, 19 May 2014. Web. 19 May 2014.

Deborah Fox, a literature instructor at Anderson University, uses qualitative data observation of students at Anderson University to test their hypothesis of a learning design theory. Although the article provides great insight on new innovative teaching methodologies, the article lacked sufficient data to prove design affectivity. The strategy in essence, Consumerism, influences the transaction of knowledge between student and instructor as currency.

Anderson, M, and Micah, F. "Using Guerrilla Tactics to Improve Teaching." Faculty Focus Using Guerrilla Tactics to Improve Teaching Comments. Faculty Focus, 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 19 May 2014.

Anderson and Micah, Program Coordinators at West Virginia University, uses qualitative data observation of students at West Virginia University to test their hypothesis of a learning design theory. While the article provides great insight on new innovative teaching methodologies, the strategy lacked sufficient data to prove design affectivity. The tactic in essence, provides an innovative yet cost-effective means to meet course competencies while cultivating meaningful discussions by another instructor.

Bhuse, Vilay. "How to Teach a Course That Leads to Certification." Faculty Focus How to Teach a Course That Leads to Certification Comments. Faculty Focus, 26 Apr. 2011. Web. 19 May 2014.

Bhuse, a Computer Information Security instructor at EPCI College of Technology, uses qualitative data observation of students at EPCI College of Technology to test their hypothesis of a learning design theory. While the article provides great insight on new innovative teaching methodologies, the strategy lacked sufficient data to prove design affectivity. On the contrary, Bhuse suggest that Instructors should lead a discussion on certification objectives for roughly 8 hours. Instructors are also recommended to lead in-depth discussion on practice tests for 20 hours. Learners are subsequently suggested to lead discussion on practice tests with instructor input for a total of 8 hours. Students that show big promise on the practice test are suggested to take their exam early to promote success; yet only for 3 hours. Finally, prepare the remaining students for 6 hours before taking their certification. This tactic in essence, is utilizing course time to visualize a desired end result.

Weimer, Mayellen. "Curricular Design Problems." The Teaching Professor Curricular Design Problems Comments. The Teaching Professor, 16 Sept. 2010. Web. 20 May 2014.

Weimer, Penn State Professor Emeritus of Teaching and Learning, used observation of academic administration to test voice her hypothesis on curricular design problems. This article provides experienced forethought on a redundant problem in most colleges; courses are developed on the basis of faculty expertise rather than a targeted population. Weimer’s belief is that college is to produce lifelong learners that will seek out information and apply solutions

effectively.

Kelly, Rob. "Curriculum Development: Department-less Interdisciplinary Program Provides Flexibility for Returning Adult Students." Faculty Focus Curriculum Development Departmentless Interdisciplinary Program Provides Flexibility for Returning Adult Students Comments. Faculty Focus, 17 July 2008. Web. 20 May 2014.

Kelly, Professor at Northern Arizona University, uses qualitative data observation of students at Northern Arizona University to test their hypothesis of a learning design theory. For an article dated 2008, it provides an innovative design that is absent in 2014. The curricular has an interdisciplinary hub to promote operability within the college. Also it provides flexibility by offering distance learning. The most ingenious aspect of Northern Arizona University is that majors are able to combine with others and mediums of course delivery changes periodically.

Literature Review Key Words

Co-Instruction

Guerilla Teaching

Behaviorism, (“Behaviorism.” Def. American Heritage Dictionary. 4th ed. 2003).

Cognitive Learning, (“Cognitive Learning.” Def.Mosby’s Medical Dictionary. 8th ed. 2009)

Adult Learners

Co-Instruction Efficacy

Additional Key Word Search

"Behaviorism, "Constructivism," "Cognitive Learning," "Diagnosis," “Front Matter," Engaging Schools, Fostering High School Students, Motivation to Learn, How Your Learning Style Affects Use of Mnemonics, “Postal, Leslie., “Richey, Rita C,” “Robert M. Gagné,” “Williamson, Marianne,” A Course to Love.”

Summary

Co-Instruction is a collaboration by two instructors to meet the educational needs of learners. Since its implementation with mentally disabled learners, the perceived benefits of co-instruction has been measured and recorded throughout various studies. Chen, utilized computer assisted co-instruction with first time drivers and were able to see significant improvement with their acquisition of skill, (Chen, 2007 ). Friend and Cook, utilized six variations of co-instruction, and saw a decrease in class room disruptions, (Friend and Cook, 2010 ). Taranto tabulated a similar co-instructional study in relation to disable learners and seen a decrease of classroom disruptions as well.

The aforementioned literatures applies to CBT College- Cutler Bay adult learners since a co-instructional approach is the topic being assessed. Furthermore, those previously mentioned studies have set the foundation for measuring a co-instructional approach. Hopefully, this research that is studying adult learners will play an active role in a summative study; as how these studies contributed towards this research.

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Details

Pages
61
Year
2014
ISBN (eBook)
9783656859277
ISBN (Book)
9783656859284
File size
1 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v285960
Grade
A
Tags
coinstruction adult learners action research study

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Title: CoInstruction and Adult Learners