Catherine Ritter

CECS 5610.020

Assignment 2



     Norton, P., Sprague, D. (1997). On-Line Collaborative Lesson Planning:  An Experiment in Teacher Education. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 5(2/3), 149-162.


Principle:  The experiment focused on whether teachers belief’s about the importance of using on-line communications would change if they were involved in an activity involving the use of on-line communications.


Type of Design: The experiment used the Pretest-Posttest Control Group Design of Design 4 in Campbell and Stanley.  Teachers were randomly assigned to groups and given a pre and post survey. Teachers in each group were taught how to use email, chat room and how to send files.  Teachers in each group were also given an assignment in which they would have to collaborate with a fellow teacher on-line.


Factors Jeopardizing Internal Validity:  Selection is a possible factor jeopardizing internal validity because each of the teachers chose to participate in the experiment.  As a result the teachers should have a more favorable outlook on the use of on-line collaboration than they did when the experiment began.


Factors Jeopardizing External Validity:  The survey given before instruction could have had an impact on the way the teachers looked at the lessons they were given and the importance for learning.  Also, the selection factor again could be a factor jeopardizing external validity.


Adequacy of Statistical Procedures Used:  I could see no improvements that needed to be made in their use of statistics.


Briefly Summarize Logic (Inductive and/or Deductive):   The scores from the post survey showed little difference in attitude for each of the groups of teachers from their pre and post survey.  The authors suggested that this implied that the expectations of the teachers about telecommunications had been validated by their participation in the activity.  Thus the instruction given helped the teachers even if it did not significantly improve their attitude toward the use of telecommunications in the classroom.  


Design Improvement:  To more adequately test the hypothesis the selection of a group of teachers who had not volunteered to participate should be used for the experiment.


Extension of the study:  To extend the idea of this experiment, teachers in a particular school district could be trained in the use of computers to see if this would result in the increased use of computers in their individual classrooms.