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STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNINGTECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM ATA SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOLA Doctoral Dissertation Resea...
ii STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNINGTECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM ATA SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOLCopyright ©2013Daniel M. D...
iv STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNINGTECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM ATA SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOLAbstract of Doctoral Disse...
v ABSTRACTThe purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the group dynamic in PBLtask delegation and technology s...
vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would never have been able to finish my dissertation without the guidance ofmy committee members, hel...
vii DEDICATIONI dedicate this dissertation to my son Dylan, whose smile helped motivate me inthe toughest days. I hope he ...
viii TABLE OF CONTENTSPageTABLE OF FIGURES...................................................................................
ix Collection of Data........................................................................................................
x APPENDICES 112
xi TABLE OF FIGURESFigure Page1. Group 1 Planning and Layout.................................................................
xii TABLE OF APPENDICESAppendix PageA. Principal Access Request..............................................................
1 CHAPTER ONE: THE PROBLEM AND ITS COMPONENTSIntroductionThe instructional model Project Based Learning (PBL) engages stud...
2 and interaction with one another. “Project based learning is rooted in the idea that aproblem or question drives learnin...
3 Student learning in collaborative environments using technology enabled them toshare skills and organize group tasks on ...
4 Multimedia Hypermedia Classroom EnvironmentAcademic curriculum designed with multi and hypermedia creation skills focuse...
5 future workplace environment will be a place in which workers will be judged on theirperformance and evaluated not only ...
6 students create should emphasize the context of the conditions in which studentscompleted the tasks, how their skills ca...
7 problems while completing tasks. Students constructed real world connections betweenthe curriculum and outcomes (Herring...
8 independently. The research also assists in the identification of the different rolesstudents take within the group and ...
9 interruptions during group work and improve shared learning experiences by betterutilizing group knowledge resources.Sta...
10 Research QuestionsThe following research questions guided this study:1. What are the benefits of a Project Based Learni...
11 form due to the students’ energy level or focus. The single classroom environment, eventhough rich in its transcribed a...
12 Definition of TermsThe following terms will be addressed in this study:21st Century Skills: The education skills deemed...
13 Communication Styles: Indicate choices of language or participation in verbal ornonverbal components of collaboration. ...
14 Flash: Defines multimedia software that uses Actionscript Languages and FLVvideo. Software uses timeline setup to creat...
15 Nvivo: Windows desktop application that is available in 32-bit and 64-bitversions. NVivo lets users organize, analyze a...
16 Screencasts: Digital recordings of the computer screen often with narration;these are often 3-5 minute videos with a sp...
17 profession. PBL is ideal for connecting factual knowledge, principles, and skills to theirapplication within a professi...
18 helps connect PBL curriculum as it relates to 21st century skill building in a high schoolclassroom environment.The sig...
19 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATUREThis literature review covers the current range of research in the areas of projec...
20 address key questions in their process of learning and apply applied technology skills inpresentations or cumulative pr...
21 Hakkarainen (2009) provided the idea that in developing PBL curriculum it isimportant to embrace small learning groups ...
22 solve and work through projects (Mioduser & Betzer, 2007). Engaging students withtechnology, while still increasing ski...
23 environments were beneficial for the development and sharing of student e-portfolios toshowcase their work. The positiv...
24 and Neo, 2010). Neo and Neo, (2010) concluded that it is the connection between thetechnology tools and the methods of ...
25 getting introverted students to participate and the presentation of the problem over moretraditional courses which may ...
26 experiences solving authentic questions using multimedia in a project based,constructivist learning gave insight into t...
27 constructivist approaches. A look into the research of mathematics instruction revealsthat there is actually limited re...
28 following concepts relate to their perceived e-learning outcome: personal relevance,student uncertainty, critical voice...
29 Authentic LearningResults of Neo and Neo’s (2010) research showed that using authentic tasks witha multimedia project i...
30 uncertainty, critical voice, shared control, student negotiation. These components werethe basis of the hypothesis of a...
31 the importance of team work as it relates to real world settings. Student interactionimproved using technology and stud...
32 components of the learning environment to be examined using Gagne’s nine events ofinstruction (Neo et al., 2010).The re...
33 management of the satellites and cooperation between students in different locations.The multiple skills learned in the...
34 CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGYThe instructional model Project Based Learning engages students in learningknowledge and skil...
35 collected to gain insight into a project based learning classroom environment usingtechnology.The collected data relate...
36 environment. Specific language and themes that students use while engaged in thisenvironment was defined. According to ...
37 Finally, permission was granted from the principal to conduct research at the high school.Proper permissions were also ...
38 well as their time working collaboratively with the multimedia software to create theirprojects, revealed the students ...
39 students’ completion of projects, their collaboration between each other and during theutilization of technology tools....
40 Thirdly, task factors and student responses to the central authentic question and thecomplexity in which students answe...
41 LimitationsThe sample size which may have fluctuated on the students who agreed toparticipate and the number signed up ...
42 tasks. Time was another limitation since the audio collection period may not have beenlong enough. Communication may no...
43 DelimitationsAll students in this study were from upper middle class families in a suburban cityoutside of Boston. A ma...
44 among group members. The group dynamics was a delimitation of the PBL learninggroups.Data AnalysisThe researcher coded ...
45 During the research period, students documented their personal learningexperiences related to the projects in a web bas...
52 students exported their mobile application into an .APK format (Blum, 2012) and testedthe application on a device. Duri...
47 available for teachers to use, it is important to stay grounded to the benefits of betterunderstanding how technology d...
48 CHAPTER FOUR: FINDINGSIntroductionThis qualitative phenomenological research methodology was designed touncover and des...
49 Population DescriptionThe participants in this study consisted of 18 high school students in a suburbanschool district ...
50 the study and transcribe audio files from the groups work periods. Word queries weredetermined by identifying the 100 m...
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
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STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
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STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING  TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT  A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL
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STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the group dynamic in PBL task delegation and technology skill fluency through the language of its participants. The researcher collected themes, experiences, and decisions depicted in the language of high school students as they negotiated a final project using computer technology tools to create mobile applications for their high school community.
Often in groups, teachers are not always part of the exchange of learning and necessary communication between students to complete tasks and negotiate ideas. This research assists teachers in developing strategies to better organize and guide groups in a PBL curriculum with technology so students can more effectively address the needs of projects independently.
In this research, the PBL curriculum promoted conversation and communication for delegated tasks amongst students and developing a sense of familiarity and cohesiveness in student centered groups. Scenarios which required the management of group members to complete the tasks required in the project were also prevalent. Group members shared critical vocabulary related to technology and the process of the project. Additional benefits included group approaches with the consideration of continually improving the project and also an increased awareness and appreciation for the technology used in the project.
The final mobile applications of the groups represent the combination of group process, technology, and addressing the authentic question in the PBL curriculum. Students were able to develop authentic projects which were the results of a variety of technology based skills, project management and conceptualization.

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Transcript of "STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNING TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM AT A SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL "

  1. 1. STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNINGTECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM ATA SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOLA Doctoral Dissertation ResearchSubmitted to theFaculty of Argosy University, SarasotaCollege of EducationIn Partial Fulfillment ofthe Requirements for the Degree ofDoctor of EducationByDaniel M. DownsArgosy University, SarasotaJanuary, 2013
  2. 2. ii STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNINGTECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM ATA SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOLCopyright ©2013Daniel M. DownsAll rights reserved
  3. 3. iv STUDENT EXPERIENCES IN A PROJECT-BASED LEARNINGTECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM ATA SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOLAbstract of Doctoral Dissertation ResearchSubmitted to theFaculty of Argosy University, SarasotaCollege of EducationIn Partial Fulfillment ofthe Requirements for the Degree ofDoctor of EducationByDaniel M. DownsArgosy University, SarasotaJanuary, 2013Sharon D. Jackson, Ed.D, ChairRosine M. Dougherty, Ed.D, MemberDepartment: College of Education
  4. 4. v ABSTRACTThe purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the group dynamic in PBLtask delegation and technology skill fluency through the language of its participants. Theresearcher collected themes, experiences, and decisions depicted in the language of highschool students as they negotiated a final project using computer technology tools tocreate mobile applications for their high school community.Often in groups, teachers are not always part of the exchange of learning andnecessary communication between students to complete tasks and negotiate ideas. Thisresearch assists teachers in developing strategies to better organize and guide groups in aPBL curriculum with technology so students can more effectively address the needs ofprojects independently.In this research, the PBL curriculum promoted conversation and communicationfor delegated tasks amongst students and developing a sense of familiarity andcohesiveness in student centered groups. Scenarios which required the management ofgroup members to complete the tasks required in the project were also prevalent. Groupmembers shared critical vocabulary related to technology and the process of the project.Additional benefits included group approaches with the consideration of continuallyimproving the project and also an increased awareness and appreciation for thetechnology used in the project.The final mobile applications of the groups represent the combination of groupprocess, technology, and addressing the authentic question in the PBL curriculum.Students were able to develop authentic projects which were the results of a variety oftechnology based skills, project management and conceptualization.
