Present research provides the analysis of dissertation titled Multimedia-Based Classroom Instruction and Student Achievement: What is the Relationship Between Multimedia-Based Classroom Instruction and Student Achievement in a Public Elementary School District written by J. J. Spaulding. Central objectives of the present analysis deal with dissertation’s key research questions, types of data collection and its effectiveness, sampling frame, unit of analysis, theories and methodology underpinning research, literature review quality and some other important aspects of the dissertation discussed.
In general, the author formulated eleven research questions which, however, may be reduced to key three questions, which immediately results from author’s stated research purposes (Spaulding 49).
These questions are as follows: 1. ‘the relationship between the levels of multimedia-based classroom instruction and student learning in language arts in grades four, five, six and seven’.
“The differences between student learning in language arts in grades four, five, six and seven that exists between grade levels and ESL and non-ESL students”; and finally, 3) Students’ and teachers’ perceptions of ‘multimedia-based classroom instruction and learning’ (Spaulding 49).
In our view, the first research meta-question is the most crucial for author’s research, since it embraces 8 sub-questions from the total number of 11, and requires widespread implementation of research methods.
However, due to the total number of questions pertaining to the abovementioned meta-questions, it is reasonable to limit analysis to the first research question: “What is the relationship between the level of multimedia-based classroom instruction and student learning in language arts? ’, which contains all major elements and problems found in the other seven questions of this category (Spaulding 49). 2. The type of data collection, implemented in the discussed dissertation immediately follows from the stated objectives and research methods: descriptive and correlational (Spaulding 51).
The first research question was addressed using quantitative methods of data collection, including questionnaire for teachers, participating in research and pretest and posttest surveys for the students (Spaulding 57). The questionnaire for teachers was prepared to differentiate the use of multimedia-based instruction by each of the total number of 32 teacher involved in the researched process. The questions designed sought to define the frequency of multimedia-based instructions use among the teachers.
As a result, eight intervals were created, the first interval pertinent to the lowest frequency and the eighth to the highest frequency. The abovementioned instrument of quantitative data collection is of particular importance in the first research question (as well as the rest 7 questions of this group), because it helps differentiate pretest and posttest results in correspondence with the multimedia-based instruction utilization. The second quantitative method applied to the first research question refers to pretest and posttest surveys for students.
These tests, administered by the selected teachers were designed to define the level of English proficiency growth during nine-week period of the study (Spaulding 58). As for the issue of data collection’s appropriateness for the first research question, it has two-fold answer. The questionnaire designed for teachers to define the level of multimedia-based instructions perfectly fits the set research problem, which seeks to find the answer to the questions, how their use affects students’ educational progress in schools.
However, it should be noted that the room for subjective assessment was left, due to the fact that teachers’ answers could not be checked, due to specific difficulties. Pretest and Posttest surveys are the most problematic methods of data collection for this research question, because in my view they fail to tie positive or negative educational changes with the use of multimedia-based instructions. To put in other words, there exists several important external factors, which are not taken into consideration:
Positive or negative findings may result from factors other than multimedia-based instructions, such as teacher professionalism and students’ potential. 2. Low levels of progress in classes frequently using multimedia-based instructions may mean not their low effectiveness, but the limit of progress they can provide (Spaulding 73). Hence, pretest and posttest data collection techniques, should have involved the questions and tools for measuring these particular factors.