Marynowski, Richelle

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    Designing effective STEM courses: a mixed-methods study of the impact of a STEM education course on teachers' self-efficacy and course experiences
    (Frontiers Media, 2024) Zhumabay, Nurman; Yelemessova, Zhaudir; Balta, Nuri; Abylkassymova, Alma; Bakytkazy, Tannur; Marynowski, Richelle
    Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields play a critical role in the advancement of society and are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. This study examines the development of a STEM education course and its impact on teachers’ self-efficacy and course experiences. The study involves a mixed-methods approach, using survey and course assignment results gathered from 52 mathematics master’s degree candidates who took an online STEM education course. Teachers’ self-efficacy, STEM knowledge, reflections from reading materials, and lesson plans were quantitatively analyzed while content analyses was employed for the teachers’ opinions on the role of each STEM subject and overall course evaluation. Results showed a significant increase in teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching STEM subjects after completing the course. Additionally, teachers reported positive experiences related to course content, activities, and assignments. The study provides insights into the design and implementation of effective STEM courses and provides practical implications for designing operative STEM courses.
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    Generative Unit Assessment: authenticity in mathematics classroom assessment practices
    (MDPI, 2021) McFeetors, P. Janelle; Marynowski, Richelle; Candler, Alexandra
    In our pursuit to broaden and deepen understandings of what it means to engage in an assessment activity, we explored the designing and implementing of a geometry performance task as an instantiation of authentic assessment to assess elementary school students’ mathematics learning. Using participatory action research, we incorporated a performance task as an end-of-unit assessment with grade 4/5 students. We found that the authenticity within what we are calling a generative unit assessment, is understood as a process that is dynamic in contrast to conventional unit tests. We established an innovative assessment practice that emerged from the student and teacher data and is illustrated through four features applicable to any content area. Through collaborative discussions and the ensuing creation of a generative unit assessment, we found spaces to authentically understand ontological growth and continual learning through assessment.
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    Does it matter where you teach? Insights from a quasi-experimental study of student engagement in an active learning classroom
    (University of Calgary, 2020) Holec, Victoria; Marynowski, Richelle
    Active learning has experienced a recent resurgence with the advent of specialized active learning classrooms. While the fundamental theory behind active learning is anything but new, a relatively recent finding is that active learning pedagogies thrive in suitable active learning classrooms. To date, studies of active learning have focused on outcomes such as student performance. The quasi-experimental study described in this article investigated self-ratings of student engagement as an outcome of active learning in active learning classroomsusing a novel instrument that accounts for known factors of engagement in addition to the contribution of the learning environment—the classroom. We delineated the relative contributions of instructor, classmates, and classroom to self-rated student engagement through student surveys in both a traditional classroom and an active learning classroom in two highly similar courses with the same instructor. Our findings were that the configuration of the classroom had a direct influence on self-ratings of student engagement above and beyond instructor contributions. In this article, we describe these findings and how, with careful consideration of course design and a classroom that fits the instructor’s pedagogy, optimal levels of perceived student engagement can be achieved. This knowledge is important to future educational policy on construction and scheduling, as the resurgence of active learning in higher education increasingly reveals deficiencies in physical learning environments.