Posts Tagged ‘educational research’

Contracts in the classroom: An unconventional promising grading system

January 17, 2012

Use of contract grading to improve grades among college freshmen in introductory psychology

From SAGE Open

While contracts are an indispensable tool in the modern workplace, this study has found that they may also be very effective in contemporary classrooms. Students designed their own course based on a contract and this lead to both higher grades and higher student satisfaction than traditional points-based courses. A total of 40 college freshmen enrolled in one introductory psychology course to a traditional or contract grading system. Those assigned to the contract system signed a contract at the beginning of the semester in which they indicated what grade they were aiming to receive and specified which assignments they would complete to receive that grade. Students who wanted to receive a better grade had to complete more assignments and receive a higher score on exams than those aiming for a lower grade. Though the instructor and course materials were identical for both sections, at the end of the semester, the group of students who were graded contractually were three times more likely to earn an A grade, one third as likely to fail or withdraw from the course, perceived a higher degree of control over their grade, and consistently rated their own effort, their instructor, and the course overall more favorably.

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Computers are oversold and underused in Middle East classrooms

September 21, 2011

Promoting the Knowledge Economy in the Arab World

From SAGE Open

This article discusses the need for a deeper institutional reform that will bring Arab classrooms into the 21st century. The research studies educational programs in Bahrain, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, information and communication technology (ICT) is not effectively utilized in classrooms in the Middle East. Many technology-related policies overlook the real needs of students. While ICT infrastructure aims to incorporate electronic classes and teaching systems that enhance students’ and teachers’ technological abilities, in reality it has become little more than a way to mechanically optimize the operation of equipment and to perpetuate cultural traditions. The author observes “This is undoubtedly a reflection of the difficulties inherent in implementing an agenda for modernization and reform within countries which have only been free from colonial domination for a few decades”. He called for more rigorous research that goes beyond mere speculation about ICT implementation. “If the findings from this research are able to identify best practices that can be replicated in different settings, then educationalists can begin to be satisfied that computers in the classroom are not just ‘oversold and underused’.”

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