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BP9 Month 10 AR Blog Post

1. Is there a connection between the data produced from your Cycles
and the research reported in your Literature Review?

There is a connection between the data produced from my Cycles and the research reported in my Lit Review however there has been a divergence. The base of my Literature Review was the learning theory called Constructivism. The premise behind constructivism is that when a student is actively involved in a specific activity, it increases that student’s knowledge about the activity. My cycles were based heavily in the generalization of this theory. My students were actively involved in the project I had assigned to them which should have increased their knowledge of that subject.

This is where the comparisons end unfortunately. The title of my Literature Review was “Motivation Through Collaborative Learning”. The sub-genres of constructivism that my paper dealt with specifically were social constructivism and situated learning, both of which deal with learning as a group. I had an entirely different idea in mind for my Action research project that would have fit my Literature Review perfectly but was not allowed to proceed with it. The Action Research project I ended up going with was not conducive to group learning.

2. How did your AR project turn out for you? Describe as a
practitioner, how did this project improve your practice.

The AR was a fascinating project for me although the results were different from what I was expecting. The basic premise behind the project was that a student would take a midterm exam, see what they missed, create a project that related to the material and then retake the midterm. Most of the students that participated ended up with a higher grade after the cycle, however there were a few that received the same grade a couple had their grade go down. This surprised me a little however I am glad that I saw an overall improvement. This project showed me that I need to be aware of my test questions. While most students understand what is being asked of them, a few found the questions to be worded strangely. I will be rewording the midterm so that the questions are much more straightforward.

3. Is a personal learning environment or a LMO something that could
be part of your AR project in the future? Why or why not.

One of the best things about the place I work in is that I have a lot of control over how my material is presented. Full Sail sees themselves as a progressive school that welcomes new and innovative ways to teach. I think that I would be able to create a LMO that fits into my curriculum. I will be using Schoology this month to create one and I am excited to see if I can find a way to utilize it to its full potential.

My classmate responses

Lisa’a Blog

Sarah’s Blog

BP8 Month 9 GSM Lesson Plan

Critical Listening With Pals

1. Learning objectives

  • Increase the student’s knowledge of the material
  • Provide a fun avenue to learning
  • Develop a sense of competitiveness through social gaming and rewards

2. Materials and Resources

The students will be provided with the free app that they can download to their phone. If the student does not have a smartphone, the game will be available in Java format that they can open in their browser window.

3. Pacing and Timing

The pace of the game will be sedentary for the most part. The self-quiz will allow a student to move at his or her own pace. There are very little time limits in the 1 vs. 1 game other than it needs to be completed within a 5-day period. Obviously the game is only fun for both parties if the questions are answered in a timely manner.  The really cool thing is that you can have multiple games going with multiple opponents which allows your turn to come up far quicker than playing against 1 opponent. The person who initiated the game will get to go first followed by their opponent. I will put a “prod” button in place that will allow you to send a friendly reminder to your adversary that it is their turn. If the person fails to take their turn within a 48 hour period, they forfeit the game and the last person to answer a question wins.

The pacing of the team game will vary as we will have two options.  Each member on both teams will be given the same question. One version could have the first member from a team to answer will be awarded the point.  The other version would reward a point to the first team to have all of their team members answer the question. Neither version would have a time limit however answering the question in a timely manner is crucial to winning the game.

4. Instructions and Controls

The game is designed to be a “pick up and play” format. All the student has to do is start quizzing him or herself, invite an opponent to play or create a team to challenge another team. The game does the rest for them.  There will be a tutorial imbedded in the home page however I don’t foresee any student needing to use it. The controls will be very simple to operate.  The participant will only have to choose between New Game and Challenge and then start playing. In New Game mode, if you get a question wrong, it will prompt you to Retry. If you get it right, you move on to the next question. In Challenge mode, you answer a question and the turn moves to the person you are playing. If you get the question right, you gain a point and lose a point for a wrong answer.

5. Knowledge

The people who play this game should have a basic understanding of the material, however it is not necessary.  The really cool thing is that if a student is motivated enough to cheat and look up the correct answer, they are learning in spite of themselves.  There is an honor system that is built into most of us that will try to answer the question honestly though.  It is what has allowed Words with Friends to flourish so well. The game is much more rewarding if you play honestly. The player will still learn, even if they get the question wrong, as they will be greeted with the correct answer after the failed attempt.

