QTL News & Stories
Evaluation: QTL's Impact Reaches Students
RALEIGH, NC - New evaluation data shows QTL™ participants are likely to change their classroom practice - and their new strategies can have a dramatic impact on students' learning.
During 2005, new questions were added to participant surveys to measure implementation of specific instructional strategies, and the practical impact of that implementation.
The results showed increased use of every educational concept featured in the program - Multiple Intelligences, Inquiry Learning, Project-Based Learning, Differentiation, Learning Styles, Brain-Based Learning, Constructivism, and Cooperative Grouping.
The most dramatic gains were in Constructivism - which only 35% utilized before the program, compared to 62% afterward - and Brain-based Learning, which increased from 42% to 74%.
In addition, post surveys showed the vast majority of teachers who went through the program believe there was a direct impact on their students. More than 70% cited specific changes they've noticed in their students' behavior or performance; another 23% said it was just too early to answer that, but many of those were hopeful they would see gains.
Almost a third said their students have a better attitude toward learning; 14% reported better behavior, and 16% attributed better academic performance to their different approach.
Evaluation specialist Jason Clemmer, a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says the new data is the most direct evidence yet that QTL™ can help schools increase student achievement.
"These new questions were created after a careful qualitative analysis of open-ended questions revealed a distinct pattern in responses related to student impact and instructional strategy use," he says, adding that the results support that pattern.
"Even those participants who indicated it was too early to answer felt their participation would soon have a positive impact on student learning," he says.
Educators who've participated in QTL™ have often noted its impact on students as well as teachers. Theresa Bell of Martin County, NC says the change in children's attitudes toward school was very apparent after when E.J. Hayes Elementary sent its entire staff through QTL™.
Teachers' collaborative projects and classroom activities inspired by QTL™ participation had students going on field studies, using tech tools, and undertaking a variety of assignments that tackled the core curriculum with an active learning approach.
"Teachers returned to school eager to experiment with best teaching practices and activities modeled by the QTL™ instructors," says Bell, who served the school as technology integration specialist. "They began using a more student-centered, project-driven approach." (read more details)
She says the effect was dramatic.
"Student attendance increased. Students did not want to miss any opportunity to work on their projects. Students were always eager to participate in new ways of teaching and learning."