Advanced Placement (AP) social studies teachers' use of academic course blogs as a supplemental resource for student learning
Seth M. Alper, Florida Atlantic University, United States
Florida Atlantic University . Awarded
This mixed-methods study investigated the relationship between Advanced Placement (AP) social studies teachers' utilization of academic course blogs and student achievement. Simultaneously, the study examined the participating teachers' perceptions on the use of course blogs and other social media as supplemental learning resources. The study further explored a possible moderating effect of the social studies subject on student achievement and a possible moderating effect of students' previous academic blog usage on student achievement within the study. Quantitative data were collected from students' pre-tests and unit tests scores and analyzed for statistical significance. Qualitative data were collected through teacher-generated notes during the blogs, individual interviews, and a follow-up focus group interview. The results of this study indicated that there was no overall significant difference in student achievement between the blogging and non-blogging groups. On the contrary, a significant interaction between the social studies subject area and the use of academic course blogs was found when examining student achievement. However, this practical interaction was revealed to be a weak one. Further findings indicated that there was no significant interaction between students' previous blog usage and academic achievement during the study. From the qualitative data, participating teachers perceived the course blogs to be potentially advantageous for students and themselves, yet expressed frustration when implementing the course blogs with their students. Instead, they endorsed the academic use of Facebook, a resource that some students from two participating courses separately utilized instead of (or in addition to) the course blogs during the study. Teachers further expressed concern about relinquishing their subject knowledge and AP expertise to readily available course content on the Internet. Implications and suggestions for future research are suggested for AP social studies teachers' promising use of Facebook and for researchers investigating the use of social media at the high school level.
Alper, S.M. Advanced Placement (AP) social studies teachers' use of academic course blogs as a supplemental resource for student learning. Ph.D. thesis, Florida Atlantic University.
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