  5. 5. vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would never have been able to finish my dissertation without the guidance ofmy committee members, help from friends, and support from my family and wife.I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my advisor, Dr. Sharon Jackson,for her excellent guidance, caring and patience during my research. I would also like tothank Dr. Dougherty for helping guide my research and provoking new insights into theProject Based learning technology curriculum.I would also like to thank Anna Maria Schrimpf for providing me withprofessional mentorship during the course of my studies and Dr. Thomas Gwin for hissupport for Project Based Learning with technology curriculum in his school. A specialthanks to Dr. Marc Kerble for sharing his experience and professional advice during mydoctoral study.I would also like to thank my parents, as they have always been supportive in myendeavors in education. Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Shachenka, and sonDylan for their endless patience in this process.
  6. 6. vii DEDICATIONI dedicate this dissertation to my son Dylan, whose smile helped motivate me inthe toughest days. I hope he keeps his imagination sacred as he makes his way in thisworld.
  7. 7. viii TABLE OF CONTENTSPageTABLE OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................xTABLE OF APPENDICES ............................................................................................... xiCHAPTER ONE: THE PROBLEM AND ITS COMPONENTS 1Introduction 1Constructivist Approaches 2Multimedia Hypermedia Classroom Environment 4Authentic Assessment 5Purpose of the Study 7Statement of Problem 9Research Questions 10Limitations and Delimitations 10Definition of Terms 12Significance of Study 16Study Overview 16Chapter Summary 17CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 19Project Based Learning’s Role with Instruction and Multimedia Instruction 19Social Learning 22Integration of Multimedia Tools 23Barriers 24Constructivist Approaches with Multimedia 25Significance 26Student Perceptions 27Authentic Learning 29Implementation and Approaches 31CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY 34Research Design 35Sampling Procedures 36Data Collection Methods 37Methodological Assumptions & Limitations 40Analysis 44Summary 46CHAPTER FOUR: FINDINGS.........................................................................................49Introduction........................................................................................................................49Population Description.......................................................................................................50Collection of Data and Data Analysis................................................................................50
  8. 8. ix Collection of Data..........................................................................................................50Project Artifacts .............................................................................................................51Findings and Results..........................................................................................................52Design Strategies ...........................................................................................................52Project Conceptualization..............................................................................................52Problem Solving.................................................................................................................54Visual Approaches.........................................................................................................55Technology Integration .................................................................................................56Communication Trends......................................................................................................57Management Language..................................................................................................58Task Language...............................................................................................................59Collaboration......................................................................................................................60Technology ........................................................................................................................61Learning Behaviors............................................................................................................63Cohesiveness..................................................................................................................63Group Learning Challenges...........................................................................................64Project Challenges .............................................................................................................65Technology Learning.....................................................................................................65Time Management .........................................................................................................66Role Development .............................................................................................................67Task Based Roles...........................................................................................................67Leadership Roles............................................................................................................69Evaluating Final Projects...................................................................................................70Authentic Rubric.............................................................................................................70Problem Solving..............................................................................................................70Task Factors....................................................................................................................71Indicators of Success..........................................................................................................72Overall Themes of Study ...................................................................................................73Summary............................................................................................................................74CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ......76Summary............................................................................................................................76Discussion of Results.........................................................................................................79Implications of Study.........................................................................................................91Implications for Educators.............................................................................................91Implications for Technology Teachers ..........................................................................96Implications for Students...............................................................................................98Limitations.......................................................................................................................100Recommendations............................................................................................................101Recommendations for Further Research......................................................................101Conclusions......................................................................................................................103REFERENCES ................................................................................................................107
  9. 9. x APPENDICES 112
  10. 10. xi TABLE OF FIGURESFigure Page1. Group 1 Planning and Layout......................................................................................1222. Group 2 Planning and Layout......................................................................................1233. Group 3 Planning and Layout......................................................................................1244. Group 4 Planning and Layout......................................................................................1255. Learning Journal Words...............................................................................................1276. Group 1 Learning Journal Word Query.......................................................................1297. Group 2 Learning Journal Word Query.......................................................................1298. Group 3 Learning Journal Word Query.......................................................................1309. Group 4 Learning Journal Word Query.......................................................................13010. Group 1 Audio Word Query ......................................................................................13411. Group 2 Audio Word Query ......................................................................................13412. Group 3 and 4 Audio Word Query ............................................................................135
  11. 11. xii TABLE OF APPENDICESAppendix PageA. Principal Access Request...........................................................................................113B. Parent Permission Request.........................................................................................115C. Authentic Rubric ........................................................................................................118D. Group Planning and Layouts......................................................................................121E. Learning Journal Words .............................................................................................126F. Learning Journal Word Queries..................................................................................128G. Audio Transcription Words .......................................................................................131H. Audio Word Queries..................................................................................................133I. Groups 1-4 Presentation Video Links .........................................................................136
  12. 12. 1 CHAPTER ONE: THE PROBLEM AND ITS COMPONENTSIntroductionThe instructional model Project Based Learning (PBL) engages students inlearning knowledge and skills through an extended inquiry process. Markham, Larmerand Ravit’s (2003) study described the process as structured around authentic questionsand carefully designed products and tasks. These projects and authentic assessmentsvalidate the collaborative process of an engaged group working towards a finalpresentation. The language that students use in this interaction drives the exchange ofinformation to complete critical tasks on the way to completion of final products such aswritten products, portfolios, checklists, teacher observations, and group projects (Olfos &Zulantay, 2007).PBL approaches used in teaching multimedia projects suggest that the project beguided by a driving question in which the research allows students to apply their acquiredknowledge (Bell, 2010). It is the driving question which initiates communication and ateam approach necessary to solving the central problems in the creation of a project inPBL curriculum. PBL curriculum inquiry process, while using technology andmultimedia software tools, relies heavily upon the participant’s use of language to learnand collaborate. Students working and communicating effectively in groups to createmultimedia projects defines an exciting question driven construct of PBL.PBL curriculum is dependent on the ability of individuals to show teamwork,communication, collaboration and increased fluency in key skill areas (Kramer, Walker& Brill, 2007). The final product, cumulative presentation or performance of students forproper assessment, depends on the quality and effectiveness of student communication
  13. 13. 2 and interaction with one another. “Project based learning is rooted in the idea that aproblem or question drives learning activities toward the construction of a concreteartifact in an authentic context” (Papanikolaou & Boubouka, 2010, p. 135). To gain abetter understanding of the process of this curriculum, it is important to understand thelanguage between its participants during the process of project development, acquisitionof critical skills, and the presentation of the final project.Constructivist ApproachesGroup learning while integrating technology in a PBL environment engagesstudents in multiple forms of communication. According to Vygotsky (1990):Through conversational language used in a social context the emerging patternsare negotiated into meaning and the construct of the “zone of proximaldevelopment” is bridged via deeper learning. So, learning occurs through jointproblem-solving between partners and social interaction.Dependence on group communication and exchange of ideas plays a large role inthe construct of project based learning. The reliance on individuals to work in groups, toshare ideas, and create with technology will facilitate learning. Capturing the languageduring this process will reveal communication and language trends critical to betterunderstanding of student learning.PBL curriculum has a strong component of group construct and promotes moreenriching learning experiences. Students can focus on the development of their fluencyand skills with the collaborative use of technology tools. Curtis & Lawson (2001) foundthe following:The collaborative learning process allows students to construct a scaffold forcritical thinking and provides immediacy of feedback in which peers give andreceive help, exchange resources and information, give and receive feedback,challenge and encourage each other and jointly reflect on progress and process.(p. 21)
  14. 14. 3 Student learning in collaborative environments using technology enabled them toshare skills and organize group tasks on their way to completing project basedassignments. The language students used and the interactions they encountered in theproject based learning environment with technology defined and differentiated theirexperiences. Students were engrossed in learning with a high level of accountabilitywithin their group and created projects which can be relevant in a real world context.Bell (2010) found the following:The group dynamic creates an interdependence in which students must each dotheir part, and as a result, a natural consequence exists for those students who donot demonstrate accountability—others may no longer want to be paired withstudents who do not do their fair share. (p. 40)This dynamic becomes an important component to evaluate and discover the innerworkings and directions of these groups. The language used during this dynamic and thecorresponding work trends will be insightful to its effect on the group structure. Grouplearning is facilitated by the successful completion of the project tasks and theapplication of the technology.According to Jonassen, Howland, Moore, and Marra (2003), “for constructivists,knowledge is socially constructed through structured interaction and collaboration aroundmeaningful tasks” (p. 152). In a group learning environment, intercommunicationbetween participants will be critical to students sharing and retaining information.This research focused on language used by students in the successful delegation,prioritization and fluency of technology skills during a project based multi/hypermediaproject. This research disseminates the meaningful learning gained from studentsmanaging their own learning through meta-cognitive, self-reflective and collaborativeprocesses (Vale, Weaven, Davies & Hooley, 2007).
