Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


Date of this Version



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Child, Youth and Family Studies, Under the Supervision of Professor Julie M. Johnson. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2011

Copyright 2011 Julie M. Lokie


The purpose of the pilot study was to compare middle school Family and Consumer Science student achievement and motivation in a classroom using Internet based inquiry to the achievement and motivation of students without the use of Internet based inquiry. The control group had 37 students and the experimental group had 21 students participate in the study. Each group was taught a two-week lesson on child growth and development. The control group was taught with a conventional, teacher-directed, method using textbooks and worksheets. The experimental group was taught with computers and an Internet based inquiry method. Students in each group were given the same pre-test and post-test to compare achievement. Students and teachers completed a survey to give perceptions of the level of motivation with the teaching strategy they experienced. Questions used words students would understand related to motivation.

Student achievement increased in both groups as indicated by higher post-test scores. The control group increased their achievement significantly based on a pairwise comparison. The experimental group increased their achievement but this was not statistically significant. Results of the teacher survey found that teachers felt students learned the content being taught regardless of teaching method and they perceived that student engagement was affected by the teaching method used. The student survey findings showed a significant difference between the control groups and the experimental group in their engagement of learning and preference of learning modality based on a t-test.

Because it appears students may be motivated by technology, perhaps teachers may find it useful in the classroom. It is a tool that could help teachers plan lessons that are interactive, current, relevant and real, and therefore, may be motivating to students. If students are motivated and focused on the lessons, then their opportunity for learning and achievement may increase.

Adviser: Julie M. Johnson