1. I believe that my Cycle 1 and 2 data and my Literature Review both show that students learn and collaborate a great deal more when technology is present. Simply looking at my pre and post surveys students who did not like science said the only reason science and technology did not “go together” was because technology is fun and science is not. This shows that students enjoy utilizing technology and that perhaps with something more game based might find that science can be fun through the use of technology. They also show that by using different or novel project ideas appealing to something students already know and enjoy such as television or amusement park rides students make deeper connections thereby learning more from the experience.
2. Honestly I expected my AR project to turn out better. I expected the students to be more creative and more interested in the hands-on, computer based activities created. I thought they would really enjoy something that took them a little out of their comfort zones and required them to show off a little. I think it made me a better practitioner because it helped me see that I really need to do examples of EVERYTHING for my students. If I am asking them to create a skit I need to show them I can get out of my comfort zone as well so that they maybe more receptive to what I am asking of them. I created a song for Newton’s Laws of Motion that I played for them, but that did not seem to be enough for what I was expecting of them. I also should have created some sort of roller coaster to show, demonstrate, and possibly motive them to create something similar. My AR project also helped me become more organized in the planning of my lessons. It was much easier to implement such a huge project when it is organized step-by-step.
3. I think with some of my students I could have a personal learning environment because they are mature enough to handle taking control of their own learning. I had created something similar in the use of Schoology during my Cycles and while some students excelled, others took advantage of me being the supporter and not dictator and did not use time wisely. I think part of the problem was that some do not yet have the time management skills required for a personal learning environment and require a little more structure and guidance than others.
Learning Objective: The purpose of my action research project is to increase student engagement using technology and peer cooperation. By using the principles of Newton’s Laws of Motion students will solve problems to try to rescue Sir Isaac Newton from being captured.
- Pacing: What is the pace of your lesson or game? Who will go first? Isaac Newton in his attempt to perfect time travel sent himself to 2113, 100 years into our future. The students in playing the game must complete 10 levels of the game in an attempt to rescue Newton and take him back to his time period. Each level moves the students 10 years into the future. The students work in pairs and must complete each decade or level in 12 minutes.
- Instructions: How will your learners learn how to play your game? At the beginning of the game students will receive instructions from their “Uncle Isaac” that he has sent himself to the future and needs their help to return to his time period. During each decade he left them an iPhone with guidance and instructions for the next decade. They must find this iPhone before they can move on to the next decade. This will be where the students receive all instructions for missions, problems, and where to go next.
- Controls: What will the learners manipulate in your game? Students will be able to choose and modify their characters. They will move their characters with key board controls such as left, right, up, and down arrows, spacebar to jump, enter key to pick things up, and the number or letter keys to answer questions.
- Knowledge: What do you expect your learners to know when they enter the game? What do you want them to learn from this game based lesson? What do you expect them to know when they leave? Students will start with no equipment. As they progress they have the opportunity to pick things up by solving problems related to and utilizing Newton’s Laws of Motion. Students will come in with at least a basic knowledge of what these laws are. As they are playing the game students will learn how to utilize these laws in real-life situations and apply the content to problems in the game. At the end of the game students will have a solid grasp on examples of Newton’s Laws of Motion and how they apply to daily routines and activities.
- Achievements: What are the short term and long term victories for the learner? How do you incorporate operant conditioning in your lesson? As students progress through the game they gain various tools and equipment such as a vehicle, money, food/energy, etc to help them on their journey to rescuing their Uncle Isaac from the future. At the end of every level they must find the iPhone with instructions for the next level. At the end of the game the students must get Isaac Newton back to his time period so he can finish his great accomplishments contributing to the world we know today. Every time students answer a question wrong they lose an important aspect of technology. It can be as simple as the wheel, color, or fire and as complex as electricity. When students answer three questions wrong they must start the level over again.