  15. 15. 4 Multimedia Hypermedia Classroom EnvironmentAcademic curriculum designed with multi and hypermedia creation skills focuseson students’ ability to work collaboratively with multiple forms of technology. Studentsshould become active participants in their learning process and construct new knowledgeby thinking critically and while using multiple types of information (Neo & Neo, 2010).PBL strategies such as driving questions, collaboration and final presentationswithin the multimedia/hypermedia curriculum will enable students to learn relevant realworld skills (Frank & Barzilai, 2004). According to Devaney (2008), information mediaand technology skills are viewed as critical needs for future employment in the globaleconomy. These skills are central as starting points for developing and implementingcurriculum that will help students gain beneficial aptitudes that will prepare them forcareer and work-related experiences. As described by Steelman, Grable, and Vasu(2005):Multimedia projects provide a vehicle for students to use technology in anauthentic context and to create an expression of acquired knowledge. Students,by constructing their own knowledge through a complex combination ofexperiences, resources, and tools, use digital multimedia projects as process andproduct to demonstrate what they have learned. (p. 1)A set of computer technology based tools and skills (HTML/CSS/Actionscript3.0 languages, web based collaborative tools, media creation software suites) areembedded into the curriculum model of project based learning research using authenticassessment. These tools enabled students to create, collaborate and present an authenticlearning product.Students were challenged to collaboratively manage projects according tonecessary skills and fluency with computer technology. As noted by Bell (2010), the
  16. 16. 5 future workplace environment will be a place in which workers will be judged on theirperformance and evaluated not only on their outcomes but their collaboration,negotiation, planning and organization.Tools available to students enabled them to work in small groups in class atpersonal desktop computers with all the necessary software for media creation. Studentswere also be able to present their projects to small or larger groups, post them to the web,or upload them to mobile devices or servers for sharing. The multimedia authoring toolsbecame a vehicle for students to create and present information in such a way that allowsthe students to analyze and synthesize their learned experiences (Steelman et al., 2005).Authentic AssessmentAuthenticity in the assessment of student projects in the PBL curriculum usingtechnology was driven by a driving question which will replicate a possible real worldscenario. The assessment of students’ work was based within the understanding of thereal world experiences and achievement (Archibald & Newmann, 1988 cited in Burton,2011). The descriptive questions drove project development and replicated real-worldscenarios.Herrington and Herrington (1998; 2006) defined four major groups related toauthentic assessment: context, student factors, task factors and indicators. Each of thesefactors is a point of evaluation in the final cumulative project of students in thetechnology course in a PBL curriculum.The context of the groups’ projects will emphasize the challenge of real worldquestions. Students must have the ability to work within the curriculum and technologybased environment to make connections to realistic project outcomes. The projects that
  17. 17. 6 students create should emphasize the context of the conditions in which studentscompleted the tasks, how their skills can relate to real world instances and make aconnection which blends the classroom understandings to real world instances(Herrington & Herrington, 1998; 2006).Student factors in the authentic assessment of PBL curriculum with technologyinclude problem-solving skills, higher order thinking, the production of knowledge ratherthan the reproduction of knowledge, significant student time, collaboration, effectiveperformers, polished products and depth of knowledge (Herrington & Herrington, 1998;2006). The assessment of these skills provide deeper insight and understanding to howstudents respond to the authenticity of the problem and the fluency of their collaborationwith the technology tools. The final projects and skills used to produce them show theintegration of these skills in the process of addressing the problem and the results of theirgroup work.Task factors include the wide range of responses to the central authentic question,the complexity in which students answered and solved the components to the question,the addressing of the multiple steps necessary to complete their project, and how thegroups integrated forms of assessment were satisfied (Herrington & Herrington, 1998;2006).Indicators of success in the authentic assessment of the projects are a groups’ability to create a valid and reliable product which addresses the needs of the question.Other indicators include specific technology based skills shown in the final product.The final project was judged on its validity, reliability and technology components.With authentic assessments, students were provided opportunities to address real world
  18. 18. 7 problems while completing tasks. Students constructed real world connections betweenthe curriculum and outcomes (Herrington & Herrington, 1998; 2006).Authentic assessment pushes curriculum to align with the skill needs necessaryand to ask important questions of the participants involved. Students used technology toconnect to learning opportunities and the more authentic application of technology.Using authentic tasks requires complex thought and allows time for exploration (Vale etal., 2007). As a result, new areas to develop authentic assessments will be developed todetermine the students’ level of real world context acquisitions. Assessing students inthis way provides a realistic approach to instructing in real world scenarios and prepareslearners to address the range of problems and necessary skills to complete taskssuccessfully.Purpose of the StudyThe purpose of this study was to understand the group dynamic in PBL taskdelegation and technology skill fluency through the language of its participants. Thethemes, experiences, and decisions depicted in the language of students as theynegotiated a final project using computer technology tools benefits teachers inunderstanding the transfer of knowledge and shared skills between students and will alsoassist in the organizing of groups and content for productive PBL environments.Often in groups, teachers are not always part of the exchange of learning andnecessary communication between students to complete tasks and negotiate ideas. Thisresearch assists teachers in developing strategies to better organize and guide groups in aPBL curriculum so students can more effectively address the needs of projects
  19. 19. 8 independently. The research also assists in the identification of the different rolesstudents take within the group and how these roles influence the final projects.Project based learning with technology in this research is defined as high schoolaged students’ working on a collaborative, independent, self-motivated project usingtechnology. According to Bell (2010), technology is highly engaging to students becauseit will tap into their fluency with computers. The students’ fluency with technology toolsand their success in real world contexts is indicated in the authentic learningenvironment. This research provides student descriptions of their adaptability to thisenvironment and process of learning within their groups and will help educators betterstructure the integration of technology tools into the classroom. Student experiences withmultimedia based curriculum will help structure the development of new curriculumusing these tools by providing rich descriptions of student experiences and learning goals.Jones, Ramussen and Moffitt (1997) stated in their study, “Project-BasedLearning is a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning knowledgeand skills through an extended inquiry process structured around complex, authenticquestions and carefully designed products and tasks” (p. 26). In this research, studentsself-direct their projects and use resources and tools collaboratively. This approach alsoincludes collaboration and relies heavily on student communication. Learning istransferred by the group process and needs of the project. This research examines thestudents’ process of inquiry into their projects by capturing their verbal commands,choices and selections of delegated tasks. This information assists teachers in creatingbetter approaches to guiding students who are working collaboratively. Insight into theworkflow of the groups’ normal workflow will help prevent unnecessary teacher
  20. 20. 9 interruptions during group work and improve shared learning experiences by betterutilizing group knowledge resources.Statement of the ProblemThe problem for guiding students in a PBL curriculum is the teacher’s lack ofknowledge about the sharing of ideas, concepts and strategies within a group as theynegotiate a problem without direct supervision. Teachers in PBL curriculums usingtechnology must directly teach real world applications of hypermedia and multimediatools while students work collaboratively on projects. PBL projects with technology relyon the students ability to share and adapt technology skills to projects on higher cognitivelevels in order to address questions related to a cumulative project based on an authenticquestion. Teachers cannot be central to this process but must always find new ways toguide and instruct according to the variety of needs of each group.Students must develop an independent fluency with technology tools and haveopportunities to grow and build skills away from direct instruction of the teacher in thecommunity of the group. Students should share their skills collaboratively in groups andapply shared ideas and presentation strategies to gain the best results in final projects.This is the ideal, but as projects evolve the end results are not always consistent. To bestaddress this dynamic, teachers need to be prepared in a variety of different ways to fosterthe collaboration, sharing and deep integration of tools into the design of final projects.This research helps address this preparation and also the necessary strategies tohelp identify issues in the process of PBL with technology. The research also addressesthe problems teachers face in addressing collaboration strategies, sharing of information,acquisition of skills and student process.
  21. 21. 10 Research QuestionsThe following research questions guided this study:1. What are the benefits of a Project Based Learning curriculum in groupprojects using technology?2. How does Project Based Learning curriculum encourage the group dynamicsof learning collaboratively with technology?3. How does Project Based Learning curriculum promote conversations andcommunication amongst students as they delegate tasks?4. What outcomes will emerge as a result of students’ participation in a ProjectBased Learning Technology curriculum?Limitations and DelimitationsThis research had several major limitations due to the location and context of theresearch environment. The first limitation was the age of the participants in the class.Students ranged in ages 15-18 and choosing to take the course based on availability intheir schedule and personal interests.The ability of the students was also a limitation in this study. Students represent adiversity of technology skills and academic strengths. This influence in the research alsopresented the limitation of students’ ability to complete final projects in the specifiedtime range.The influence of the students’ schedule and other academic demands made on thestudents in the course of a typical school day was a limitation of this study. Students mayhave been burdened by outside work pressures, extracurricular activities and academicworkload. This may have influenced the collection of qualitative data in written or audio
  22. 22. 11 form due to the students’ energy level or focus. The single classroom environment, eventhough rich in its transcribed audio data from the working groups, was not diverse interms of ethnicity or socio-economic backgrounds.DelimitationsAssuming the concurrent roles of teacher and researcher was a major delimitationin this study. Practicing both roles can cause bias since reflections of success and failuresare revealed in this study. This limitation is countered with the student participantsunderstanding that their assessment was made by an outside assessor qualified to assessthe projects based on a defined rubric.Delimitation in this study was the length of the research data collection period offour weeks. This delimitation allowed proper data collection in all phases in the contextof the classroom. Four weeks of data collection allowed collaboration time, skilldevelopment and creation of final projects. This period of data collection may not reflectall of the possible variations in a PBL curriculum which may arise such as extended skilllessons or longer collaboration periods.Further, the methods of data collection in this research represent anotherdelimitation. This research used audio from group work periods, writing from learningjournals, final project outcomes and observations. These sources of data demonstrate thewide range necessary to reflect the context of the research and to develop insightful data.Another delimitation of this research was the size of the group participants. Therewere 18 students divided into four groups of four to five students. Since the sample sizeis so small, it would not be realistic to generalize this study to other populations.
