School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


David Holder


Nearpod, Educational Apps, Instructional Strategies, Engagement, Science Engagement


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Online and Distance Education


The ability of the United States to succeed and compete successfully in the 21st Century will be directly related to the effectiveness of America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. In 2012 the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology set a goal to add one million STEM college graduates over a 10-year period. Motivation in STEM secondary classrooms is a critical contributor to students entering college in declaring and persisting in a STEM related major. The purpose of this study is to add research findings to the literature regarding means of using technology to increase K12 science motivation. How to increase STEM engagement and achievement has been the subject of much research. Research has shown that interactive lessons using student response systems, including clickers and mobile devices, can increase student engagement. Nearpod gives students the ability to draw and write complex expressions and participate in lecture and reinforcement activities as a class. In this quasi-experimental static-comparison study, we describe the use of Nearpod, a cloud based audience response software application intervention, and its impact on five subscales of motivation in a high school Human Anatomy & Physiology classroom. A total of 38 students from a rural Virginia high school participated in the study. Student engagement was measured using the Science Motivation Questionnaire II (SMQ II). The SMQ II uses a Likert Scale and the scores from the two groups were analyzed using independent t-tests in Statistics Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Results showed Nearpod had a statistically significant increase on student’s intrinsic motivation and self-determination. Using an larger sample size would reinforce the results of this study.