- Story: What is the immersive story or background information that brings the learner deep into your world? The students begin as Isaac Newton’s Great, Great, Great……Nephew/Niece. They soon learn that their Uncle has accidentally sent himself into the future trying to perfect time travel and cannot find his way back. As they are learning of this they notice subtle changes to their world such as lack of space exploration. They learn that their world will change quickly if they cannot get their uncle back to his time period in order to publish his great work and return the world back to the way it was. As they travel from decade to decade to the year 2113 where their uncle is imprisoned they begin noticing the changing of their world and must hurry before technology and scientific knowledge as they know it ceases to exist. They learn just how much their uncle contributed to the world and their future.
- Endgame: Who is the evil boss character they have to fight at the end? What is the final outcome? Is there an ending to your game? The game ends when the students get to the year 2113. The students find their uncle and must help him fix his time machine before all the scientific advances and technology disappear and they are stuck in a world where motion, forces, color, optics, and the telescope simply do not exist! As students are fixing the time machine they must solve various problems relating to Newton’s Laws of Motion and apply what they know of these laws to find the parts needed for the machine.
- Assessment: What are the built in assessments to your game? After every level is passed students’ statistics are saved in game. They can see how many problems they got right and wrong and what types of questions they solved as well as how long it took them to answer each question or complete each level.
- Timing: What is the overall time you have to play this game and how do you adjust to make the game go faster or slower? It can take a maximum of 120 minutes to complete the entire game if students complete every level in exactly 12 minutes. It can take longer if students must start levels over because of answering questions wrong. Students have two tries to complete each level in the allotted time frame. If they do not meet the time requirements after the second time the world reverts back to prehistoric times and they must start over again.
- Fun and Motivation: Why is this game fun and why would your learners like this game? What motivation theory does your lesson address? What operant conditions are in place? The students would be interested in seeing what the future looks like in this game. I believe they would also like to see what a world would be like without various accomplishments of Isaac Newton. The student’s curiosity will be the students’ driving force behind wanting to play the game. Keeping everything novel and eccentric will help increase the curiosity. I believe this game appeals to the Self-Efficacy and Achievement Motivational Theories because it gives them the opportunity to earn in game rewards for solving problems. Students will learn that they need to answer questions carefully, but quickly in order to gain materials to complete each level.
1. In completing Cycle 1 of my Capstone project I used a mixture of qualitative and quantitative data. For my qualitative data I used pre and post surveys, student interviews, observational notes, and a KWL chart. For the quantitative data I used pre and post assessments, a skit project with rubric for grading, and few small lab assignments from Explore Learning.
2. My pre surveys for both Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 found that the students did not find science interesting. They stated their favorite part of science were the labs and gave no clear area of enjoyment. In the post surveys nearly all students enjoyed science because of the projects and stated that their favorited area was Physics, Newton’s Laws of Motion, or Energy. In the pre assessments the average grade was a 33% and in the post assessments the average grade was an 80% where 19 out of 24 received an 80% or better in Cycle 1 and 11 out of 17 of the students received an 80 or better out of 100 in Cycle 2. For the skit assignments only 4 out of the 24 students received less than an 80% with their grade being no less than a 70%. In the Cycle 2 roller coaster project 16 out of the 22 students received 100 points out of a total of 100 possible. The other 6 were either absent or did not turn the project in. Overall in Cycle 1 students seemed to enjoy working on the skit project and finding ways to present Newton’s Laws of Motion. The students found Schoology convenient, however it was hard for them to remember that this tool was available to them. Few of them accessed Schoology from home as seen in student interviews. Students seemed to complete more work when the entire class was in the computer lab as opposed to when we were using laptops in the classroom as seen in my observational notes. In contrast, the Cycle 2 participants worked better when we worked on the laptops in the classroom as opposed to being in the computer lab as seen in student interviews. The Cycle 2 participants completed more of the activities than the Cycle 1 participants as seen in the submitted assignments in Schoology. The Cycle 2 participants also enjoyed the roller coaster project as seen in their grades and completed projects. Interviews in both Cycles showed that the students enjoyed the peer work, hands-on learning, and ability to have the notes readily available for review.
3. I believe GSM will contribute to my Capstone or classroom by giving me different ways to help facilitate the learning of my students. GSM will help me learn the benefits of virtual games and how they can enhance student engagement, participation, and collaboration in the classroom. Students are using games on a regular basis so if I have the tools to utilize that in Physics education or other areas of science the students will have that much more interest in the content being taught. This knowledge will also provide the student an opportunity to show what they know in unique and possibly more comfortable ways.
