Month 10 – LMO – Cycle 2

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

There are definitely elements from my literature review that tie into the data I received from my cycles.  This was especially evident as I adjusted some of the wording for the second cycle.  I also added a few questions to further delve into the teacher/student connection concept as well since it is a part of my literature review but I had nothing to gauge that perception upon besides my research.

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

There is no doubt that this was a learning process.   I had to remind myself of the differences between an Action Research project as opposed to a scientific study several times.  My experience in psychology was to step back from the process and let things take their course, but that is the opposite process as Action Research.  The constant adjustment to make the research more effective so that you arrive at something more workable.    As a practitioner, I made a point to note comments and reactions from my participants, and while I did not change my basic questions.  I did find ways to more effectively get to the answers I was looking for.

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

This is an excellent question and one I have been mulling over since it was proposed and since I do work in an LMS that is not of my own design or preference every day in my class.   Experience, both through my day to day teaching, and this AR Project, has me realizing some subtle changes that I would do that could see added.   My AR project is completely based on feedback to student work, so a more effective and robust LMS platform that would have embedded tools for commenting, in text, voice, and video, would be preferred.   Much of the multimedia feedback I created for my participants had to be hosted elsewhere and linked to the participants. A LMS that had built in tools for such feedback would make the grade feedback more secure for the students’ sake, and easier for instructors to offer to students to develop that connection that is critical to a student’s success and enhances the quality and effectiveness of their feedback.

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Gaming and Motivation Lesson Plan

Introduction3366551725_78529249a1_n

My Capstone project is looking into encouraging student engagement through the format of their feedback.   Each week they respond to a survey on how effective they felt text, video, and finally audio feedback was to them.  What I’ve decided to do is a Civilization style game that would be episodic, and save their progress till the next ‘chapter’ until they have receive their final grade.   Once they receive feedback they will have the option to ‘remodel’ the perfect submission based on what they learned each week.  Reinforcing the previous week’s  components, and refreshing it in their mind for the next.

Pacing

This game would run the length of the class I teach.  Essentially this is a two player game between instructor and student.  The game would be ‘saved’ until the instructor sent out the next grade in the new format.  This would open up the new chapter for the student to play through.  However an open board for posting progress and images would add in some competition or encouragement between classmates.

Instructions

This game would be rather intuitive as most of my students do not seem to be very good at reading instructions that are placed separately.  Tool tips would pop up as they registered and submitted each piece of demographic info in the first segment,     Each week, there would be new tool tips, all backed up with catchy game music and animations.

Controls

In keeping with the material and equipment they are working on, the interface would be a standard computer keyboard, with mouse support.   They would click through to the  questions, and then use the keyboard for their observations.  The randomization factor would come in the fact that they could choose what format they wanted to receive their feedback in, however this would be counter balanced in that they could not pick the same format twice.  I would add another level that would base the format partly on whatever grade they received on the previous activity.   If their grade was lower, then it would be a format that was one they were more comfortable with to encourage them to improve.

Knowledge

Students would go into each ‘chapter’ knowing that they will need to ‘remodel’ their submission if they did not get 100 on their work.   So understanding the requirements of the activities, will be beneficial to them.  This depends on if the student did not make a perfect score.  That though leads us to our next point…

Achievements

This would be approached on several levels.  These are broken down by type below.

  • Submission Activity – Two types  – a higher level one for normal submission, and lesser for late submission.
  • Feedback Activity – feedback itself would be coached in achievements of different levels, depending on what the student did in the actual work.  This would be based on the rubric for the lesson.
  • Remodeling Activity – If a student receives a 100, this would not be required.  Otherwise they will take the components and to achieve ‘access’ to the next level and get higher achievements they have the opportunity to make corrections to their work.  This would be as a simulation and not change their actual grade, but by making the effort they will get an achievement.  The highest possible if they can remodel their submission to be perfect.

My perception is that, ideally, that each achievement would be a different building element, some fancy, some practical.   This would help make each student’s building unique in the end.

