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EDU617

Learning and Teaching with ICT

Assignment 3: During Tasks

Unit of Work: Authentic Learning Environment (Bullying Wiki)

During Tasks

It is very important to monitor how students are progressing with all aspects of their group task during the project. Literacy Skills, Group and Social Skills, Creative Skills and Technological Skills are some of the main areas that students would be ideally developing. It will be crucial to scaffold students when and where the need arises and this could involve individuals, small groups or the whole class depending on the needs.

After 2-3 class lesson times on the wiki, some student self and group reflection would be very worthwhile. This will provide students with opportunities to articulate (both in writing and verbally) how they feel they are progressing with the task, how happy they are with the cooperation within their group, the help they believe they need at this point in time and how they feel about using the wiki and other online tools. There are a number of useful reflective strategies that teachers could use and perhaps using more than one strategy could be beneficial depending on the needs of the students. Table 2 illustrates a selection of these strategies and also provides some suggestions for implementation in the classroom. For an explanation of each strategy please visit the links to external websites.  

Table 2. Strategies for enhancing students’ reflection about the progress of their wiki.

Strategy

Ideas for Classroom Use

Placemat

Students could team up with students in their group and write about skills they feel their group could improve upon. Three common items can be selected to place in the central section and these could be shared with the whole class.

Tuning Protocol

Students could be placed in or select groups of three with peers not in their wiki group. 5-10 minutes could be provided for each student to talk about where they are at. Their successes and challenges so far with the wiki. The whole Tuning Protocol process for each student would take about 20 minutes so allow about 1¼ hours for this process to be completed. This includes time for sharing with the whole class about ideas presented as well as about the Tuning Protocol process itself (enhancing metacognitive awareness).

Three Musketeers

After pointing their finger in the air to make a 3 person teepee, students can take turns in sharing a success and a challenge with their wiki so far. Ideas could be shared by each group teaming up with another group. Sharing could then take place with the class as a whole.

Graffiti

All students could write on the same piece of paper at the same time about successes, challenges or both in relation to their progress so far with the wiki. They could also write about the cooperative processes their group has used so far. Ideas could then be shared with the class.

PMI (Positive, Minus, Interesting) Chart

Students could complete a PMI Chart on the their successes with the wiki or their group so far. Share with the class.

Think, Pair, Share

Students could write ideas on sticky notes (Primary School students love doing this especially if the notes are fancy shapes and colours) related to their work on the wiki so far and then complete the task by sharing with their partner and the class. Students can choose to share their own or partner’s ideas to alleviate unnecessary stress.

Three Step Interview

In groups of 3 students decide who is the A, B and C person. The teacher then tells the class that As are the interviewers, Bs are the people getting interviewed and Cs are the reporters who need to take notes. Students could be asked to focus on aspects of the wiki and roles are rotated so that each student has an opportunity with each. Share with the class about the ideas and about the strategy itself.

These reflection strategies could be built in at various times during the task depending on the needs of the students. It would be extremely valuable to have students participate in such tasks at the end of the wiki as well as a summative reflection.

Another useful reflective tool is with the Discussion functions on each page. Students can initiate discussion threads but it may be the case that teachers need to initiate these and even set aside time or a task for the session of posting comments to one of these. There is usually so much to do during extended project based tasks that it is difficult to fit everything in, especially as students are deeply engaged in the tasks they are working on.

It may also be necessary and valuable to revisit the wiki with the whole class at various checkpoint times to refresh understanding and stimulate motivation about accessing the various supports provided in the wiki such as ‘How to Use the Wiki’, ‘Assessment’ and the ‘Problems’ pages. Students may have already accessed these, though it always helps to walk through such information with the whole class.

Grant (2009) and Woo et. al. (2011) reported in their research that students often found it difficult to edit work of their peers and that many students also disliked others editing their work. This is an issue that will require careful monitoring and scaffolding so that students have opportunities to practice this skill and talk about it through articulated reflection. At an early stage of the extended wiki task it may be valuable to provide structured tasks aside from those required in the wiki that allow students to rehearse the skills of editing work of their peers. Each student could write a brief narrative text with the intention of others editing their work. Students could be asked to deliberately include some errors. This could be a great informal way of scaffolding students’ abilities to provide feedback to others. Students have also been reported to have been reluctant to edit the work of their peers as is not seen to be socially appropriate and this has been reflected in research by Mak and Coniam (2008). This could be a result of the institutionalised nature of schools (not just in Hong Kong as is the origin of their research). Students need to be supported in rehearsing and practicing skills that are required in the 21st Century and through activities such as the task previously mentioned so that teachers can help work towards more confidence in students implementing these skills and strengthening their abilities to use these skills.

 

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