Research Findings: Teacher and student response to the AIM program

When researchers evaluate whether a program “works,” they look at outcomes produced, along with the processes and elements that influence their outcomes. The assessment of implementation fidelity has been highlighted as critical to understanding how programs are implemented and understanding how programs would operate in “real world” settings outside of research studies.

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Both qualitative and quantitative analyses of the AIM program feedback, along with teacher interviews, showed that the program was implemented well and was positively received by teachers:

  • 83% of teachers completed all 20 program sessions
  • Teachers were very satisfied with the program
  • Teachers reported “mostly” or “very” high student engagement
  • Teachers perceived a positive impact on their students from AIM.

Teachers saw the content of the digital features and curriculum as relevant to the classroom and student experiences. Teacher observations included:

  • The digital features were an innovative approach to navigating difficult topics.
  • The cross-age buddies engagement heightened the experience.
  • The AIM program was perceived a positive impact on their students.
  • The program provided a uniques opportunity for teachers to collobratate across grades.

The more I got into it and the more it put me together with a fifth-grade teacher with whom I had worked for fourteen years but barely know…We formed a wonderful collegiality as a result of this.”—2nd grade AIM teacher

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-1-08-45-pmStudents also responded very positivity to their participation in the AIM program. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of program feedback and student interviews showed many or all students:

  • Enjoyed engaging with the comics and games and working with their buddy.
  • Attributed the program to helping them (Big Buddies) learn how to mentor and help others.
  • Reported that the comics and games helped them talk to their buddy and learn about the topics.

Students also responded very positivity to their participation in the AIM program. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of program feedback and student interviews showed many or all students:

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When students were asked what they learned from the AIM program, researchers received answers such as:

  • How to be a good citizen
  • How to make a new friend
  • How to work and listen to others

These findings show us that, despite many other demands for their time in the classroom, teachers implemented the program fully and with high quality. Overall:

  • Teachers responded positively to the features, program content, and the supporting materials.
  • The program’s content resonated with both Little and Big Buddies
  • Teachers and students reported enjoyment of and value in the AIM program experience.

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Stay tuned for more outcomes from the AIM Research Study!

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