Student and teacher outcomes from an intergenerational telecommunications project
Jeradi Anne Cohen, University of Virginia, United States
Doctor of Education, University of Virginia . Awarded
The purpose of this project was to analyze and describe outcomes for students and teachers in a telecommunications project which transpired between senior citizens and fifth grade students. The fifth grade students were paired with senior citizens. The students interviewed their senior partners using electronic mail. From these interviews, each student wrote a biography of the senior's life. The biographies were then posted as homepages on the Internet. The research question was designed to incorporate instructional as well as other outcomes that may have occurred: What can be learned from an intergenerational telecommunications project in terms of student and teacher outcomes?
To investigate this question, eight case studies were developed from the six student and two teacher participants. Data were derived from student journals, guided interviews with students and teachers, observational notes, students' written drafts and final pieces of work. Content analysis was used to determine the students' and teachers' acknowledgement of instances of practice of the language arts and social studies instructional requirements as defined by county curriculum. Cross-case analysis was conducted to identify patterns and themes of additional outcomes of the project. The elements of trustworthiness were established through triangulation of sources, peer debriefing, member checks and thick description. The participants' identities remained confidential.
The results of this study provided insight into possible outcomes for students and teachers who may engage in telecommunications projects of a similar design. The study also furthered an understanding of characteristics which may enhance or impede conducting related projects.
Cohen, J.A. Student and teacher outcomes from an intergenerational telecommunications project. Doctor of Education thesis, University of Virginia.
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