Evaluation of the Effects of the Successmaker Lab on Academic Achievement


The research will critically evaluate the Effects of the SuccessMaker Lab on Academic Achievement of second grade students. Consequently, the merits of the SuccessMaker program will also be evaluated. Three main research question guided the study; to what extent has the program been implemented as measured by minutes per week spent in lab by second grade classes? What changes, if any, have occurred in program implementation as the program evolved during its years of operation (process)? and To what extent did participation in the SuccessMaker computer lab program appear to impact student achievement as measured by pre and post MAP test scores (product)?. It has been believed that schools that have adopted the program have recorded significant improvement in terms of academic achievement.

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Different methods were used to solicit data required for the research for it to be successful. Selections on the methods used were based on the nature of the study. The research will use two main methodologies; qualitative research methodology and quantitative methodology and it will adopt several data collection methods to ensure it captures all the required data and information for analysis and conclusion on the effectiveness of the SuccessMaker Lab on academic achievement of second grade students. Data analysis will be analyzed using SPSS, descriptive statistics will also be used. Hypothesis will also be tested using non parametric statistics. The results will be presented by graphs, tables, descriptive statistics and charts.

Context, Input, Process, Product (CIPP) evaluation model a process of systematically gathering information about program implementation and program processes and should result in continuous improvement of the quality of the program being studied (Matthews & Hudson, 2001) will be used to help sucessfuly carry out the study.

Research design

The research designs which will be used for the research are qualitative, quantitative and causal research design. Use of all these methods will be important because they will enable the research to be broad and cover all the requirements of the research. Use of qualitative and causal research design will enable the research to obtain an in-depth understanding of how the SuccessMaker Lab program impact on academic achievement of second grade mathematic student. The main stakeholders whom were involved in the research were the government (district department of education), school administrators, teachers and second grade students (Beiske, 2002). Each of these stakeholders has a role to play for in helping effect the program as well as being in a position to explain the current and possible foreseeable advantages of the program to second grade students’ mathematic achievement.

The use of qualitative research method concentrated mainly on how the program (SuccessMaker Lab) is implemented and carried out, what, how it is done and the success is then evaluated. While use of quantitative research was used for research which required statistical analysis and it used mathematical models to analyze its finding, quantitative design will help unravel non numeric merits of the program. The entire population would not be used for the study; therefore I plan to obtain a sample of the population to present the entire school. The sample population to be used for the research will be selected in unbiased manner to ensure it provided a better representation of the entire population which is the requirement of any research work.


The population of interest in this study will be administrators, teachers and second grade students taking mathematics of a district school located inside a military base. Government department of education in the district will also be part of the target population. All these individuals are deemed to be in a position of giving relevant information regarding the effects of the SuccessMaker Lab on Academic Achievement of mathematic second grade students.

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Being a fact, the entire target population can not be fully covered on the study considering the limited time within which the study opts to be completed and handed in, therefore, a representation of the entire population will be chosen via appropriate manner.

Sampling design

To ensure the validity and reliability of data that represents the populations under study, I identified sampling methods that I will carefully craft to suit the circumstances of the study. To do this I had in mind the following three questions, what is the total population?, what is the appropriate sample size for this study?, and what are the sampling method(s) to use?

I categorized the sampling methods broadly into; Probability Sampling in which I used stratified sampling, systematic sampling, multistage sampling, cluster sampling and simple random sampling. The use of probability sampling approach was to give each second grade student a fair chance of inclusion in the sample. It gave a true reflection of the population under study.

Non probability sampling: Where the study would demand the use of such, I will employ the use of judgment Sampling and convenience sampling. These approaches are of essence as they reflect only the available samples that would be willing to play a part in the survey (Kumar, 2005). The approaches will allow for ease but would be rarely used as they are prone to providing invalid data resulting from lack of representation.

I will use the following forms; equal probability of selection designs (EPS)-this consists of simple random sampling and systematic sampling where each component of the population will enjoy an equal opportunity as regards inclusion in the sample to provide relevant information (Saunders Et al 2007).

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The use of stratified random sampling approach will also be used. Here, I will divide the second grade student according to number of session they attended SuccessMaker Lab classes per week small populations- strata from which random samples will be disjointedly drawn but targeting those who attend 3-5 session per week by use of any probability sampling method.

Data type and data collection tools

The data required will be obtained through two main sources; primary and secondary sources.

