By: Sallie Ralston
Sallie Ralston prepared a pre and post test evaluation for the lab activity.
The average pre-test score on the material covered in the program
Definitions was 82%. The post-test average was 91%. This lab
activity produced a nine point improvement on the average.
After this study Sallie decided to try to conduct a controlled study.
She planned to take one of her two geometry classes to the lab for each
of the new activities and use the other class for a control. She alternated
which class was the control throughout the term. Each time she made a
test she identified the questions that pertained to the lab activities. When
she graded the tests she recorded the number of correct responses to these
questions for each group. Over the semester her second period class
proved to be by far the stronger math class so from a scientific point of
view the control and study groups were not evenly matched. In some
ways this made the study even more interesting. She tracked the results
of these activities.
There is an ‘S’ in parentheses by the “stronger” class and a ‘W’ by the weaker class.
% correct % correct
by group by group
not using using
Program the program the program
Angle Problems 87%(S) 88%(W) than the stronger class!)
Logic 68%(W) 90%(S)
Name the Parallels 81%(S) 87%(W)
Purloined Parts 69%(W) 77%(S)
The weaker class and did better than the stronger class in both Angle Problems and Name the Parallels.
In every case the group using the lab activity outperformed the group not using the lab activity.
Sallie chose to use the older programs with both groups. She had used them before and found them to be helpful to
The survey given to Sallie’s students revealed the following:
1. Forty-one out of fifty one students stated that they would like more activities.
2. In response to the free response question (with no prompted list)
“Which program helped you the most?”
twenty-two stated specific programs and
fourteen responded “All of them”
3. Fifty out of fifty-one students stated that they
preferred to practice concepts using the
computer to using text book activities.
Sallie was consistent in her commitment to track the effectiveness
of the computer activities using a control group for comparison.
Her feedback is invaluable.
A Focused Assessment of Geometry and the Math Lab
Evaluating the effectiveness of technology
Summary by Leslie Howe
Farragut High School