Outline for action research prospectus

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Outline for action research prospectus

  1. 1. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 1 OUTLINE FOR ACTION RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PROJECT BASED LEARNING IMPACT ON TECHNOLOGY SKILLS AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS Daniel Downs Argosy University-Sarasota Dr. Peg Nugent 12/09/09
  2. 2. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 2 OUTLINE FOR ACTION RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PROJECT BASED LEARNING IMPACT ON TECHNOLOGY SKILLS AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS Purpose or Focus of the Prospectus Based on Constructivist theories and approaches (cooperative learning, authentic experiences, dialogue) how does the implementation of Project Based Learning impact the learning of technology skills of high school students? I will be attempting to do an action research project in which I examine the implementation of Project based learning outcomes on technology learning and skill development. I will be utilizing the theoretical framework of the Constructivist learning theory as a basis for my research. In this research I will be continually examining the PBL construct for learning technology skills and project completion. I expect that documentation will be mostly quantitative and be based in the interviewing and focus group process. Innovations or Actions Taken
  3. 3. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 3 I will conduct my research in a high school technology classroom for the period of 12 weeks. During this time I will be interviewing individual students, administration and teachers. I will also be creating focus groups to discuss the collaborative learning process and the implementation of project based learning. I will also be assessing the skills gained while learning technology in a project based environment. Ultimately I think the largest gains will be in the form of professional development for teachers using technology in the classroom. I hope that my research of the potential outcomes of Project Based Learning in different scenarios will evolve continually in terms of outcomes and teaching practices. I would use the action research process to create a continually evolving process of curriculum and student technology learning. I hope that I will continually be able to evaluate and research the process of student learning outcomes as they relate to learning collaboratively and with multiple technologies. I hope to improve instructional practices for teachers when implementing project based learning. I hope that I will be able to improve student interaction and engagement with the analysis of instructional techniques and determine the different effectiveness in different environments. Research Questions
  4. 4. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 4 Based on Constructivist theories and approaches (cooperative learning, authentic experiences, dialogue) how does the implementation of Project Based Learning impact the learning of technology skills of high school students? To thoroughly answer my big question I will need to examine closely the dynamics of the project based learning environment as well as different approaches to teaching and learning collaboratively. I will also need to closely examine the implementation of technology use in the classroom. This includes the use of technology tools and specifc classroom implementation. Specific Actions Research Questions Question 1: Does project based learning environments increase technology skill acquisition? To adequately address this action I need to examine the meta-learning experiences (Implementation and Process Evaluation, 2009) which are created during project based learning. This action is aimed at evaluating the environment of learning from a project based perspective. The resulting qualitative data will enable teachers to construct environments and projects which more effectively enable group learning to address the area of learning technology. The method of which to gain data effectively from this environment is using focus groups which are aimed at developing deep questions and conversation about the learning of the students and teaching methods of the teachers. There can also be an exam which
  5. 5. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 5 evaluates the knowledge gained after specific project based environment learning experiences. It will also be important to ask deep questions about the learning obtained during the project making experience. (Implementation and Process Evaluation, 2009) Question 2: Does working in groups improve recognition of technology vocabulary? This qualitative data will be used by teachers to learn whether or not specific key concepts of technology can be understood clearly and specifically after being learned in groups. Teachers will also gain knowledge of how to implement technology vocabulary into the context of the learning. This research will make strong connections to the Constructivist theories of education and the action of learning through dialogue and group learning. To answer this question it will be important to directly observe the groups which are working together. It will also be important to record conversations of teachers and learners and define the context and dialogue of the learning. It will be necessary to use audio recording and video cameras to collect data and dissect the data into proper perspective. Deep analysis into group dynamics and collaborative learning will potentially come into light. Question 3: Do students working in groups learn technology skills they can use on their own?