Primary sources

The primary sources of data collection to be used interviews and questionnaires (open and close ended). Interview will be used to solicit for data for the research, both types were used, individual as well as group interview. Its advantage is that when the research is being done one is able to have directs contacts with the interviewee and obtain first hand information, higher response rates, useful in untangling complex topics, enables us learn things that cannot be observed directly, respondents have an avenue of raising concerns unlike in questionnaires, it adds an inner perspective to outward behavior of the respondent and can enable modification to the lines of inquiry (Matthews & Hudson, 2001). Both the interviewer and the interviewee would be able to clarify on issues of the research being done hence, being able to obtain information which is well elaborated and authentic. Despite all the advantage mentioned, it’s a slow and expensive method.

Questionnaires are also to be used; they will be distributed to the interviewee and collected later at an agreed date. It covered a large population at time as they would be distributed to different participants at a time and be sent back or collected later or at the same day depending on the willingness of the responded, are more reliable as the data to be collected have a standard format for answering, it is simple and quick to use if respondent understand what is required of them, data analysis from this tool is easy especially with the close ended type. The shortcomings of questionnaires include; lack validity, the tool is subject to high non response rates.

Secondary sources

Secondary sources will supplement information acquired via primary sources. Internal sources will exclusively be used which are reports compiled by the school administration and district department of education. I will also try to look at other related research work.

Cumulative Gains reports that show cumulative student progress and summative information for groups of students and the Cummulative Performance Report showing summary information about a student’s performance in specific programs detailing the amount of time spent on the program, exercises attempted, percentage correct, current course levels and gains (SuccessMaker Enterprise, 2002) will help provide data for the study.

Student will also be given maths test and the result together with the pre tests be used in providing necessary information, the l;ater will be obtained from computer lab managed by lab assistant.

Data analysis and presentation

I will carry out inspections of the data collected and filter to clean it, model and transformed the data in a manner that exposes information of use in suggesting conclusions and recommendations. I will then code and re specify collected data so that it is compatible with the statistical techniques and objective of the study. This will be done by consistency checks on the information collected from the field, making realistic scale transformations, making designations to numbers, deleting part of information that not necessary in the study.

The data obtained was therefore analyzed using SPSS while SuccessMaker’s assessment software will be used to provide ongoing monitoring and evaluation of student progress. Correlation will help show the relationship between time spent under the program and success in maths. Discriptive statistics will also be used to analyze and present results.

Tables, charts and graphs are to be used in presentation of the data analyzed.

Limitation and scope of the study

The research had a substantially wide scope as it covered the Effects of the SuccessMaker Lab on Academic Achievement of second grade students in a school located in a military base. The research seeks to judge the merits or values of the program in schools. During the study it is anticipated that a number of limitations will be encountered, these will include;

Legal restrictions: due to the fact that the selected school is located inside a military base, I expect to be faced with legal restriction, this I will handle by clearly identifying myself, get relevant permission from relevant authorities and explain why I need to carry out the research (Milne, 2001). Secondly, I anticipate that rules and regulations of the school might not allow me to get access to certain information; this in most cases can be beyond my handling capability.

Since the targeted school is located on a military base and has a transient population that changes throughout the year. Therefore the participants may vary slightly from the beginning to the end of the study.

Non cooperative respondents: Some respondents especially students are expected to be suspicious and will dare not to corporate in availing required information. I will have to employ a lot of tact, for instance assure them that their identity will not be disclosed in order to get information from them and dispel fears that were developed. Some questionnaires may not be returned and others not responded to.

Financial constraints: The research is an extensive one and it will involve use of funds in huge amounts. Due to the fact that I not yet funded, I will face financial constraints which I will countered by choice of economically affordable involvements. Lack of sufficient funds can also make me not be able to get primary data; this could have an impact on data reliability and validity.

Hostility: Some information sources and school officials are expected to appear unwilling, hostile and not ready to give out the information needed. To counter this I employ all tact of oratory prowess to dilute this hostility.

Limitation in Time: I anticipate that the limited time span given to carry out the research will be a hindrance to successfully carry out the study. To counter this, I will have to work under pressure especially where the sources of information gave me close deadlines, like in cases where interviews will be used.

Ignorance: I also fore see that some of the targeted sample of the population to offer the necessary information may not be in well informed to do so. To arrest such situation I will try my level best to extensively elaborate the questions especially where interviews will be used.


  1. Beiske, B. (2002). Research Methods: Uses and Limitations of Questionnaires, Interviews, and Case Studies. Manchester: University of Manchester
  2. Kumar, R. (2005). Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners. Los Angeles: Sage Publications
  3. Matthews, J. & Hudson, A. (2001). A protocol for the evaluation of parent training programs. Family Relations, 50(1), 34-42
  4. Saunders, M., Lewis, P & Thornhill, A. (2007). Research Methods for Business Students. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.
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