StoryCastle

Since I am encouraging them to be better students, we are going to be building a spectacular castle. Students may be given the option to build some other structure if they prefer it.   They are the architects of their destiny, and this encourages them to see each brick, each stone that goes into creating something to be proud of.   The whole initial introduction would be of a humble mason.  He has big dreams, and sees these fantastic creations, but the question he has, is how to make them into reality.    Each section of the game would build a portion of their building, culminating in a fantastic structure that reaches to the clouds, making the humble mason into the Great Architect of Dreams.

End Game

As I mentioned some in the previous segment, the end game would to see if the student became the Great Architect of Dreams.  Depending on the students achievements and how they handled the choices, their building will vary.   Students could even compare their castles.  Because I do want to encourage them, there would not be any ‘losing’ unless they chose not to participate.   Depending on the quality and scale of their buildings the Architect title would vary with their success.   In a sense each chapter would have an end game, since they finish off a certain level with achievements based on that week’s work.    Students could be more determined by missing a point or two and hopefully have a renewed sense that they will come back in the next chapter and get all the achievements so that their building is that much stronger and better in that week.     I think as an added element, the so called bosses, or mini bosses each week could be element that have some practical suggestions upon defeating them.   For instance, one week, you could have the Duke of Doubt, perhaps the Abbess of Assumption, and the final boss (since this seems to be a big issue in my class) would be the Timelord, with dominion over Time management.

Assessment

This is demonstrated in two ways in the game.  First off would be the building the student creates, since it is build based on their successes through achievements.    The second would be the quality of the work and their grades in each of the regular submissions.   Remember a student that submits a perfect project would already be ahead of their classmates since they would have that achievement.   There could also be acknowledgement of the student that had done all of the ‘remodeling’ each week and demonstrated improvement in their submissions.

Timing

Some of these points I have addressed in other segments, but this would not be a one time game and done.  Since it addresses building skills and awareness, I think my players are best served by the pacing of a longer term concept.   This ties into the concept that becoming the Great Architect of Dreams is not a quick process, and takes time and effort.  It would show that mistakes could be made but it takes extra effort to correct them, but yes, many of them can be corrected if you are willing to learn from your errors.   Each chapter helps build their dream building, and in turn, ideally, will build them into a better learner; more willing to correct mistakes and learning from them.

Fun and Motivation

This game is fun and motivating since it not only is part of who a student would see their grades but by taking the subsequent steps they can see how to improve, and in the process create a fantastic creation that is unique to them.   I think providing them a board where they can post pictures of their buildings in progress, will add a competitive and encouraging aspect with their classmates.

I do see several motivational theories that are part of this process, depending on which component of the game we are focusing on.

  • Extrinsic Theory – the look of their building, and improvement of grades
  • Control Theory –  having the ability to control and determine their ‘destiny’ aka grade

Operant Conditions in place would be the follow up exercises that show the student how to improve their past work, hopefully by this improve their future work.  This would enable them to get the higher achievement to start with upon accessing their grade, and getting a higher score.

*Both images are CC from Torley Olmstead

Month 9 – GSM – The first Cycle

Methods of collection:

Data was collected through surveys.  It was a mixture of quantitative, using a LIkert scale, and qualitative with volunteers reporting their perceptions of each of form of feedback.   Students responded based on both methods on each of the feedback formats (text, audio, video).  Both the qualitative data (anecdotal) and the quantitative (Likert scale) was analyzed and compared both to each other and in retrospect to each other.

Data comparison:

In the first cycle, generally most students responded well to most of the feedback formats.   However when one compares their perceived preference for learning and the feedback format they preferred in the post survey, three participants out of the final group actually chose their perceived preference matching their choice for the one they responded to the best.   Interesting enough, it was an almost even split between the three feedback formats on which one was the preferred method.  That supports the concept of personalized learning plans.   I also looked at the grades project to project for the students, but many of the participants were ones that started out as high achievers, so it did not leave much room for improvement.

