A Pseudo-Experimental Investigation of the Efficacy of Asynchronous Instruction for Novice Sight-Singers
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Curriculum and Teaching
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The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of teaching sight-singing to novice, vocal music readers using a structured instructional model through an asynchronous format. Sight-singing literature is inconclusive on definitively best systems, resulting in educators using a variety of methods in the classroom. Research has shown however that instructional procedures, curricular elements, and strategies might be potential contributions toward a sight-singing pedagogy which would ultimately help current and future teachers. I used quantitative method and convenience sampling from area schools for this study. Participants, mostly high school students, completed a nine-day, asynchronous sight-singing curriculum which contained a pre-/post-survey, three pre-tests, and three post-tests. The following research questions guided the statistical procedures chosen: 1. Is an asynchronous format an effective means to teach sight-singing to novice sight-singers? Specifically, will post-test scores indicate improvement over pre-test scores in sight-singing skills after two weeks of asynchronous direct online instruction? 2. Are individuals of different age groups able to sight-sing equally after proceeding through an asynchronous instructional format? Specifically, will there be significant differences between participants’ pre- and post-test scores based on age? 3. Will individuals who receive feedback about their sight-singing performance perform better than those who do not? Specifically, will there be significant differences in the sight-singing post-test scores between participants who receive individual feedback versus participants who receive no individual feedback? Due to a small sample size, data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and non-parametric procedures. Participants generally improved from pre-test to post-test, though not significantly as evidenced through a series of Wilcoxon signed rank tests. The results of a Mann-Whitney U however indicated though novices were significantly different from non-novices on pre-tests, the difference between the groups on post-tests were not significant. Directed feedback in this study did not seem to impact the results from pre-test to post-test. Future research might investigate using the sight-singing curriculum presented in this study with in-person participants, either with or without use of the created videos. Replication with a larger sample could confirm the greater importance of a structured instructional process and curriculum, rather than specific methodologies, toward a recommended sight-singing pedagogy for current and future teachers.