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William G. Daly

January 21, 2006


Updated 4/22/06 

Proposal for Division of Tasks Between EMAT7650 Applied Project

and EMAT8990 Seminar


The EMAT7650 Applied Project is an extension of a project done for EMAT6700.  The EMAT6700 project, which has a link on the previous page, is a Math Jeopardy game which was created by the author for the purpose of teaching Algebra I students.  The outcome of this game was quite successful in that it engaged students in a broad range of randomly selected Algebra I topics, including EOCT preparation in an entertaining, lightly competitive format. 

While it is true that competitiveness can be a detriment to creativity, I found student response to this game very positive provided that it was not overused.  It was gratifying to see even previously unmotivated students “charge” the white board, writing solutions to selected topics.  A positive response from students, however gratifying, is not sufficient basis to include the game into the curriculum.  The question of whether the activity enhances student learning needs to be addressed at some point. 

            Given what appears to be results that exceeded my expectations in terms of student engagement, I selected as my EMAT7650 applied project an extension of this game to address a number of student recommendations and a number of shortcomings.  I am tying the EMAT8990 Seminar to this game in the form of structuring a research project to attempt gauge the game’s value in both engaging students while at the same time enhancing learning.


EMAT8990 Goal

            Time remaining in the secondary school semester will likely prohibit executing the following task.  So the intent is to set the stage to engage in research using the EMAT7650 project.  The goal for the EMAT8990 seminar is to create a sample structure to test the quality of student engagement and effectiveness of student learning using the EMAT7650 project.  A preliminary overview follows.  Anticipating that I will be teaching physics next year, I selected a physics oriented topic, but also with a mathematics angle to allow incorporation into mathematics classes as well as physics.  This will also broaden the pool of potential subjects in the event I am able to enlist other teachers into the research, both mathematics and physics teachers.  The initial test topic will be rudimentary vectors targeted to the 11th grade level.

Entire classes of students will be randomly selected to be either a control or test group.  This will require approval at the county level.  The deliverables of the seminar will form the basis for this approval request.  The first deliverable of the seminar is to create a pretest on vectors.  A second deliverable of the seminar is a set of lecture notes that both test and control groups will be subject to.  A third deliverable is a set of “worksheets”; the worksheets will be in “hard copy” format and in “game format”.  The term “game format” is an eternal loadable set of questions (see EMAT7650 goals below).   A fourth deliverable is a follow up student questionnaire to gauge students’ perceptions toward both enjoyment and learning value.

As stated above, execution probably cannot occur within the current semester, in the future both the control and the test group will receive the same lecture within an equal number of class periods.  The control group will complete the hard copy worksheets within a specified number of class periods.  The test group will not complete the worksheets, but rather play the game with the same content.  Both groups will then take the same pretest again, with a subsequent statistical analysis of the results.  Again, the actual execution and subsequent analysis are deemed to be beyond the scope of the seminar.


EMAT 7650 Applied Project Goals


Address student feedback:

Address teacher observations:


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