This week I decided to explore some of the more recent work from Kozma, Solomon and Perkins. I scanned through quite a few articles and found, as might be expected, that the interests of each have shifted over the years in several different directions. Additionally, the argument between Clark and Kozma carried on for several years and is frequently referenced in the literature today. I chose to review an article co-authored by Salomon below.
Rosen, Y., & Salomon, G. (2007). The differential learning achievements of constructivist technology-intensive learning environments as compared with traditional ones: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 36(1), 1-14.
Rosen and Salomon (2007) provide an interesting assertion – that constructivist studies suffer from assessment measures intended for use in traditional learning environments. They argue that constructivist environments often, and appropriately, have different goals, and studies testing those environments should be measured with constructivist-appropriate measures. The authors conducted a meta-analysis to gauge the results of two hypotheses:
1. Math students in CTILEs show higher learning achievements when tested against constructivist-appropriate criteria, as compared to students in more traditional learning environments.
2. Math students in traditional learning environments show higher learning achievements when tested against traditionally-appropriate criteria, as compared to students in more constructivist learning environments. (p.3)
Strong points in this study were the well-articulated research question and study design. As it is based on the work of a masters thesis, and guided by Salomon, design is carefully referenced and based on well-established meta-analysis methodologies as well. Results are clear, well-documented and concise. The discussion reveals insights found in the analysis of the statistical results.
This study was interesting for me in that it models well-designed research. I’m not particularly interested in learning environments for the study of mathematics specifically, but the idea that the study attempts to address, as well as the methodology used, is very effective in my opinion. I think that the study would be interesting to replicate, as the question is relevant and may generalize to other fields. As I am beginning to look at various design methodologies, meta-analysis may be one I consider – one that I hadn’t previously been interested in.