  6. 6. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 6 This action will require a way of assessing the individual use of technology of students in their free time or while working independently. The result of assessing this will help show the skills students use on their own and will show whether or not there is a growth of skills over time. Teachers will benefit from seeing where the can emphasize their teaching of technology skills and tools. The results of this are also important to stakeholders such as school administrators who will want to validate the success of a program through student learning outcomes. Assessing this action will require qualitative questioning about the habits and tendencies of students use of technology before and after the group program. It will be important to directly observe the actions of the groups and notice the leadership of specific students. Interviews of students of all skill levels will be necessary to have a complete view of the experience of learning. Question 4: Does the way instructors present project based learning material effect outcomes? This action is aimed at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of presenting project based learning projects to students. It is anticipated that teachers will have different styles of teaching even with a specific curriculum. The different outcomes which come from the presentations of the basic outlines of project based learning will hopefully reveal how different teaching styles affect the outcomes of specific projects. I hope that there will be
  7. 7. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 7 specific data linked to constructivist learning theories. I also hope the data reveals how student-teacher, student-student interaction affect outcomes of projects and the skills learned and experiences gained. The method to gain the data from this process is to directly observe the learning process of everyone involve and to make videos to analyze in the future. It will also be important to interview everyone separately as well as have focus groups with everyone involved. Specific learning materials such as lesson plans and guides (Implementation and Process Evaluation,2009) will be necessary to guide instruction in certain instances. These lessons should provide a guide for each teacher and create an element of validity for the instruction. Question 5:Are project outcomes representative of the skills students have applied in learning with dialogue? This action really tries to get to the heart of the project based learning outcome. It seeks to look at the specific skills learned, expected outcomes of projects and the learning experiences of students. Teachers will also benefit as they can look at projects from a top down curriculum perspective. The final projects of the students involved will become a presentation for this research. It will represent the learning styles and depth of instruction throughout the research.
  8. 8. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 8 This research will be important to the validation of project based learning theory. It will be important to justify the learning experience and exemplary projects which can come from project based learning. To the stakeholders this will also justify the skills which can be gained from project based outcomes. Strong research in this area will make all other research be more valid. To properly gain data from this action it will be necessary to evaluate final outcomes of project based learning. It will also be important directly assess the skills gained in terms of applied technology and technology vocabulary. This can be done through skill assessment tests and rubrics for final projects. The collection of data in this stage of research will reflect all the methods of instruction and many connections between research methods should be able to be made at this point of collection. Triangulation of the data should begin to take on a new level of importance as assessments of particular technology skills in the forms of interviews and tests will begin to assimilate with the final project results. (Stringer, 2007) Literature Review Article 1:The Effect Of Project Based Learning On the Learning Outcomes in the 5th Grade Social Studies Course In Primary Education Gultekin, Mehmet (2005). The first article chosen investigates the learning of 5th grade students in a project based environment. The school in which this program is taking place is based on the
  9. 9. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 9 same constructivist theories I am using in my research question. This article outlines students produce in group environments, quantitative and qualitative methods of research and opinions of teachers and learners. The research is also focused on the meaningful inquiry that project based learning is focused on. Article 2:Panel Discussions and Simulations: Project Based Learning In A Web Based Course Gazi, Yakut,Murphy,Karen, Role Plays,(2001) This article has a similar theoretical framework as the research I would like to do. It is based on the Constructivist theories. The necessary theoretical framework (constructivism) will empower my research. This research also is focused on the use of specific technology outcomes. There are also specific findings of Project Based learning which includes the collaborative environment. Article 3:The Contribution Of Project Based Learning to high achievers Acquisition of technological knowledge and skills Betzer, Nadav,Mioduser,David(2007). This research was chosen because of the specific population which is chosen for the research. The population of students used in this project based learning study is over- achieving high school aged students. This population closely resembles the groups which I will be working with in my research. This research also is focused on specific technology skill acquisition. This is an area in which I want to research the outcomes of