6. Achievements, Fun and Motivation

This game is in the turn based game genre that has already seen massive success in the form of Words with Friends, Draw something and Song Pop with Friends. Students are hungry for knowledge but have very limited ways to learn any given material.  This game format is extremely fun and I believe will be refreshing for them.

In the short term, the student benefits through learning a traditionally boring subject in a fun and unique way. They should be motivated to play through the competitive nature of the game, the reward system that would be put in place as well as the bragging rights one gets for sitting atop the leader board. Being motivated to learn benefits the student in the long term though increased retention of the material. Operant conditioning is built in by modifying voluntary behavior through a reward system and a leader board. This follows closely with Self Determination theory, which basically states that people have the inherent need to do positive things and can use social behavior to allow that tendency to flourish.

7. Story

There is not really any immersive story to this game as it is not an adventure game. The background information will relate solely to the material that they have learned in our class.

8. Endgame

There is no boss character however there is a conclusion to every game that allows one or more people to win, score points and advance up the leader board. There is no end to the individual game, however the 1 vs. 1 will find a winner when the first person reaches 10 points, or 1 player forfeits by taking longer than 48 hours to answer. If the game lasts longer than 5 days, both players forfeit and no one wins. In the team play, one version would have the first member from a team to answer will be awarded the point.  The other version would reward a point to the first team to have all of their team members answer the question. The first team to 20 points in either version would win the game.

9. Assessment

There will be informal assessment in the form of an in game chat window, a la words with friends. This will be faulty as most of the assessment will be in the form of trash talk.  Where the real assessment comes from is in the formal assessment of the stats page and the leader board.  The stats page will allow the teacher and you to keep track of things like time spent playing, games won or lost, and over all points.  The leader board will be the ultimate yardstick as everyone will be able to see how many points you have scored over the course of the month.

BP7 Month 9 GSM

All right, 1 month closer.  Month 9, really looking forward this one.  I have heard good things about Dr. Siegel’s class, especially the hats!

1. Describe in detail the methods, quantitative, qualitative or a mixed approach, you used for Cycle 1 data collection.

Now that my Cycles have been completed, it’s time to start analyzing the data.  I used a mix approach to the types of data I collected:

Qualitative- I gave the students a pre and post questionnaire that gave me some information about my students like demographics as well as what they expected to get out of the process and what they actually got out of the project.

Quantitative- I also sent out a questionnaire that allowed me to get an idea of the student’s motivation for completing the cycle.  I used a scale format that allowed the students to answer each question from 1 (Not True at all) to 7 (Very true).  Each question either related to intrinsic motivation or extrinsic motivation.  I also received quantitative data in the form of how many students signed up, finished the cycle and what scores they received before and after the cycle.

2. Describe, synthesize, and compare the data found for Cycle 1 and Cycle 2. If Cycle 2 is not complete, please talk about what your predictions will be!

My class in Cycle 1 had 87 students in it who had taken the midterm.  I was surprised that 60 out 87 students expressed interest in taking part but only 26 actually signed up and 19 of those actually saw it through to the end. In cycle 2, 29 came out and 18 of those saw it through to the end The Pre and Post questions I gave them were quite encouraging. Through them I was able to gather that most felt more confident with the material after they had completed the cycle. I also saw that although they believed that the study material they were given was adequate, hardly any of them utilized it to its potential.

I also sent out a questionnaire that was intended to help determine whether the motivation the students had to complete the cycle were autonomous or controlled.  I was basically seeing if their motivation was intrinsic or extrinsic. The scale was from 1-7, 1 being not true at all and 7 being true.  All of the questions that involved intrinsic or autonomous motivation were very high, for both cycles and quite varied for controlled.

The result I was most interested in seeing related to the whole reason I was doing this.  Will a student that revisits their test retain the information better than before? The students would have to go over the question that they missed and retake that section of the midterm a second time. In addition to looking the test over, they would have to complete a project that relates to that information.  Hopefully, if all went well, all of them would do better the second time around.

