Track: Theoretical & Research Papers

Title The Impact of Integrating a Virtual World into a Federally Mandated Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety Unit on Student Achievement, Higher Order Thinking Skills, and Test Motivation
Author(s): Amy Fox-Billig
Moderator(s):Shon Charisma
Date Friday, March 16 08:00
Location: CAVE/EdTech Auditorium
Abstract The purpose of this quantitative action research study was to determine what, if any, impact integrating a virtual world into a federally mandated ninth grade cyber safety and digital citizenship unit had on student achievement, higher order thinking skills, and test motivation.  The subjects included 102 ninth graders from a small, racially diverse suburban school district in the northeast United States, randomly placed into either the treatment or control groups.  Outcomes were measured using academic content test scores provided with the curriculum, The Cornell Test for Critical Thinking, and a student opinion survey for test motivation developed by researchers at James Madison University.  The findings from the study revealed there was no statistically significant difference in the means between the two groups of students on any of the measurement tools, indicating that integration of a virtual world into the curriculum was equally as effective as teaching the curriculum using traditional pedagogies and is a viable alternative.  Possible explanations for this outcome are given as well as suggestions for future research.
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Bio(s): Amy Fox-Billig: Dr. Amy Fox Billig teaches computer science, computer applications, and math at Valhalla High School (VHS) in New York, USA.  She completed her doctorate in Computing For Education Professionals at Pace University, and her research focus was in the use of virtual world learning environments in education, and its impact on student achievement, higher order thinking skills, and motivation. Amy has been a leader and supporter of many technology initiatives at VHS, including sitting on the districts Technology Task Force for curriculum development, rebuilding the VHS computer science program, and co-developing a digital citizenship and cyber safety unit. Amy’s conference presentations include leading a Birds of Feather session on girls and minorities in computer science at SIGCSE 2008,  co-presenting an e-rate mandated cyber safety and digital citizenship curriculum at LHRIC Tech Expo 2010, presenting an alternate approach to teaching cyber safety and digital citizenship using virtual worlds at LHRIC Tech Expo 2011, sat on a mobile technology in education panel at the 2011 Mobile Technology and Safety Summit at Pace University, and presenting her dissertation research at ISTE 2011 and the ISTE SIGVE Speaker Series in Second Life. 

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