  10. 10. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 10 and possible utilize some of the same instruments for research. The specific area of student performance will also be examined from this research. Article 4: Implementing A Project Based Technology Program For High School Women. Boudria, Theodore J,(2002). The research in this article is important my research because it describes the process of trying to implement a project based technology program with teenage girls. This research describes the process and problems of this program and could give me a great resource for understanding my research process. This research also connects to student achievement outcomes and creating problem based learning environments. Article 5: Implementation and Assessment of Project Based Learning in a Flexible Environment. Doppelt, Yaron ,(2003). The research in this article is deeply involved with trying to evaluate how different project based environments can change the learning styles and levels of students of different levels. This article also includes some theories of Piaget’s. I think it is important to have some more theories than the Constructivist ones I have gained so far. Expected Outcomes: Participatory Feedback The coded area of Participatory Feedback will provide a large amount of data which describes the process of the research from multiple perspectives. This data will be the combination of data from interviews,focus groups and individual opinions and
  11. 11. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 11 expressions of opinions. I decided to code this area of data together because as participants in the research they all have a common experience which defines the research. I hope with the research in this area a collection of perspectives can reflect the many diverse experiences and moments of the research. Expected Outcomes: Observations Of Project Based Curriculum In Action Observed data from this research will represent a very large portion of the research. This group of data will present the observations of the interacting participants and observations of specific learning and teaching experiences. I expect that the use of videotaped lesson will provide an impetus for new research as well as a powerful tool with focus groups and interviews. Observational data will provide new data for research and provide data of student learning. Expected Outcomes: Project Assessments The area of Project Assessments will be a collection of data representing the written assessments which will provide pre and post research data which will show the skills and knowledge gained through the PBL curriculum. The written assessments will also provide independent viewpoints of student experiences and learning. The data connected to the final project outcomes will also be contained in this area of data. The final project data will give a conclusive viewpoints to the collaborative project and the technology skills learned during the research.
  12. 12. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 12 The technology assessment tests which will have some quantitative elements to their data will also be contained in this area of research. The technology assessments will provide pre and post project data which will define the learned technology skills. Expected Outcomes: Relationships in Project based learning Due to the collaborative nature of the learning experiences involved in my data I would like to have an area of defined data which will make connections to the relationships and learning experiences between specicif learners and collaborative environments. I expect that there will be a whole new section of data which will evolve out of the research. The research having connections to Constructivist learning theories will also enable some of this research to come up. Participants & Setting The setting of my research will be in high school classrooms with students completing project based curriculum with technology tools. The students will be working collaboratively to research and completing projects. The data gained from the action research will be used to assess the effectiveness of problem based learning using technology tools such as video cameras, animation and graphic design software and the internet. The stakeholders for this research are the teachers who are learning new methods and approaches for teaching with problem based curriculum and technology. The high school administration will benefit from the professional development of the teachers as well as the improved technology curriculum. (Stringer,E.2007)
  13. 13. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 13 I need to be careful with my own inclusion as a practictioner with the research to stay as fair and unbiased as possible in my reflection of the research and the process. There is the possibility that being the researcher and being in the position to report the data there can be some bias in what I report. I will use triangulation to ensure that my research can provide multiple perspectives on the research. Some of these perspectives will be other teachers,administrators,parents and students. (Stringer,E.2007) One issue I may face in a secondary school setting is that some students may have parents or their own issues with not participating. It will be important to address this issue because I would not want students who may not want to participate involved. I need to be careful to keep all of the findings and data confidential .The data and information from children and minors will be particularly important to keep confidential. Making the participants of the research aware of how the research will be used will be important to the success of gaining insight into the research as well as help in developing focus groups and further research topics. (Stringer,E.2007) I anticipate that I will gain trustworthiness by involving other technology teachers, stakeholders and other High School technology departments by including their perspective into the study. Incorporating other technology classes and schools into my