  23. 23. 12 Definition of TermsThe following terms will be addressed in this study:21st Century Skills: The education skills deemed necessary to be successful inthe 21st century global workforce. The skills include students’ ability to collaborate,communicate and negotiate (Bell, 2010). These skills also include a commitment toembedding technology in the curriculum and continual reformation of assessment modelsfor these new skills (Rotherham & Willingham, 2009).Android Device: A variety of electronic devices that operate using androidoperating systems; these devices include phones, televisions, watches and tablets(Petrovan, 2012)..APK: File format used to distribute and install software (usually games orapplications) on the Android operating system. Downloading the .APK allows users toinstall programs without needing access to sites like Google Play [or AndroidPIT] (Blum,2012).Authentic Learning Experiences: Authentic learning asks participants toactively perform and learn in contexts that relate directly to the environments existing inreal world settings (Olfos & Zulantay, 2007). Authentic learning experiences includestudent learning which ties the skills learned in the learning environments with theanticipated skills needed in the work force. Authentic learning ties directly to aperformance assessment on the skills gained during the learning.Click Stream: The process of interaction of a user with a websites interfacecontent. An analysis of this activity indicates how users navigate the content andpotential visits to different pages (Silvestron, 2013).
  24. 24. 13 Communication Styles: Indicate choices of language or participation in verbal ornonverbal components of collaboration. The variety of language and approaches used bystudents will assist in adding knowledge and skills in the collaborative discussion phasesof project development. Students’ use of their “critical voice” should be a dominantcomponent of the constructivist learning environment while communicating (Sultan et al.,2011). The critical voice will offer extensive opportunities for students to critically judgetheir learning environments and enable individual decisions away from the teacher’sguidance. The “critical voice” will direct individual students’ style of communicationand enable critical thinking and direction within the group (Sultan et al., 2011).Collaborative Learning Techniques: Approaches students and teachers will takein placing participants together to complete final project goals. Small group work basedin specific content areas or assigning of group leaders to manage workloads. Thebenefits of collaborative practice include: ethical practice, knowledge in practice,frameworks of learning, team structures and processes, inter-professional working,collaboration and communication, sharing of knowledge, and reflection. The benefits ofcollaborative practice will lend itself to help define core domains of competence (Suter,Arndt, Arthur, Parboosingh, Taylor, & Deutschlander, 2009).Constructivist Theories: According to Gazi (2009, p. 2), “Constructivistpedagogy enables students to manage their own learning through meta-cognitive, self-reflective, and collaborative processes.” The diversity of the groups learning isdependent on the transfer of information between participants collaborating.
  25. 25. 14 Flash: Defines multimedia software that uses Actionscript Languages and FLVvideo. Software uses timeline setup to create animations with vector graphics (Jun, Zu-Yuan, & Yuren, 2009).Icon Graphic: Graphic that represents an application. Launcher icons are usedby Launcher applications and appear on the user’s Home screen. Launcher icons can alsorepresent shortcuts into an application [for example, a contact shortcut icon that opensdetailed information for a contact] (Launcher Icons/Android Developers, n.d).Learning Styles: For the purpose of this research, “learning style” will be theidea of how individuals have preferences for taking in, analyzing and synthesizinginformation. Researcher anticipated that learners in this study would have preferences togroup constructs (collaborative or independent thinking approaches) and how to organizeand present particular components of the project (Hardaker, Dockery, & Sabki, 2010).Mobile Applications (used interchangeably with “app”): Computer softwaredesigned to help the user perform singular or multiple related tasks. The software isloaded onto a variety of mobile devices such as phones, tablets, readers (Franklin, 2011).Multimedia/Hypermedia Technology Classroom: Computer classroom equippedwith the hardware and multimedia creation software for complex graphics, codingcomputer languages, animation, or collaboration with technology tools. As stated byTeoh & Neo (2007), “Akin to hypermedia, multimedia presents an immeasurableinterconnectivity to information in a variety of possible combinations, sequences andmixture of resources which shapes the higher-order thinking in students” (p. 1). In thisresearch it is the availability of these tools for projects which will drive learning.
  26. 26. 15 Nvivo: Windows desktop application that is available in 32-bit and 64-bitversions. NVivo lets users organize, analyze and visualize information—anything fromWord documents and PDFs to videos, podcasts, photos and database tables. Users canorganize their material by topic and uncover trends and emerging themes. Thevisualization tools let them create diagrams, charts or models to present and clarify theirdiscoveries (QSR Technical Resource Center, n.d).Photoshop: Photo editing software with a variety of tools for resizing, addinggraphics (text, images) and direct editing of photos and graphic documents. The softwarealso provides a range of options for saving images and files [JPEG, TIFF, PNG, GIF](Stitzer, 2005).  Project Based Learning: According to Markham (2011), students in a ProjectBased Learning environment focus on a problem or challenge, work in teams to find asolution to the problem, and often exhibit their work to an adult audience at the end of theproject. Increasingly, PBL students take advantage of digital tools to produce highquality, collaborative products. All of these components are consistent with this researchproject.Project Based Learning Outcomes: The learning outcomes of students will be ameasurable cognitive dimension that occurs through the learning process of PBL. Theprocesses of acquiring skills, which will include critical thinking, high-order cognitiveprocesses, problem solving capability, knowledge, and skills in the key learning areas,will assist students in transferring knowledge or skills (Sultan, Woods, & Koo, 2011).Specifically for this research, the goals of the Project Based Learning curriculum were forstudents to develop a final multimedia project created by a group.
  27. 27. 16 Screencasts: Digital recordings of the computer screen often with narration;these are often 3-5 minute videos with a specific purpose (Gormely & McDermott, 2011).Venn diagrams: A Venn diagram is a useful graphic too to help organize sets,logic and counting. Venn diagrams often consist of 3 congruent circles to separate andorganize information. The diagram helps shows all possible logical relations between afinite collection of sets ( Myers, 2012 ).Significance of the StudyThis research adds insight into approaches teachers use when designing projectbased curriculum as well as the means for assessing project based learning outcomes.“Project-Based Learning has a proven record as a teaching tool. The constructivismlearning theory suggests that people learn better by actively participating in the learningprocess. In order to involve students in the participatory learning process, the interactionamong students and between students and the instructor in a classroom becomes verycritical” (Verma, 2011).The national trend towards students gaining skills with 21st century learningoutcomes is also examined through the lens of this research. The examination of learnedoutcomes and the capturing of the language used by students during group work andstudent trends in communication during PBL will reveal new questions about the bestapproach and format to deliver project based curriculum. This research adds insight intothe perception and approaches of authentic assessment with technology tools.Study OverviewProject based learning has helped facilitate the efforts of what has become knownas “bridging the gap” between academics of a profession and the practice of that
  28. 28. 17 profession. PBL is ideal for connecting factual knowledge, principles, and skills to theirapplication within a profession (Verma, 2011). It is the bridging of PBL and authenticassessment of students’ projects using technology that creates a dynamic context for aninquiry into communication styles and themes in the transfer of learning.Current 21st Century Skills education initiatives create a framework whichrepresents the skills which will be valued in the 21st century workforce. “Advocates of21st century skills favor student-centered methods for example, problem-based learningand project-based learning that allow students to collaborate, work on authenticproblems, and engage with the community (Rotherham & Willingham, 2009). Thesecomponents, combined with developing a fluency using technology in applying theseskills, are aimed at making students more prepared for the technology driven workforce.The facility in which the research was conducted is in a suburban high schoolclassroom located in Winchester, Massachusetts. The technology classroom will as aone: one environment which means that for each student there was a computer with equalaccess to the web and relevant software. This research also took place within thepredefined curriculum of PBL with a focus on the group construct while usingtechnology to create multimedia and hypermedia projects. Participants were allowed togroup themselves and asked to complete projects based on questions which would beasked in real world scenarios, including authentic assessments.Chapter SummaryThis chapter provided an outline of the study. This research captures thelanguage, learning styles, assessments and themes central to students’ application oftechnology in a self-directed, sustained collaborative project environment. The data
  29. 29. 18 helps connect PBL curriculum as it relates to 21st century skill building in a high schoolclassroom environment.The significance of this research is the focus on the students’ communication andtrends in completing the project. Behaviors are captured during the process of creatingproject mobile applications. The findings and themes related to the students’communications provide insight on how they create and manage tasks while usingtechnology collaboratively in small groups.              
