Are Middle School Students from a Lower Socioeconomic Background at a Disadvantage in the Online Learning Environment?
Jennifer Hunsucker, Eric Marvin, Union University, United States
SITE Interactive Conference, in Online, United States ISBN 978-1-939797-58-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
The coronavirus pandemic spurred the rise of online learning among K-12 schools, but with the rapid shift to this format, some students may be at a disadvantage based on their socioeconomic status. This study examined factors that impact student attendance, engagement, and academic growth among eighth-grade students in the online learning environment. Factors such as free-reduced lunch status and attendance data were examined to see if there was any relationship with academic growth scores in ELA and math. 162 online eighth-grade students from varying socioeconomic backgrounds from the 2019–2020 school year served as participants. Socioeconomic status, attendance, and Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) English Language Arts (ELA) and math benchmark scores were gathered as pre-existing data from a fully online K–8 school in Tennessee. The NWEA MAP benchmarks were collected throughout the 2019–2020 academic year in September 2019, February 2020, and May 2020, as a mean of measuring student growth in both ELA and math. The results of the study revealed a statistically significant difference in the overall number of absences between online eighth-grade students who received free-reduced lunch services (M = 5.50, SD = 8.40) and those who did not (M = 2.61, SD = 4.95).
Hunsucker, J. & Marvin, E. (2021). Are Middle School Students from a Lower Socioeconomic Background at a Disadvantage in the Online Learning Environment?. In E. Langran & D. Rutledge (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE Interactive Conference (pp. 31-39). Online, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
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