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SAT Online Course Action Research Project

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Ian Melmood

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of SAT Online Course Action Research Project

SAT Online Course Action Research Project
Findings presented by: Ian Melmood
School Breakdown
Seminole Ridge High School
Suburban/semi-rural Palm Beach County
Approximately 2,500 students (population decreasing)
130 total teachers
White (60 percent), Black (Hispanic (22), African-American (12), other (6).
Staff demographics are similar
Automotive and BioTech Choice programs
"B" Rating for 2012-2013 School Year ("A" rating 2 previous years)
My first period class
English 3 Honors (11th grade)
25 total students
White (14), Hispanic (4), Black (4), Asian (2)
Males (16), Females (8)
Class meets every day for 50 minutes, followed by 20 minutes for silent reading time.
All but three students passed FCAT Reading in 10th Grade. (Surprisingly all three are females)
Research Question and Sub-questions
How does using the SAT Online Course impact my 11th grade English students’ preparedness for taking the Critical Reading section of the SAT?
Does student usage of the SAT Online Course improve student’s preparedness for taking the SAT Critical Reading section?
Do students prefer using an online course over more traditional SAT preparation techniques?
Did the SAT Online Course improve students’ overall Critical Reading scores on the SAT
Rationale for Study
Students had little info about SAT before course
66% of students reported having little to no prior knowledge of SAT Critical Reading Section before course
Student (2215) reported on his survey simply that “he knew it was hard”
Student (4544) said “I remember taking the PSAT as a sophomore” but wasn't sure exactly what was on the test
Student (1290) said they “feel prepared but scared to take the test”.
All 11th grade students took in-school SAT on Feb. 26, 2014
I am in charge of the SAT Online Course as the 11th grade chairperson
Online course is easy to set up, use and it's free to all students
SAT (and ACT) is most important test students take in high school
Students have little exposure to SAT until 11th grade
I am a big advocate for critical thinking, which SAT promotes
Data collected
Conducted two formal surveys and one informal survey on student's feelings about the SAT Critical Reading Section
Conducted pre-Test Jan. 8-9 and students took real SAT in school on Feb. 26
First survey (before start of online course)assessed student's preparedness and knowledge of SAT reading Section as well as familiarity with online courses
Second survey (day after students took in-school SAT) assessed if the students felt like the online course worked and that they did well on the SAT Critical Reading Section
Finding #1
Finding #2
Students thought online course helped prepare them somewhat.
Overall, score received a Likert-Scale of 6.2 based on survey question responses.
None gave 1 out of 10, none gave 10 out of 10
Student (8215) said that “the course was good but it was very boring.”
When asked how the course could be improved, the same student (8215) said “videos or powerpoints” would have made the course more interesting and easier to pay attention to.
Student (1478) wrote that the practice tests “were exactly like the real test, but the explanations on how to answer the questions right didn’t help.”
Finding #3
The SAT Online Course predictably had only a marginally positive impact on overall Critical Reading scores.
On average, student scores went up by about 16 points. (scores increase in 10 point increments)
Largest gain by any student was 70 points
13 of 24 students earned college-ready score on Critical Reading Section (440).
Studies show even professional test prep companies only improve scores about 30 points
Time spent on test prep isn't really worth it in the end.
Online course was useful and can be beneficial to students.
Course would have been better if it was more interactive
What's Next?
Continue to prepare students to think critically and get college-ready scores
Give students more in-class instruction vs. online practice
Full transcript