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Ohio Sea Grant College Program
and Stone Laboratory

Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory

Evaluation of Program Effectiveness and Classroom Technology Use in Great Lakes Education

Project Number: E/E-001, Completion Report

Start Date: 9/1/1996

Completion Date: 8/31/1998

Revision Date: 3/12/2012

Principal Investigator(s)1.Rosanne W. Fortner, COSEE Great Lakes*
Co-Principal Investigator(s)2.Victor J. Mayer, Educational Theory & Practice The Ohio State University*
This shows the current affiliation and may not match affiliation at time of participation. *

Funding Record

Source: Ohio Sea Grant College Program
Source FundState MatchPass Through
First Year$ 41,782.00$ 42,175.00$ 0.00
Second Year$ 45,208.00$ 44,619.00$ 0.00
Total$ 86,990.00$ 86,794.00$ 0.00


Through curriculum research and teacher education, foster development of demonstration schools in Great Lakes states, as sites for introduction and intensive evaluation of Great Lakes/Earth systems education curriculum materials and methods, including instructional activities, cooperative learning, science databases and technology.
Analyze National Science Education Standards and Ohio science framework for existing and potential areas of application of Great Lakes/Earthsystems education, including science database and technology use, cooperative learning methodologies, and subject matter applicability.
Collect and compare baseline data and demonstration data regarding: students' levels of Great Lakes knowledge; students' information seeking behaviors (related to data and using technologies); teachers' uses of cooperative learning, science data, and Sea Grant education activities.


This project was conducted concurrently with an Eisenhower Program for developing demonstration schools for Ohio's Model science education guidelines using Great Lakes materials from Ohio Sea Grant. Twenty Cleveland area teachers articipated in 12 credits of graduate work, including 3 courses at Stone Lab. Their students' Lake Erie knowledge and science process skills were tested before and after teacher education. The teachers did demonstration programs for other schools and the community, extending Sea Grant methods and materials. Students grew in both knowledge and process skills. Use of classroom technology was hampered by Cleveland City teaching conditions, and potential in that area was not realized. In suburbs and private schools, however, teachers and students began use of internet for Great Lakes teaching.


According to "Shaping the Future" (NOAA, 1992), Sea Grant should: educate . . . inservice precollege teachers through . . . graduate courses as developed, piloted, and refined within the Sea Grant network. Teaching teachers is a national priority; draw on network expertise to augment efforts, through Sea Grant workshops and courses, to . . . disseminate stimulating instructional materials; provide leadership in evaluating and incorporating use of specific new electronic communications technologies into formal and informal teaching strategies." In its 17 years, Ohio Sea Grant education has built a reputation for leadership in curriculum development, teacher education and educational research. To enhance the potential for extending these program efforts requires documenting effectiveness regionally and rigorously. Results can benefit all education in Sea Grant.

Infusion materials of the kind typically produced in Sea Grant nationally are often overlooked as resources in education because of lack of national dissemination mechanisms. The NDN can provide such visibility through well-established programs of outreach to schools. Inclusion in NDN must be justified through well-documented research to demonstrate a program's effectiveness and transportability. This project follows NDN guidelines and could result in not only strong educational research contributions but also new partnerships for federal support of dissemination.


Five demonstration schools (3 in Ohio, one in NY, one in MN) will be identified based on student characteristics, teacher interest and preparation. Sea Grant educators will work with one group of 4-6 teachers in one grade of each school to implement the Great Lakes education curriculum materials and teaching methods (collaborative learning and use of environmental data) of the Ohio Sea Grant Education Program. Baseline data will be collected in Year 1 and implementation data (treatment responses) in Year 2. Teacher education programs in summers will provide preparation for implementation (Year 1) and application of results (Year 2, project end). Data to be collected, and method to be used, are shown below.

  • Student knowledge about the Great Lakes
  • Student data-seeking strategies
  • Teacher use of Great Lakes curricula
  • Teacher use of cooperative learning and data use activities
Data Collection Strategy
  • Pencil-paper test using validated OAEGLS items
  • Open-ended test of approach to problem solving
  • Observations of students in decision situations
  • Self-report of teaching, by topic, plus priorities
  • (Classroom logs to confirm in Year 2)
  • Observations, interviews, student questionnaire on classroom environment

      Comparison ("control") data constitute the Year 1 (untrained) results among teachers, and among students who are the cohort of the implementation group but have not been taught using the Ohio Sea Grant model. Data for the technology/data use evaluation will be collected in schools matched demographically with the study schools.

Benefits & Accomplishments

Five demonstration school programs were conducted, and five teacher workshop were presented by participants for other district personnel. Teaching style changes were observed among the teachers in their classrooms, and student performance on the Ohio Proficiency test was slightly improved. Student knowledge of specific Lake Erie information increased significantly as did their science process skills. Requests for additional materials and assistance continued even two years after the project ended.

Publications & Media

Peer-reviewed reprints
Peer-reviewed reprintsFortner, R.W. 1998, Demonstration Schools: A Model for Development and Assessment of Curriculum Innovation
Proceedings of the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Washington, DC: AGU. Made available by Ohio Sea Grant as OHSU-RS-316.
Peer-reviewed reprintsFortner, R.W. & Corney, J.R 2001, Great Lakes educational needs assessment: Teachers' priorities for topics, material & training
Accepted by the Journal of Great Lakes Research.
Peer-reviewed reprintsFortner, R.W., Corney, J.R. & Mayer, V.J. 2001, Student achievement as an outcome of inservice education using Standards-based infusion materials
Science Education. RS-317
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summaries
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesFortner, R.W. 1998, What happened to the Edmund Fitzgerald?
Science Education Council of Ohio meeting, February.
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesFortner, R.W. 1998, A Smorgasbord of Lake Erie Activities for the Ohio Model
Science Education Council of Ohio meeting, February.
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesRomanello, S.J. 1998, Life in Lake Erie: A Changing Scene
Science Education Council of Ohio meeting, February.
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesLee, J.Y. 1998, Could We Live Without Chlorine in the Great Lakes?
Science Education Council of Ohio meeting, February.
Conference, symposia, or workshop proceedings, and summariesFortner, R.W. 1999, Do students learn when teachers are taught?
Annual Meeting of the North American Association for Environmental Education.August, Vancouver, BC.

Supported Students

StudentCorney, Jeff (Graduate, Ph.D.)
The Ohio State University
Dissertation Title: Influence of textual components of hedging and framing on readers' decision making about the global climate change issue
StudentHall, Elizabeth (Graduate, Ph.D.)
The Ohio State University
StudentLabbe, Colleen (Graduate, M.S.)
The Ohio State University
Title: Perceptions of the concerned reader: An evaluation from the readership of 'E: The Environmental Magazine'
StudentLuthy, Brian (Graduate, M.S. - nonthesis)
The Ohio State University