Second cycle initial interest is coming in stronger than the first cycle so I do feel that I will be a better sampling.   The tweaking of some of the wording will also help focus the students so that they are more sure of which formats they are responding about.

GSM Thoughts:

Going back to month 3, I was fascinated with some of the learning games and sites that I encountered such a Duology.  So I am very interested in the concepts as I find that games have gotten very good at engaging players interest.   This techniques applied to feedback might well make students more willing to put forward the effort to read the feedback.  Sadly I did have one student that in the final survey stated he hadn’t known where to find his feedback all month even though I presented material showing them how to find it, as well as providing them additional materials for the entire class.  A gaming mentality might improve student participants efforts in not only engaging in the feedback but in using it.

Month 8 – FPE – Reflection

I remember as a child standing on top of what seemed like a very tall hill. I’d lay down and just roll. You’d have ‘sort of’ control, but there were lots of bumps and twists that you weren’t expected. It was all sort of breathless, excited, frightening and wondrous all at the same moment. I think I’ve decided that is what the EMDT program feels like. One tumble, one exciting turn, one rock that turns up as your trying to steer your course.

So this month is Month 8! Hard to believe. 2/3 of the way through the program. Well this was my first month of evaluation, so it gave me some time to consider how things had gone in the first cycle and what I want to do in the second.

What changed in my set up between Cycle 1 and 2?

Following some slightly confused responses from participants, I’ve added a field to include their email and an alternative email.  This is due to the fact that many of them do not realize that they have a student email at their fingertips for some time yet.  I also adjust some of the wording of the weekly surveys to make it clear that I am asking about the previous week’s grading, not the current.   I am also including a short video showing them how to see their feedback.   This process is shown elsewhere but I did have a participant finally respond on the final survey that they had no idea where to see their feedback all month.

What’s happening that I didn’t expect?

Many students ended up preferring the audio feedback over video.  I thought it might be more 50/50.   They specifically mention liking that they could hear the tone in my voice.   This ties in though with the concept of forming a bond with the participants.

How are you tracking data differently?

I am not going to track the data differently this cycle.   The survey did seem to work out without any problems.

How have the concepts and techniques presented in FPE assisted your capstone?

By utilizing the concepts of storytelling and imagery that I have further developed in FPE, I will be able to enhance that connection with my participants further.  I think that will enable me to get a higher response percentage as well, and hopefully that will be matched by an equal increase in their grades.

Month 7 – MTA

Developing an Action Research project is definitely an eye opener!  This month I started the roll out of the actual research portion of my project.   There’s a curious mix of dread and anticipation as you want it to go perfectly. However that is why we get a second phase so we can fine tune the process further.

Are you still on target to complete both implementation activities? If not, why? Analyze any potential hurdles, how do you plan to address these conflicts that may postpone your implementation?

Status:

Currently my initial survey is open and its a bit nerve racking as I only have 12 participants.   I did send out a reminder email today though so am hoping that I get a few more to give me some cushion in case of drop outs.  Implementation is on target for Month 7 as I had planned.  First activities will be turned in on Sunday and I start the process of feedback with those students that have volunteered.

Hurdles:

Some hurdles that I am concerned about is that several students do drop out and that would leave me with less than a 10 person sample for the project.  One of the sections I have is a ‘repeater’ section, so that adds the additional consideration that a certain percentage of those students will not participate in the class let alone in my project.  I am also weighing the final feedback and trying to determine if the video feedback should have more than just visuals.

Implementation Timeframe:

The actual implementation of the project will take 4 weeks, if we consider the starting point as the first activity submitted for feedback as the first step in the process and the final survey response from students as the final step.  Depending on the situation with each step, I have considered that I might need to shorten the time frame and drop one of the feedback formats, but that will have to wait until the responses for this initial month.

End of Implementation Process:

After evaluation of phase 1, the second phase will begin in Month 9, so will complete at the end of that four week cycle and be ready for evaluation at the end of Month 9.

