A phenomenological study of gifted adolescents and their engagement with one on-line learning system
Barbara Swicord, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick, United States
Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick . Awarded
Little research exists on the nature of the interactions between gifted students and the use of technology. Furthermore, no research has investigated the phenomenon of gifted adolescents using one internet-based program, the Renzulli Learning System (RLS). Renzulli Learning is an on-line educational profile with a matching database that provides enrichment resources, generating students’ creative productivity and high-end learning. Its goal is to connect student interests, learning styles, and expression styles with an expansive array of educational activities and resources.
This qualitative study describes what happens when students are using the Renzulli Learning System (RLS), exploring how students approach, employ, and use Renzulli Learning. The student sample included nine students, who were identified for and participated in a 7th and 8 th grade gifted and talented program in an urban school district in Connecticut who had been using RLS for an average of two years. The students participated in an electronic questionnaire and were interviewed by the researcher during two semi-structured interviews.
Research questions sought to describe how gifted students use RLS in school as well as how students use it at home. The answers to the research questions suggested four main themes. The first dominant theme was that the Renzulli Learning System is an effective and desired tool for students as they attempt to achieve high grades and academic success in school. The other main themes were that RLS is used primarily in school, that it does not affect socialization, and that it is fun. The study supports the importance of further research in areas related to technology and gifted education.
Swicord, B. A phenomenological study of gifted adolescents and their engagement with one on-line learning system. Ph.D. thesis, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick.
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