  30. 30. 19 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATUREThis literature review covers the current range of research in the areas of projectbased research, constructivist approaches in education, multimedia creation in theclassroom, and authentic assessment. The topics are organized in terms of the relevanceto the central themes in the research project.The instructional practice of PBL is defined as well as the components of sociallearning with constructivist approaches which are aligned with PBL. The importance ofthe integration of a variety of media tools in PBL and examples of research which definescurrent barriers is also explained.Project Based Learning’s Role with Instruction and Multimedia InstructionMarkham (2011) described the traditional context of PBL as requiring the role ofthe teacher as an instructional coach in the curriculum. This role has become challengedas new ways of integrating technology into the PBL curriculum has included askingstudents to develop multimedia projects using technology tools. The traditional role ofthe teacher in a PBL environment has the additional tasks of managing tools andresources to complete projects. PBL challenges learners to adapt to a self-directedenvironment while learning specific skill based knowledge.Bell’s (2010) research addressed the core component of PBL curriculum: “Theproject is guided by an inquiry question that drives the research and allows students toapply their acquired knowledge” (Bell, 2010, p. 41). This curriculum approach focuseson a cumulative project, and in many classrooms these projects rely heavily on the use oftechnology tools to make final presentations. Inquiry based projects allows students to
  31. 31. 20 address key questions in their process of learning and apply applied technology skills inpresentations or cumulative projects.PBL has become a common and current instructional practice to engage studentson a wide range of levels with technology (Bell, 2010). A concern expressed byMarkham (2011) in the classroom implementation of PBL with technology is a hope thatthe technology will be used to empower students in their learning and that the students’projects drive the questioning. This concern has been tempered by current research byHernandez, Ramos, and Lapaz (2009) who conducted research in a middle school historyclassroom using technology assisted project based learning curriculum. The benefits oftheir research identified that integrating a multimedia project into a PBL curriculumprovides great benefits to learning in specific content areas.Hernandez et al.’s (2009) research concluded that a specific PBL strategy usingtechnology helped assist students in knowledge acquisition in the core subject. Inaddition, the project based model also improved attitude towards learning history with theuse of technology assistance. PBL approaches improve student attitudes towardstechnology based projects and motivation to learn the key skills to complete advancedtechnology based projects.The research of Hakkarainen (2009) described the process of designing,implementing and refining a PBL course for the creation of educational videos on thecollege level. The results of teaching digital video with a PBL suggested that theproduction of Digital Video presented meaningful personal learning opportunities(Hakkarainen, 2009). This research reflects on the individual and group benefits of aPBL pedagogy using digital video production.
  32. 32. 21 Hakkarainen (2009) provided the idea that in developing PBL curriculum it isimportant to embrace small learning groups for learning context, collaboration,conversational and emotional involvement components. The video production projectrevealed that students not only gained the technical skills needed in video production, butstudents also learned project management, collaboration, co-operation, and problemsolving within the curriculum (Hakkarainen, 2009).The suggestion is that PBL is a good option for integrating multiple skills such asdramaturgy, video expression, video production, copyright regulations and journalismwhich are generally taught in multiple disciplines and programs (Hakkarainen, 2009).This research describes the challenges of integrating these different teaching and learningskills into the same environment. This research presents PBL as a viable tool for doingthis and describes the benefits of providing an authentic question to the students in a PBLenvironment. Based on the students’ experiences, the authentic questions support thecycles of tutorials which enable the skill based learning.The research of Mioduser and Betzer (2007) looked at the impact of a PBLcurriculum within technology education by high school high achievers. The centralresearch questions in their research related to the learning of machine control concepts,the technological use of patterns, design skills acquisition and design skills performancein a PBL curriculum. This research also looked at the students’ attitudes towardstechnology learning after learning in a PBL curriculum. The population for this studywas high school aged students from technological high schools and comprehensive highschools. All students were considered high achievers. Results indicated an increase intechnology skill development in the PBL environment and better motivation to problem
  33. 33. 22 solve and work through projects (Mioduser & Betzer, 2007). Engaging students withtechnology, while still increasing skill development, is a major benefit of using a PBLcurriculum with technology based curriculum.Social LearningPBL with technology and multimedia tools enable the social integration ofmultimedia tools and plays an important role in the integration of collaboration,independent learning and student centered approaches of the PBL curriculum (Bell,2010). “PBL promotes social learning as children practice and become proficient withthe twenty-first-century skills of communication, negotiation, and collaboration” (Bell,2010, p. 40).The components of social learning require a student centered approach whichhelps improve each student’s ability to work in groups and acquire skills. These tools areimportant in the traditional classroom and play an even larger role in the technologybased multimedia classroom in which students are acquiring important skills to bettercollaborate and present (Bell, 2010).Kan’s (2011) research established the impact of student centered learningenvironments using web 2.0 tools by examining the student perceptions, learningexperiences and cooperative environment of students working cooperatively creatingblogs. Students created learning communities within the class environment of Kan’sresearch. They revealed the positive components of a student centered course in whichstudents developed blogs as groups including: cooperative influences of positiveinterdependence, promoted interaction, individual accountability, interpersonal workskills and group processing. Kan’s (2011) study concluded that student centered
  34. 34. 23 environments were beneficial for the development and sharing of student e-portfolios toshowcase their work. The positive results of this research are a reflection of what theyhad achieved and the benefits of a cooperative environment using web 2.0 tools. Studentcentered learning using technology naturally fosters a community of task building andfluency with tools. Interactions in this environment are filled with knowledge sharingand the development of fluency using technology tools.The research of Bell, Galilea, and Tolouei (2010) implemented a scenariocentered curriculum for students in an engineering curriculum. Authentic scenarios inlearning environments of these students included acquiring technical skills and havingproject driven approaches to address authentic scenarios. Bell et al. (2010) foundpositive student impact using scenario based outcomes for learning skill outcomes. Thecurriculum embedded a project based approach with the traditional tools of lecture andlaboratory work (Bell et al., 2010). This approach received a positive student responseand provided a livelier class environment and increased motivation of the students.Integration of Multimedia ToolsStudents use a variety of technology tools to display their learning (Bell, 2010).Bell stated that the application of various types of technologies in group settingsempowers students to realize appropriate uses of technology. In the PBL research of Neoand Neo (2010), students are responsible for using authoring tools for their multimediaand were solely responsible for the development of their projects in project basedlearning environment. This adds to the ownership of projects and the connection thatICT tools (Information Communication Technology) play in the development ofinstructional content and the methods of communicating information to the learners (Neo
  35. 35. 24 and Neo, 2010). Neo and Neo, (2010) concluded that it is the connection between thetechnology tools and the methods of instruction which drive the most interestingcomponents of the research.BarriersImplementing a PBL curriculum is not without barriers and major issues. Kramer,Walker, and Brill (2007) explored the issues which face practitioners who use projectbased learning approaches with technology across continents. A true examination ofwhat is preventing this curriculum from gaining ground in a wider range of classroomscenarios will be helpful to this research.Kramer et al.’s (2007) research showed an existence of underutilization of PBLapproaches with technology in current curriculum across North America, Eastern Europe,and Africa, and also looked at how the barriers existing are represented across thoseregions. Many of the barriers found in this research are connected with the lack ofteacher training and is associated with the inequality of access to technology toimplement a PBL curriculum using technology and, multimedia tools (Kramer et al.,2007). A lack of teacher training in the implementation in countries of Europe and NorthAmerica and a lack of world-wide connectivity, especially in countries like Africa, doesnot allow collaboration between students across continents. The trend of citing NationalExaminations for reasons to not use the curriculum did not show any correlation betweenthose exams and an ability to implement the curriculum. (Kramer et al., 2007)Bell et al. (2010) cited negatives of the PBL curriculum integration whichincluded increased workload for students who may be taking other courses, difficulty in
  36. 36. 25 getting introverted students to participate and the presentation of the problem over moretraditional courses which may be more theory based.Even though the perceptions of student learning in Bell et al.’s (2010) researchwere noticed to increase the perception of teacher quality in this approach, the perceptionwas decreased. This could have been based on the teachers’ unfamiliarity with thecurriculum approach or the students’ new needs within the curriculum not being met(Bell et al., 2010). Proper teacher training and familiarity with PBL approaches is anecessity. The overcoming of the barriers of student participation and even moreprevalently the barriers of teachers’ perceptions and ability to implement the curriculumhold back PBL from gaining traction in many classrooms.Constructivist Approaches with MultimediaConstructivist approaches with Multimedia has been addressed in the researchprojects of Neo & Neo (2010). Neo and Neo’s research provided insight into howstudents construct their own learning development experience with the multimedia.Constructivist learning environments often include approaches which contain studentcentered approaches and socio-cultural theories. The socio cultural theories includeconcepts related to personalized learning, independent learning, autonomous learning,and authentic learning (Vale et al., 2007). The components must work in conjunctionwith the technology in classroom.Students in Neo and Neo’s (2010) research were asked to interpret the problem,find information to help them solve their authentic question, and cognitively to help themnegotiate the problem and use conversation and collaborative tools to help learnersconstruct the problem as a learning group. Analysis of student’s perceptions of their