The proposed completion dates in my timeline were early because I wanted to try to finish before our state testing and spring break. However, creating proper pre and post assessments, surveys, interviews, and preparing to implement took longer than I expected. My new plan is to implement cycle 1 before testing and spring break, re-evaluate during those two weeks, and implement cycle 2 when we come back from vacation. With this in mind I am on target to complete both implementations by month 9. The largest hurdle I see so far is the week we are doing our state testing because I will only see the class period I am using for my AR project one day of that entire week. Completing cycle 1 on time, before this week, will aleviate this problem by allowing me to use the time to focus on how to implement cycle 2 and not worrying about working with my students to finish cycle 1. Cycle 1 will still take three weeks and is in progress running from February 28th to March 15th. Cycle 2, again, will take three weeks and will now run from April 1st to April 19th. My new completion date will be April 19, which will be during month 8 allowing room for any unforeseen circumstances that could possibly arise between now and then.
The ADDIE process helped me refine my implementation process by making me look at what I want to achieve more closely and in detail. ADDIE helped my see where I wanted to go and the steps I needed to take to get there. Since my AR project is looking at student engagement as my end goal, I needed to make my data collection process reflect the achievement of student engagement. ADDIE also helped me refine my data collection process by showing me how specific my assessments needed to be. It also helped knowing where I wanted the students to end up so I could plan my assessments accordingly, creating very usable data to make comparisons.
My plan to track my data is using google forms to keep survey data, using student initials and ID codes to identify the students, taking pictures and class recordings at least twice a week, and keep information from assignments, pre and post tests, and surveys on my schoology.com account for future reference. I also plan to journal every to every other evening as my anecdotal notes about the day and challenges that have occurred.
My measurable outcomes are to use schoology.com to create better student engagement and active learning as seen in their post-test scores and commercial/skit grades. This outcome relates to my inquiry questions directly because I wanted to see how using different technologies in the classroom, specifically collaborative ones, increase student engagement and motivation. I also wondered how I could better use technology to create immediate feedback for my students, in a more consistent manner. This is another outcome I would like to have at the end of my AR project.
Critical Friends: I have found that my critical friends are my entire cohort, but primarily Tahara Robinson, Michelle Jones, DeAnna Brown, and Shaneequa Cannon. They will be critical to assessing my AR site and components involved, keeping me on track with due dates and team assignments, answering questions I have, and keeping me as sane as possible throughout the project!
- Will using more collaborative technologies such as schoology with my 8th grade physical science students create more active participation in learning as seen in project grades being no less than an 80%?
- Will using brain-based strategies such as novelty, whole brain learning, and sensory learning with my eighth grade physical science students create better connections to prior knowledge as shown in completed KWL charts?
- Can I use technology such as clickers and schoology to create immediate feedback to my eighth grade physical science allowing for timely revisions according to needs?
I plan to implement Cycle 1 the last week of January, 1/28/13 to 2/15/13. I plan to review and alter Cycle 1 and implement Cycle 2 the last week of February, 2/25/13 to 3/15/13 so that I will finish my data before State testing, NMSBA, and Spring Break.
1. The problem of interest I have decided to focus on for my Action Research Capstone Project is the lack of motivation in my 8th grade science students.
2. I have chosen this direction because I have such a difficult group of students this school year who have been challenging and hard to keep intrigued and interested in anything school related. The possible solution to this problem is to incorporate Brain Based Learning strategies as well as various and unique technology resources to create an interesting and diverse learning environment.
3. My audience will be 8th graders who are very technological. They are very diverse and unique. I hope that by using technologies as diverse as they are, this will create the connection between them and education they need in order to show interest and a desire to learn.
4. I have found that Brain Based Learning is a widely researched area so there are many articles involving the various ways this has been and can be used in the classroom. I have found many different ways technology is being and can be used in the classroom as well. The difficulties I am finding is narrowing down which technologies I am going to use as well as ensuring I have the proper tools available to me at my school to be able to implement the technologies I have selected.