Timeline:

I am a month off on my timeline.  I had expected to do the first phase of the project in Month 6 but I was not yet ready to roll out. The Literature Review was completed on time, assets were created in Months 5 and 6.  Formal language for Proposal of AR Project was set in Month 5.  With consideration for the assets, and the events in my life (the wedding I noted in my Month 4 blog post), it seemed more advantageous to start Phase 1 in July/Month 7.   The rest of the timeline should proceed appropriately from here.

DEA – Month 6 – Pacing and Planning

The ADDIE process was an interesting and consuming method that focused my concepts into more pragmatic and thoughtful approaches.   Through the analysis phase I broke down the problem I was working on and how to achieve that goal.   The design phase of ADDIE led me to more involved survey than I was initially intending.  It was becoming clear that it could be unmanageable if I was not careful.   With the understanding that I would need to limit participation but not wishing to discourage it, I made the decision to offer the project for volunteers rather than doing the multimedia evaluations for everyone.  These volunteers who complete the study will get a community service award that my school offers.  The design/development phase also coalesced several considerations I had for explaining to the students what I was expecting from them in terms of commitment.  This adds the variable of student responsibility as more of a factor than I was initially considering.
That same design phase also provided me with some self-created surveys for data collection.   I am concerned that I may be asking too much of my volunteers but the weekly surveys will provide more format specific results rather than a simple post-survey would.  Demographics for each volunteer will be gathered by the pre-survey.  The weekly survey and Feedback Reflection post-survey will provide qualitative and quantitative data from the participants’ perspective and the participants grades will provide the instructor with numeric/quantitative data on if they utilized the feedback and improved their grades in subsequent submitted work.
Each of my inquiry questions are broken down specifically in relation to the volunteer surveys for each week, and their grades for the following week will either support their answers or negate them.

TMD – Month 4 – Timeline

It really is hard to take in that at the end of this course I’ll be 1/3 through the EMDTMS Program here at Full Sail University.   I definitely can see that I have had a lot less time than I used to but I do think I am learning a great deal.

Critical People in the Process

In thinking over the process so far I know there are people I’ve leaned on to help me survive this process, first off would be my conspirator in this whole project, Suzanne Wilson.  We’re so different but yet somehow it works for us and our strengths complement each other.  Her writing skills have saved me on more than one occasion.  Speaking of writing skills, Trish Persen has been there for me and I would consider her a critical person.  She graduated over a year ago, but she’s always willing to let me bend her ear and lend her skills and insights to this process for me. This same thumbs up goes to Katie Ross, a previous graduate of the program who has been a great sounding board and source of encouragement as I push through this.   Finally, in an amalgam, my co-workers who are going through their graduate programs and whether it be in this degree or another, they have been showing me how focus, discipline. and drive can make a huge difference in a journey.

Inquiry Questions

Did receiving your grading feedback in a non-text from help you understand what was done wrong so that you can improve your work.

To keep to the specific then I would break down each format to see which they responded to more.

  • Did my online college students gain an understanding of their efforts more thoroughly from the text feedback?
  • Did my online college students gain an understanding of their efforts more thoroughly from the audio feedback?
  • Did my online college students gain an understanding of their efforts more thoroughly from the video feedback?

Was there improvement in the students’ work after the feedback format changed each week?

Action Research Timeline via Prezi

Concerns on Timeline

Events that I’ll need to take into consideration during this AR Process

1) Wedding in Atlanta in June, part of the bridal party

2) Mother’s 93 birthday in Maryland in July, family gathering

3) DragonCon, annual conference that I help organize, end of August, beginning of September

The summer months are smaller class sizes. This should not be an issue.  Will request classes that will provide me with two sections of new students, rather than the repeater ones.  Many of the summer students are responsive due to them starting school fresh and eager.

Implementation Time Frame

I am planning on my Implementation time to be  Cycle 1 in June and Cycle 2 in August.

As to unforeseen hurdles, naturally it will depend on how bad the circumstances, but as Full Sail cycles through with a new class every month, I would have an option to shift when Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 happen.  Each class is generally a standardized size since I would be doing this research in my class, which is a first month course for all degrees with 25 students per section.