  37. 37. 26 experiences solving authentic questions using multimedia in a project based,constructivist learning gave insight into the critical role of the instructional methods inimplementing multimedia and the benefits of a constructivist environment (Neo & Neo,2010).SignificanceThe significance of the research by Neo and Neo (2010) relates to the connectionICT tools (Information Communication Technology) plays in the “instructional contentdevelopment and the methods of communicating information to the learners” (Neo &Neo, 2010). It is the connection between the technology tools and the methods ofinstruction which drive the most interesting components of the environment ofmultimedia development in a constructivist project based environment.Neo and Neo’s work shows that using authentic tasks with a multimedia project ina constructivist learning environment increased motivation amongst students in theirlearning and increased the development of their active learning process. This researchprovided encouragement for the use of this curriculum model in the Malaysian educationsystem and showed the benefits of implementing multimedia technology in theirclassrooms in terms of instructional content and constructivist learning opportunities(Neo & Neo, 2010).The benefits of a project based learning constructivist environment can go beyondimproving multimedia instruction and it can actually improve instruction in disciplinessuch as math. The research of Vale et al. (2007) gained personal accounts from teachersand math leaders who accepted and committed to student centered learning approachesafter participating in professional development and training with student centered
  38. 38. 27 constructivist approaches. A look into the research of mathematics instruction revealsthat there is actually limited research related to student centered approaches and mathinstruction. This makes this critical research to the benefits of a constructivist, authenticenvironment having an overlapping presence between disciplines (Vale et al., 2007).Student PerceptionsThe research of Neo and Neo (2010) investigated the perceptions of students indeveloping a multimedia project within a constructivist learning environment withstudents working in groups with multimedia. In this research, students were responsiblefor using authoring tools for their multimedia and were solely responsible for thedevelopment of their projects. The perceptions of students are critically important inmultimedia projects as students’ motivation and commitment to the projects areimportant to the success of the final outcome (Neo & Neo, 2010). The concept presentedby Sultan et al. (2011):The ‘critical voice’ of students is the ‘extent to which a social climate has beenestablished in which students feel that it is legitimate and beneficial to questionthe teacher’s pedagogical plans and methods, and to express concerns about anyimpediments to their learning and find room and other ways of knowing. (p. 151)This important concept helps direct the individual student’s learning and approachto the environment. The critical voice defines the internal ability of the student toorganize and to arrange their cognitive approach to solving a problem with the teachers’direct assistance.Sultan et al. (2011) defined the importance of “learning outcomes” and theirconnection to the learning environment. Learning outcomes in this study were defined as“measurable cognitive dimension that occurs through the learning process” (Sultan et al.,2011, p. 152). The outcomes of the construct of this research sought to look at how the
  39. 39. 28 following concepts relate to their perceived e-learning outcome: personal relevance,student uncertainty, critical voice, shared control, student negotiation. These componentswere the basis of the hypothesis of a connection between the research and the outcomes.The research of Neo et al. (2010) showed students’ perceptions duringconstructivist learning to have positive attitude and enjoyment in using the curriculum tolearn multimedia. The research showed it was an “effective instructional method whichcould be used to enhance and increase students’ understanding of the subject matter andengage them actively in their learning process” (Neo et al., 2010, p. 32). Overall, theconstructivist learning environment was effective and beneficial for deliveringinstructions to students learning multimedia.The research of Garran (2008) described the experiences of a teacherimplementing a PBL approach with her students in a social studies project using theapproaches of Gardiners Multiple intelligences, Newman’s model of AuthenticAssessment and Sizer’s focus on student exhibitions (Garran, 2008). Students in thiscurriculum are enabled to showcase a wide variety of skills across disciplines. Theinfluence of authentic strategies in the students’ projects played a critical role in thisresearch. According to this research student project difficultly levels were determined bytheir own level of academic and intellectual intelligence in a PBL curriculum. Thechoices students make within the constructivist approach of PBL actually drives the levelin which the students in this research learn. This includes students’ ability to learn acrossdisciplines and to apply these skills in groups in cumulative projects.
  40. 40. 29 Authentic LearningResults of Neo and Neo’s (2010) research showed that using authentic tasks witha multimedia project in a constructivist learning environment, increased motivationamongst students in their learning and increased the development of their active learningprocess. This research provided encouragement for the use of this curriculum model inthe Malaysian education system and benefits for implementing multimedia technology intheir classrooms in terms of instructional content and constructivist learningopportunities. This study looked closely at how students construct their own learningexperience. Students were asked to respond to questions which evaluated theirinterpretation of the problem, information to help them solve their authentic question,cognitive to help them negotiate the problem and conversation and collaborative tools tohelp learners construct the problem as a learning group (Neo and Neo, 2010).The use of these constructivist components to look at the perceptions of studentexperiences to solve authentic questions using multimedia in a project basedconstructivist learning gave insight into the critical role of the instructional methods inimplementing multimedia and the benefits of a constructivist environment (Neo and Neo,2010).Sultan et al. (2011) defined the importance of “learning outcomes” inconstructivist learning with multimedia and their connection to the learning environment.Learning outcomes in this study are defined as “measurable cognitive dimension thatoccurs through the learning process” (Sultan et al., 2011).The outcomes of the construct of this research seek to look at how the followingconcepts relate to their perceived e-learning outcome: personal relevance, student
  41. 41. 30 uncertainty, critical voice, shared control, student negotiation. These components werethe basis of the hypothesis of a connection between research to the outcomes (Sultan etal., 2011). The aim of this study was to assess students’ perceptions of their classroomexperiences with 1:1 learning of computing quantitatively and their understanding of thedimensions of Constructivist Learning Environments (CLEs) identified in this study.This study suggested that students’ CLEs for classroom practice is positivelyrelated to their “perceived e-learning outcomes” (Sultan et al., 2011). This research addsto the knowledge and understanding of constructivism in education. The maincontributions of this study revealed that constructivist learning is grounded by thestudents’ desire to work within the constructivist learning environment (CLE) tocomplete cumulative projects with groups.In Burton’s (2011) research a framework of various authentic assessment theoriesare combined to evaluate a law course. This research provides a broad and definitivedescription of many of the current definitions of authentic assessment. Using guidelinesfrom Herrington and Herrington (1998; 2006) strategies for authentically assessinglearning contexts can be identified. This research’s use of four groups; context, studentfactors, task factors, and indicators can immediately define an environment of authenticlearning. These factors and the framework they provide for authentic learningassessment creates a guide to evaluate how well projects can be assessed in real worldscenarios.Yoon Jin and Hyun-Hwa’s (2012) research centralized providing students with areal world experiences by incorporating an authentic learning scenario into thecurriculum of a fashion merchandising curriculum. This research provided evidence of
  42. 42. 31 the importance of team work as it relates to real world settings. Student interactionimproved using technology and students learned how to better navigate the propercommunication over distance and how to improve their description of needs. Theimportance of teamwork and the necessity of proper research to properly solve problemswere revealed in the students’ experience in this research (Yoon Jin, & Hyun-Hwa 2012).Quantitative and qualitative data proved the study provided students with beneficiallearning experiences with practical competencies, professional experiences and problemsolving skills. The critical benefits of authentically driven curriculum are that studentsare able to participate in real world scenarios with guidance from the instructor andcollaboratively with small groups to experience how world experiences can informlearners.Implementation and ApproachesThere are a variety of documented approaches to integrating multimedia intoclassrooms using a constructivist approach. The research of Neo et al., (2010) is criticalto examining the benefits of better understanding how digital learning has changed theinstructional strategies of teachers. It also establishes another attempt of a majoruniversity attempting to use a student centered approach to integrating multimedialearning (Neo et al., 2010).The surveys used in the research were utilized to ascertain attitudes which wereprevalent in the learning environment of the student. Questionnaires were created toattain information about the effectiveness of the learning environment. This researchfocused in several areas: Motivation and Learning Objectives, Content Organization,Navigation and GUI, and Multimedia and Interactivity. These represented the central
  43. 43. 32 components of the learning environment to be examined using Gagne’s nine events ofinstruction (Neo et al., 2010).The research of Vale et al. (2007) is directed at better understanding theimplementation student centered, constructivist based learning environments inmathematics instruction. The focus of the research is “the ways in which it is beingdefined and implemented by regional and school leaders and teachers, the practices ofteachers, and their perceptions of its impact on student learning.”Nielsen and Kolmos (2010) identified new approaches to problem basedapproaches with students. Their research, which used the GENSO project, organized thecollaboration of multiple universities in the management of student space satellites in ICTbased intercultural and interdisciplinary environment (Nielsen & Kolmos, 2010). Thisresearch is based on “knowledge creation “metaphor that students in the PBLenvironment actually create their own knowledge as they problem solve. This is opposedto knowledge acquisition in traditional curriculum of understanding how students learn.The research showed that it is not enough to improve individual learner understandingbut it is necessary to develop new culturally shared knowledge objects (Nielsen &Kolmos, 2010).The collaborative components of the GENSO project included online discussions,workshops, face to face meeting, document sharing, and weekly chat sessions. Thefindings in this study showed the PBL is a tool which can assist students with“knowledge creation” as opposed to knowledge acquisition (Nielsen & Kolmos, 2010).The PBL experience increased level of motivation towards learning and increasedownership. The GENSO project improved students’ understanding of critical aspects of
  44. 44. 33 management of the satellites and cooperation between students in different locations.The multiple skills learned in the PBL curriculum in groups supports multidisciplinaryapproaches that can be used with this pedagogical approach (Nielsen & Kolmos, 2010).According to Nielsen and Kolmos (2010):From the perspective of knowledge creation, learning is a process of knowledgecreation which concentrates on mediated processes in which common objects ofactivity are developed collaboratively. The knowledge building and learningprocesses are not only processes in which technological working skills are gained;they also include the social process in which the skills of collaboration,communication and productive work with knowledge are developed. Thus, thePBL environment provides sufficient opportunities for learners to develop theseskills. (p. 185)Engaging students in these contexts supports a wide range of learning andimproved individual and group skills.