All 3 of my questions were answered, although not necessarily with the answers I was hoping for. I was indeed able to see whether or not the students improved on their test scores. I will save the details on how they did for the surprises section. I found out that although there was the carrot of 10 extra bonus points hanging in front of them, only a small percentage of my students signed up to participate and saw things through to the end.  I also saw that, of those that completed the process, their motivation leaned heavily towards the intrinsic side of the fence.

The thing that surprised me the most was the results of the Midterm retake.  While most of my students saw their grade go up, only a handful improved significantly.  There were 4 that stayed the same between cycles and 6 or so that saw their grade go down.

I see now that the project has some flaws that could be improved upon.  I feel that I did not get an accurate result because something needs to be improved.  If I had to do this over, I would make some changes to the project that they work on.  I think that it may not make them delve as deeply into the subject as much as they need it to. I also know now that as the cycle stands, I will never be able to get a truly accurate result because of lack of time and control groups.  I would need more people to take part, a way to really test retention further than a week later and I would need to be able to compare data to groups of students that did not take part. I was very discouraged by the results and may not implement any version of this into my curriculum.

3. As a master’s student, you are expected to utilize the tools given in sync sessions, readings, and other source materials and apply them to your Action Research. Describe the ways that GSM contributed to your Action Research. You are expected to find a connection between this class and your Action Research project.

I am not sure how GSM will contribute to my project yet, however I see an immediate need for the concept of game learning in my class.  Got a few ideas brewing in my head already. Maybe if I decided to expand upon this process in the future, I could use video games to help the students reflect on the Midterm more effectively.

BP6 Month 8 FPE

Wow, Can’t believe it’s month 8 already. So far everything seems to be going smoothly, mixing work, my business, my family and my school.  It is definitely getting easier but think I am ready for graduation.

I have all of my cycles finished finally and all went well.  I can’t say it went without a hitch but the implementation was successful. I can’t say that too much changed from Cycle 1 to Cycle 2 as I used the same questionnaires but with different students. The main ting that I had a hand in changing were little tweaks here and there that made the sending and receiving of information more efficient. There have been a couple of surprises.  I did not realize that so many students would not take part in the process.  I also discovered that the current version of my capstone project does not work the way I had hoped.  The results ended up being very different than anticipated. I haven’t changed my data collection at all, however now that I have it all, hopefully taking FPE will help me tell the story at the end of the program.

BP5 Month 7 MTA

Now that I am over half way finished with my program, I am feeling much more confident with the implementation of my cycles.  I was unsure about how to proceed until month 5.  Dr. Deason and Roxanne were able to light the way ahead and I was able to complete my first cycle in Month 6.  There were a few hiccups that occurred.  The sign up I had my students do to take part, I only asked for an e-mail address.  This turned out to be a huge problem as I had to decipher 60 sloppily written addresses and as a result, not everyone received my e-mails.  i will have a sign up sheet printed out for the next cycle that will have their name, e-mail address and phone number.  This will ensure that communication goes flawlessly.  I learned  few things that will help my second cycle go smoother.  My cycle 1 took place over the course of 9 days, from May 9th to the 17th.  My second cycle should be similar, taking place from June 6th through the 13th. This will put me well on course to complete my cycles by Month 9.

I have updated my AR Timeline and included the image of it below.  I imagine there will be a few things that change along the way.

BP4 Month 6

1. How did the ADDIE process help you to refine your implementation process and your data collection process?

The main way that the ADDIE process has helped me so far is organizing my thoughts.  The Analyze phase really allowed me to analyze the path ahead and figure out what hiccups were likely to occur and how to plan for them.

2. How are you planning to track your data?

I am using a free online software called freeonlinesurverys.com.  It allows me to develop many different types of surveys, short answer scale etc., then let’s me export the results in a few different formats.

3. How are your measurable outcomes connected to your Inquiry Questions?

Here are the 3 inquiry questions and how I plan on connecting my outcomes to them.

a. Will my Critical Listening students be motivated to revisit the midterm if provided with the right incentive?

This is something that I am in the process of finding out.  Out of 90 students, I had 60 sign up to get extra credit.  Out of those, only 20 showed up to see their midterm.  I still have yet to see how many students complete the whole process.

b. Can completing a very simple project using multimedia examples help my students retain the information more effectively?

