Capstone Trailer (Month 8)

Did the Capstone Project Work?
The inquiry question for my Capstone project was “Once the students have completed the 20 slide Keynote presentation using relevant media examples, will they retain the information more effectively so that they can improve on their original test score?” 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. The results of their second midterm would be the determining answer to my inquiry question. 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. In fact out the 32 students that took part in my cycles, 75% of them saw their grade improve, 9% of them had their grade stay the same and only 16% of them saw their grade go down. I would say this qualifies as a success.

Compare and Contrast the Results with my 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 was that to know something was not the result of passive intake of information, but rather the active involvement of an individual with a specific activity led to increased knowledge about that activity (Glasersveld, 1981). My cycles were based heavily in the generalization of this theory. Although constructivism was not pedagogy, it shaped philosophies towards teaching. Since constructivism stresses the importance of the knowledge, beliefs and skills that each student brought to the learning experience, the teacher tailored each activity so that each participant contributed to the learning experience (Garbett, 2011). 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.

The AR was a fascinating project for me although the results were a little different from what I was expecting. I fully expected every one of my student’s grades to go up. The fact that some did not let me know that a few changes still need to be made. The feedback I received from a few of my students after the cycles had ended let me know that I need to be more 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. Hopefully this will result in an even greater level of success.

Garbett, D. (2011). Constructivism deconstructed in science teacher education. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36(6), 36-49. Retrieved from ERIC database.

Glasersfeld, E. (1981). An introduction to radical constructivism. The invented reality New York, New York: Norton.