  45. 45. 34 CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGYThe instructional model Project Based Learning engages students in learningknowledge and skills through an extended inquiry process. Markham, Larmer andRavit’s (2003) study described this process as structured around authentic questions andcarefully designed products and tasks.Technology was utilized during collaborative group projects and thecommunication of student groups engaged in group work leading to authentic finalpresentations. This research helps teachers to better identify the benefits of using a groupapproach with technology and to also better understand the communication betweenstudents without the direct knowledge of the teacher.The language was captured that students used in their interaction andcollaborative exchange of information required to complete critical tasks on the way tocreating final products. Understanding the exchange of skill learning and task delegationbetween students during group technology projects and the communication betweenmembers will help teachers better organize group learning scenarios and identifystrategies for assisting groups which may have a wide range of skill levels, abilities, orproblems communicating.Project based learning is a comprehensive instructional approach that engagesstudents in sustained, cooperative investigation using technology applications, studentcollaboration, and cumulative long range projects focused on the development of 21stcentury skills (Project Based Learning Space, 2009). Collected the opinions, feelings,strategies, cooperation and other evidence of communication between students in theworking groups in transcribed audio, observations, learning journals and artifacts were
  46. 46. 35 collected to gain insight into a project based learning classroom environment usingtechnology.The collected data related to students communication and acquisition oftechnology skills in a group technology project revealed which topics and issues relatedto the students’ completion of the project were the most common and influential withinthe group dynamic. The experiences and language of students’ learning collaborativelywere vital to the process of their problem solving. These experiences and student drivenstrategies resulted in a cumulative technology driven group project outcome.Communication and language trends of students were better defined as theyinteracted with each other during projects using multimedia technology. Technology’sinfluences on the student’s acquisition of tasks and the choices students make whileproblem solving in a PBL learning environment was also examined.Results benefits mostly teacher practitioners of PBL environments who will beable to better identify strategies for organizing classes into productive groups andrecognizing opportunities to engage in guiding groups successfully without disruptingtheir own natural communication and interaction with technology. The final cumulativeprojects created in this environment reflected the collaborative exchange of studentsusing technology and provided deep insight into how the choice of communication andthe diversity of groups influenced final products.Research DesignA phenomenological approach was used to unearth the central themes andqualitative method of data collection. An endeavor was to better understand the learningapproaches of students using technology collaboratively in a project based learning
  47. 47. 36 environment. Specific language and themes that students use while engaged in thisenvironment was defined. According to Creswell (2009), “Phenomenological approachto research is a strategy of inquiry in which the researcher identifies the essence of humanexperiences about a phenomenon as described by participants” (p. 15). It was importantto capture the phenomenon of students’ rich experiences in the PBL curriculum usingtechnology during their participation to reveal the variety of interactions,communications and reflections of the experience.Sampling ProceduresPurposeful sampling allows for the selection of the specific unit of a computereducation course which permit opportunistic sampling of the group the researcher couldlearn the most from (Teddlie & Yu, 2007). This method also assisted in the collection ofthe dominant themes as they arose in the phenomenon and allow for focusing on thedepth of data collected (Teddlie & Yu, 2007). Participants for the study were 18 highschool aged students participating in a computer education course at a suburban publichigh school located in New England. Many of the students had taken computer educationcourses throughout their educational background in the district.The students enrolled in this course had taken some web development previous tothis course and they are skilled in most basic computer functions through web andcomputer literacy courses up through the ninth grade. This course is a semester longcourse elective. The students participated in a project based learning curriculum withcomputer technology. Each participant had the opportunity to withdraw from the study atany time without any negative consequences. Projects were assessed by an outsideassessor in order to limit ethical concerns between the participants and researcher.
  48. 48. 37 Finally, permission was granted from the principal to conduct research at the high school.Proper permissions were also gained from the parents for minors to participate in thestudy. The researcher followed all guidelines according to Argosy University’sInstitutional Review Board (IRB).This sample represents the work process of students in a project based learningcurriculum. It also indicates the groups’ experiences working in a technology based one:one environment in which each student has access to a computer. If this research weredone in a different scenario, it is advised to be conducted in a single classroomenvironment and use the inquiry driven project based curriculum with each studenthaving access to a computer.Data Collection MethodsStudents were grouped into groups of four and asked to create a mobileapplication which answers an authentic question over the course of four weeks. Prior tothe group project students were instructed in task based lessons to help them to completeindividual tasks of the mobile application lessons. During group work time and projectplanning time students’ group audio was recorded. After completing each work periodstudents were asked to write a two paragraph entry into a learning journal to gain theirperspectives and experiences of working in groups with technology. The final projectswere examined and analyzed for indicators of success in each group process using arubric based on creating an authentic project.Questions were answered central to the experiences of the student’s participationin a project based learning curriculum using technology. The collection of audiorecordings, while the students were participating in project development activities, as
  49. 49. 38 well as their time working collaboratively with the multimedia software to create theirprojects, revealed the students choice of vocabulary and communication style. Otherperceptions and experiences were collected from learning journals which were completedby participants in class. Learning journals allowed students to reflect on the following:experiences with each other, technology; and their processes of learning within thecurriculum. Students were required to write a minimum of two paragraphs after eachcollaborative work period.Collecting statements used by students working collaboratively in a project basedlearning curriculum with technology while working in their groups provided insight intothe process of learning and group interaction which were critical to the research. Theaudio also provided a record of dialogue between students; which may not always beheard by the instructor. This dialogue provided insight into how PBL groupscommunicate as they completed tasks with technology independently as the teachermonitored. The most commonly spoken statements made by students revealedapproaches students used in the process of learning collaboratively. The collection ofaudio communication measured the student’s choice of terms, delegation of tasks andpatterns in the collaborative interaction.Procedures used for data collection included: transcribed audio recordings ofgroup interaction; student learning journals; observations and field notes of studentexperiences; and the final projects in photo and digital video format. Data collection tookplace over forty-five minute increments of classroom work time.Audio recordings were conducted during planning and collaborative creationduring the groups’ development stages of the mobile applications; also, throughout the
  50. 50. 39 students’ completion of projects, their collaboration between each other and during theutilization of technology tools. By audio recording the students’ interactions andlanguage, a better understanding of the words, language use and collaboration trendswere captured. Each group was digitally recorded working together in their assignedareas.Students completed individual learning journals during the process of this studywhich captured their perspectives on completed projects. Their responses and writingsprovided insight on how well the students perceived they collaborated and negotiatedtasks of the project. In addition, explanations were provided as to whether their groupinteractions were successful or not.The student group outcomes were evaluated based on completion of the necessarytasks of an authentic mobile application. The final projects were also analyzed againstthe audio data used by particular groups. The following rubric was used to assess theprojects for authenticity.The rubric for authentic assessment for the cumulative projects was based on thework of Herrington & Herrington (1998; 2006) and focused in four major areas. The firstarea of focus was context, emphasizing challenges of real world question students wereasked. The ability of the students to work within the curriculum and technology basedenvironment in order to make connections to realistic project outcomes. Another area inthe students’ authentic assessment of PBL curriculum with technology includes problem-solving skills, higher order thinking, the production of knowledge rather than thereproduction of knowledge, significant student time, collaboration, effective performers,polished products and depth of knowledge (Herrington and Herrington, 1998; 2006).
  51. 51. 40 Thirdly, task factors and student responses to the central authentic question and thecomplexity in which students answer and solve the components to the question reveal agreater depth of learning. A final indicator of the group projects success was the abilityto create valid and reliable products that addressed the needs of the question. Thecumulative final project indicated success of communication strategies used amongstudents in each group for completing the project.Methodological Assumptions and LimitationsAn assumption was students would provide a level of communication,negotiation, teamwork and task management completing their cumulative projects. Thisassumption also included compounding factors of integrating technology and multimediadesign into the expected final outcomes. Generalizability of this study is based onproviding a similar context of project based curriculum, technology enabling tools andinstructor approach with authentic assessment. The removal of any one of thosecomponents would change the anticipated reactions, responses and data collected forgeneralizability.Another assumption was all participating students were computer literate andcapable of managing technology efficiently. It was also assumed they were familiar withcommon language related to mobile applications, web design and the modern webenvironment. A final assumption was students were readily able to adapt to the constructof the research in terms of basic skills and content knowledge. It should be noted thatstudents did not need to be completely fluent in all skills related to the curriculum prior totaking the course.
  52. 52. 41 LimitationsThe sample size which may have fluctuated on the students who agreed toparticipate and the number signed up for the course presented major limitation in size andscope of potential outcomes for analysis. Students participating may not have been ableto complete all aspects of the project outline in the curriculum. Also, students may nothave been able to provide audio in their work group. This would reflect on whetherinsight was added to communication among group members. These limitations reflectmore on the potential variables of students’ work ethics in the projects and their choice ofverbal communication as a means to express while working on projects and their choicesof verbal communication as a means of expression.Student limitations as they relate to their abilities to track learning and describingtheir experiences in journals also existed. Students may not have reflected thoroughly ontheir experience in the groups relative to the research or may not have provided data thatcould be analyzed based on the research questions. Their choices made by the students inwriting about their skill learning may have been outside the research context. The finalcumulative technology projects of each group may have been a limitation as well. Theprojects presented a variety in style, needs addressed, color schemes, technologyapplication used and cohesiveness. Potential analysis of the construct which created themwas also added. The variety of these projects reflected each group’s dynamics andtechnology skills applications, but the independent creations reflected choices made byparticipating in the process.Data collected from audio recordings presented a limitation if the audio did notclearly reflect the communication of students as they worked on projects and delegated
  53. 53. 42 tasks. Time was another limitation since the audio collection period may not have beenlong enough. Communication may not have been pertinent for completing tasks orincluded in the data collected. Conclusively, students controlled what they said duringaudio data collections was a definitive limitation. Also, students may or may not havebeen working on projects during audio or communicating using their voices.The groups created were their own limitations since they defined their ownprocess and work habits. Decisions related to how the groups addressed the PBLcurriculum was in their control. Each group decided how and when to move forward onprojects as the teacher’s role was facilitator. Collective choices made in motivatingthemselves and integrating specific components of the project defined the groups.Students organized the order of tasks and delegated with their discretions.Student decisions on the use and range of technology tools to complete the projectwas a limitation in this study. Students had clear understandings of specific skills usingthe multimedia technology from classroom training, but their methods of integrating thetools defined their purpose and their utilization making the product was in their control.Each group chose the necessary tools, usage, and managed their efficiency to completethe projects.Students also utilized web based sources to assist them in project completion withthe instructor’s knowledge. This variable was not directly encouraged but was allowedduring the data collection period. Students expressed these factors in the content learningjournals.
