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Follow-Up Quantitative Study to Examine Impact of Teachers’ Repeated Use of IWitness

In a new quantitative study, USC Shoah Foundation will evaluate how teachers’ familiarity with the IWitness educational website impacts implementation and students’ learning outcomes. It’s the first time USC Shoah Foundation has sought to answer this question through quantitative evaluation of IWitness.

USC Shoah Foundation recruited 33 of the 50 teachers who participated in the first large-scale quantitative study of IWitness in spring 2017 to participate in the follow-up study. These teachers are asked to implement the same IWitness activity that they used in the previous study – either My Story Matters: Power of Story or Finding Your Seat on the Bus – in their classes during the first semester of the 2017-2018 academic year.

Participating teachers must complete a one-hour webinar prior to the activity. They and their students also fill out pre- and post-surveys online.

By following up with teachers who have already implemented an IWitness activity with their students, USC Shoah Foundation can begin to learn how teachers’ familiarity with IWitness impacts their implementation of the activity and whether that also has an effect on students’ learning outcomes.

The follow up study is an essential component of USC Shoah Foundation’s systematic approach to evaluation, building its understanding of how teachers and students use IWitness and the potential learning outcomes for students.

The first study included 50 teachers and 1,500 students from across the United States. Initial findings show that the majority of teachers gave positive feedback about the implementation of activity (61% reported that the “overall experience” was “excellent” and 33% said it was “good”) and most teachers gave the highest marks to the lesson for “students’ learning values that will help them to become more responsible citizens in society” (60% “excellent” and 28% “good”).  These findings are mirrored in the student data, with some of the greatest increases in “interest in civic engagement,” “staying motivated even when things don’t go well,” and “critical thinking ability.” 

IWitness, USC Shoah Foundation's multimedia educational website, offers nearly 2,500 full-length testimonies of genocide survivors and witnesses from the Visual History Archive as well as hundreds of curated clips and 180 multimedia activities for middle school to college students. Over 17,000 teachers and 91,000 students are registered on IWitness, from 80 countries and all 50 states.

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