Once my students have retaken the midterm, I will be able to compare the questions the got wrong initially to the questions they get wrong for the second time and compare the results.

c. Given the time constraints, will my student’s be able to complete the required work in the time allotted?

I have been in communication with a few of my students.  It seems that their is plenty of time to complete the required work, so if a student does not complete it, he or she was not motivated enough to do it.

BP3 Month 5 Reflection

So I have done it finally.  My last assignment has been turned in for month 5 and I couldn’t be more relieved.  This month has been pretty brutal as far as the work load but I gotta say it was worth it.  I have had a really hard time visualizing how my AR plan was going to unfold, especially how my cycles were going to work.  This month cleared up all those issues.  It started out dicey as I had to change my AR project after Month 4 which I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  I managed to change my focus to a theme that I could use with my Lit Review and the transition was pretty smooth.

Now I am at the end of month 5, I can say with confidence that I am ready to tackle my cycles as well as the rest of the program.  I am really looking forward to the next two classes as I really want to become better with some of the tools I have like photoshop and flash.  I believe that we will be covering these sort of things soon.  I am looking forward to my cycles being over, not because I am afraid of the work but because I have a lot for my students to do and I am starting to feel really bad about the workload.

BP2 Month 4 Reflection

This blog post is intended for me to plan my next step in my action research project.  This is proving to be difficult as I just had to scrap my original capstone project idea. I thought I had come up with another solid idea but it seems as if this one won’t be able to be done either.  I am not sure if I have a plan C yet.  I imagine that when I do, I can start figuring out how to go about collecting both my qualitative and quantitative data.  I imagine that I will adhere to most of the traditional means like surveys, polls, notes and interviews.

I think the main problem I am having is that I have no control over anything at the place I work except my one little bubble of a class.  No way to excel or develop something that the school needs as a whole.  We have all been partitioned away like neat little note cards. Faceless numbers. I’m incredibly sad right now.  We are supposed to be moving into a new era of education full of promise, guided by the light of technology.  Now though, it seems as if the role of the kids and teachers in “The Wall” have been reversed.  It is now we the teachers who are marching down the conveyor belt to the meat grinder. I need some sleep.

BP1 Month 3

Who are your critical friends?  What role do you anticipate your critical friends will play with regard to your AR project?

I have a few critical friends that I will be relying on for guidance as I progress through this program.  I am lucky to have found two of them in my own class, Lisa Pearce and Katrina Howell.  We have been leaning on each other from the very beginning and this will be invaluable moving forward.  I will also use my wife, whose wisdom I treasure more than anyone else.  The last of my initial critical friends will be an old student of mine called Jon.  He is wise beyond his years.  I hope to use these people to give me advice on future projects and if I get stuck, hopefully they can point me in the right direction.

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1. After evaluating your professional environment, what area(s) of interest have
you focused on for your Action Research Capstone project?

I had a few things that I was considering for my Action Research Capstone Project: An iPad app for diagnosing and helping autistic children, a social network based on the power of the human voice and a student-run radio station here at Full Sail that is completely run by students.  I decided against the autistic app as I only have access to my son, so my target audience would be very small.  The voice powered social networking site would likely require technology that I don’t have the ability to manage right now, so the direction I want to go is the radio station.

2. Why have you chosen this direction?

If I had to make a list of things that make sense in this world, having a radio station at a media school would have to be in the top 5.  I started thinking about this because there is not a lot of cross-pollination between students from different departments and this would allow students from all degree programs to contribute in some manner.

3. Describe your target audience. How do you anticipate them playing a role in
ensuring that your results will make a difference in your environment?

My target audience would consist of a mix of students and faculty.  The faculty would be there to help me delegate responsibilities to students and oversee their efforts, while the students could be a part of the creation and testing of an experimental radio station.
4. You should have started researching the current literature surrounding your
topic, please describe any challenges/difficulties you are having with this
process and/or any helpful hints/tips that you have discovered to make this
process easier.

The biggest hurdle I am facing at the moment is the amount of scholarly articles written about not only student run radio stations, but radio stations in general.  I imagine that quite a few of my sources may have to be technology driven while not exactly being about student-run radio.

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