  54. 54. 43 DelimitationsAll students in this study were from upper middle class families in a suburban cityoutside of Boston. A major focus of their families have been on learning technologyskills. The classroom laboratory in which this research took place was designed with 24computers capable of running sophisticated multimedia software. Each of these variablesmakes the replication of this study less feasible. The delimitations to this study werebased around the curriculum choice, the demographics of the sample, and schoollocation.The technology tools used were a clear delimitation since students had access tospecific multimedia software (Adobe Design Suite), web based collaboration tools(Google Docs), web based collaboration tools (Google Docs), word processing andpresentation (Microsoft Office) software. All software was specific to the classroomlaboratory in which they worked. Students had access to other classroom laboratoriesduring the research project. This delimitation enabled the analysis of data related to theproject creation to remain aligned with these tools.All groups were introduced to the technology tools in the laboratory previous tothe research phase. They also received direct instruction on the utilization of thetechnology tools and tutorials identifying critical lessons which enables students tocomplete final projects. Access to the lessons was permitted throughout the project in theform of web based video tutorials.Students participating were included in groups of four and asked to address anauthentic question. The groups represented the team approach to inquiry of an authenticquestion. This limitation was the driver of communication and the sharing of knowledge
  55. 55. 44 among group members. The group dynamics was a delimitation of the PBL learninggroups.Data AnalysisThe researcher coded and categorized the audio of the collaborative experiencesof students’ working during the group process with the assistance of Nvivo wordquerying software to develop themes that revealed common experiences of theparticipants. Themes that evolved from this process disclosed both strengths anddeficiencies in the curriculum and common issues while interacting with technologytools. The themes produced overarching understandings of how students worked with thecurriculum. Additional indicators were the groups’ perceptions of the instructor and theproject itself.The language of students revealed strategies for completing the final cumulativeproject, but it also indicated the group dynamics and management of tools utilized tocomplete critical tasks. With the curriculum centered on an authentic assessment, itdemonstrated the connection to critical terms and real world scenarios that assisted intheir project designs. The audio recordings also illustrated the choice of language thatreflected the use of specific language relevant to technology, collaboration andcommunication that facilitated collaboration or task completion.Groups that create inquiry based authentic projects have specific language orwords necessary to successfully complete projects. Students who employed successfulnegotiations and task delegations used collaborative approaches with a variety ofvocabulary. The coding and categorization of the audio for specific language revealedeach group’s approach and communication.
  56. 56. 45 During the research period, students documented their personal learningexperiences related to the projects in a web based learning journal. Students wereasked to write after each group work period and reflect on their learning experiences inthe groups. Additionally, they included positives and negatives of workingcollaboratively with technology. This data showed the inner experiences of eachindividual within the groups.The artifacts in this project are represented by a cumulative final project; whichindicated various approaches the groups used to complete an authentic technology drivenproject. Analysis of the student groups’ final projects revealed the experiences ofstudents participating in a project based technology curriculum. The outcomes ofstudents’ authentic project creations were analyzed against the perceived group constructsand approaches.The fluency of the groups’ applications of the technology components of thecurriculum provided insight into how the groups’ language or interaction mayinfluence outcomes. It also shows the extent to which each group attempted to createan authentic project.Researcher collected audio data, categorized and then coded according to thedominant themes that evolved from the research. Themes were analyzed within thecontext of the Project-Based Curriculum and the application of technology with the groups’projects and collaborative language. Researcher used collected audio data to address theresearch questions based on student communication and use of language.Researcher evaluated the final cumulative projects against the authenticassessment rubric and analyzed on how well the groups addressed the needs of the
  57. 57. 52 students exported their mobile application into an .APK format (Blum, 2012) and testedthe application on a device. During the testing period, students corrected errors andissues with designs and technology integration. Finally, students republished a finalapplication with an icon graphic representing the group’s project.At the conclusion of the project, each group created a 10-minute video screen-castpresentation of their projects. These projects concluded the final presentation phase byasking students to reflect on their learning as well as to describe the importance of theirprojects to real world outcomes. The aim of the presentations was to connect thecomponents of the project and describe the various roles included in the process ofcompleting the projects.Findings and ResultsFinal project artifacts in the research along with collected transcribed audio data,and learning journal support the findings in this study. The findings were grouped intogeneral themes, which reflect the nature of the results.Mobile Application Design StrategiesDuring their final presentations, participants expressed the importance of thecontinual process of improving the mobile application design. Participants recognizedthe experience as beneficial to improving the overall final product. Quotes made by thestudents revealed their desire to improve the professional quality of the app as well asdescribing the student’s experiences modifying the design and working through theplanning stages successfully.Project Conceptualization
  58. 58. 47 available for teachers to use, it is important to stay grounded to the benefits of betterunderstanding how technology drives students’ communication and management oftasks differently. This research indicated how group interaction drives the use oftechnology. A detailed description of findings appears in the following chapter.
  59. 59. 48 CHAPTER FOUR: FINDINGSIntroductionThis qualitative phenomenological research methodology was designed touncover and describe the dynamics of group participants working on a Problem BasedLearning project using technology. The purpose of this study was to determine themes,experiences, and decisions depicted in the language of students as they negotiated a finalproject using computer technology tools.This research design utilized three methods of qualitative data collection in orderto achieve triangulation: written individual student learning journals; transcribed audiosof group sessions working together on the project and final project artifacts created byeach group. The following research questions guided this study:R1: What are the benefits of a Project Based Learning curriculum in groupprojects using technology?R2: How does a Project Based Learning curriculum encourage the groupdynamics of learning collaboratively with technology?R3: How does Project Based Learning curriculum promote conversations andcommunications among students as they delegate tasks?R4: What outcomes will emerge as a result of students’ participation in a ProjectBased Learning Technology curriculum?The remainder of this chapter consists of sections containing the following: adescription of the population, data collection, analysis of data, research questions andtheir findings, and a summary.
  60. 60. 49 Population DescriptionThe participants in this study consisted of 18 high school students in a suburbanschool district located in the western area of Massachusetts. All participants in the studywere Caucasian consisting of 17 males and one female. Their ages ranged from 14 to 17years. All students in the sample socioeconomic status were from the middle class orabove. Most of the students had taken introductory computer courses leading up to thiselective course in web design. Data collection occurred from the participants in a singleclassroom environment with a computer available to each student. One of 18 participantswas not present for the first week of data collection.Collection of Data and Data AnalysisCollection of DataData was collected over a four-week period with a total of 13 work sessions.Students were audio recorded as they worked collaboratively in their groups for 45minutes each class period. The groups met three times a week for three weeks and fourtimes in the final week for 13 sessions. Students could form their own groups as long asgroups were balanced in number of members. The students comprised four groups.Group 1 consisted of three males and one female. In Group 2, there were five males.Group 3 contained four males. Finally, Group 4 consisted of five males. At theconclusion of the group work, students provided two paragraphs of reflective writing in aweb based learning journal.Nvivo, qualitative analysis software, (QSR Technical Resource Center, 2012) wasused to analyze the typed information from the learning journals of individual students in
  61. 61. 50 the study and transcribe audio files from the groups work periods. Word queries weredetermined by identifying the 100 most often-used words within the transcribeddocuments. Nvivo was used to produce word trees that illustrated the 100 most dominantwords in the documents and their relevance according to frequency of use. The wordtrees were the basis of the coding and categorization process, thus creating theinductively developed themes for analysis.Project ArtifactsParticipants in the technology-based PBL curriculum were asked to answer theauthentic question, “How can you plan, design, and develop a mobile application for yourhigh school community?” In the process of answering the authentic question, studentscreated project artifacts that reflected the planning of the layout graphics of theapplication using Adobe Photoshop software and a click stream interpretation of howusers will interact with the design. Students created Venn diagrams using PhotoshopSoftware and identified the desired content, context of use, and required technologiesneeded for their mobile application ideas. The planning process of students includeddeveloping a layout for the vision of their design based on intended users and the locationof technology content into their applications.Students used the Flash software (Jun, Zu-Yuan, and Yuren, 2009) to develop alayout, integrate and create graphics and implement a variety of web and mobiletechnologies into a mobile application addressing the authentic question. Students wererequired to have artifacts representing the planning process (Venn diagram, Photoshopgraphic layouts) and a downloadable mobile application exported onto an Androiddevice. The mobile application was to have five pages of content and an integration of aminimum of three technologies and color schemes developed using software tools. Next,

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