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Does Soft Music During Study Performance

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An action research project collects pretest, interim, and posttest data to determine if soft music played during study time increased math scores.

Classroom A heard soft music over a 6 week time frame and Classroom B did not. In the next 6 week time frame, Classroom B heard soft music over a 6 week time frame and Classroom A did not.

How might these data be used to document success toward these two outcomes: (a) Twenty percent of students will increase their time on task when music is heard during study time and (b) students, on average, will increase their math test scores by 5 points when music is heard during study time.

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Solution Preview

To approach solving this assignment's questions, first consider the information you have been provided with:

An action research project collects pretest, interim, and posttest data to determine if soft music played during study time increased math scores. Classroom A heard soft music over a 6 week time frame and Classroom B did not. In the next 6 week time frame, Classroom B heard soft music over a 6 week time frame and Classroom A did not.

What this information provides to you is that there is an action research project. This means, generally, that there is no authority overseeing this project. Usually, this sort of project is a single researcher (the teacher of the classes) who is conducting a research project, which may or may not be published, to solve some question or problem in their own class. Usually, subjects (their students) have not formally granted their permission to be participants in this "study." It is an informal project. That, however, does not mean that it is not a 'real' study.

This particular study is concerned with alterations of the learning environment: ascertaining whether altering the learning environment in one specific way (playing soft music) at one specific time (study time) had a positive, negative or null effect on student achievement, ...

Solution Summary

Do students who hear soft music during study time in math class spend more time on-task and post greater scores than students who do not hear music? Defining an action research project - what it is, and how this particular proposed study proves its relevance. Web-based resource for further study regarding statistical significance.

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