Needs Assessment

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Students desire more than paper and pencil lessons. According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), “Technology is driving change in the content of mathematics programs, in methods for mathematics instruction, and in the ways that mathematics is learned and assessed” (as cited in Van de Walle, 2004, p. 103). In this study, I want to investigate whether any differences occur in the overall effectiveness of student learning of fraction lessons when the information is presented using different types of visual media, in this case, computer versus overhead. The purpose of this study is to describe the impact of presenting fraction math lessons using computer based instruction versus overhead projection presentations. Eighth-grade math students will feel more engaged while receiving computer-based instruction versus eighth-grade students who receive overhead projection instruction. The participants are 12 math students at a Middle School. All of the students have basic computer skills. The twelve students are all eighth graders but their scores vary on the math section of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) standardized test. However, the test scores in class show that students struggle with fraction problems. Twelve students will be randomly divided into groups; one group of six students will have computer-based instructions on solving problems involving fractions and percentages, compounded percentages and multiple discounts and the other group of six students will have lecture based instruction using the overhead and paper worksheets. “The logic of needs assessment can be summarized as a simple equation: desired status – actual status = need” (Dick, Carey, & Carey, 2005). Currently, the desired status is for the math students to score 80% on in-class fraction test. The actual status is that students are scoring between 69 – 70 %. The need is to improve the scores about ten points. Students become bored...
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