  14. 14. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 14 process will further the questions I can develop about the research. I expect that by involving different perspectives on teaching and learning will give my research a firm foundation to evolve off of. This will make it relevant to more teachers and classrooms. It will also add insight to the perspective of the teacher by providing multiple voices from that role. (Stringer,E.2007) Research Design These categories are developed fron collected data from technology based skill assessments and project based learning environments. The data groups will be primarily qualitative. The only area of data which will have some quantitative elements is the area of written questioning. The written question area will have some numerical data which represents students understanding of technology skills and specific technology tasks. All sources in this study will be new and the instruments are traditional for qualitative data collection. Qualitative Research Methods Interviewing
  15. 15. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 15 Students will be questioned about their process with project based learning. The interviewing will be based around the process of their experience and their tendencies with learning. The interviewing will be one of the major sources of data for this research. Interviews will also be part of the focus groups. The focus groups will open up a variety of specific questioning. These focus groups will aim to get the personal perspectives of the participants and also see what parts of the research are working successfully. (Stringer, 2007) Students will be interviewed to understand and assess their knowledge of technology. Students will be asked to reflect on their learning and develop further questioning based on their new skills. This process should empower research and develop new ground for assessing technology learning. Observing Observations of student reactions and interaction will be important to the research of the project based experiences. The observations will be conducted both during the interview process as well as actual participation in the program. The observations of the participants and the researchers will be acquired to get a full range of views of the research. (Stringer,E.2007) It will be necessary to observe students using and learning with technology. It will also be important to analyze how teachers implement technology and relate to student when they do show. In project based learning the analysis of the teacher to student
  16. 16. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 16 relationship will the key to the research. All observations will be made with an hourly log to define the specific context and situation of the action research. Records and reports I expect that I will be able to introduce a report of my findings after each phase of research. These reports will aim to describe the process and current aims of the research as well as the overarching questions and goals. The reports will also keep stakeholders, researchers, parents and interested practitioners connected to the research and interested in the outcome. (Stringer,E.2007) Focus groups Focus groups based on specific sections of students and teachers involved in the research process. Focus groups will be used to find opinions and perspectives from the student learning groups about key issues encountered in the learning process. Focus groups made up of teachers and also administrators will be used to define key issues for teachers in terms of instruction,attitudes and experiences. These groups will meet before, during and after the project based experience. Focus groups will be important to gain feedback of overall experiences and to highlight specific highlights and moments which can only come from group interaction of specific groups. Written questioning
  17. 17. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 17 I plan on collecting a series of assessments on the students learning and experiences while collaborating with technology and in specific learning groups. These questions will assess participant knowledge in the areas of specific technology skills such as software knowledge,hardware familiarity and the ability to synthesize the the use of technology tools with a specific project. The written questions will also attept to gain individual insights into learning processes and styles before and after their integration with the project based learning curriculum. Materials and equipment Observations of how students and teachers implement materials and technology will be important to the research. The use of technology will be an important part of the research, observation and the reflections of the students and practitioners. Technology use is a very important part of PBL. How the students and teachers use technology will be analyzed and reflected upon. These reflections will be important parts of focus groups, research and reports. Data Analysis-Areas Of Coded Data Participatory Feedback The coded area of Participatory Feedback will provide a large amount of data which describes the process of the research from multiple perspectives. This data will be the
  18. 18. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 18 combination of data from interviews,focus groups and individual opinions and expressions of opinions. I decided to code this area of data together because as participants in the research they all have a common experience which defines the research. I hope with the research in this area a collection of perspectives can reflect the many diverse experiences and moments of the research. (Gibbs,Graham R,2005) Observations Of Project Based Curriculum In Action Observed data from this research will represent a very large portion of the research. This group of data will present the observations of the interacting participants and observations of specific learning and teaching experiences. I expect that the use of videotaped lesson will provide an impetus for new research as well as a powerful tool with focus groups and interviews. Observational data will provide new data for research and provide data of student learning. (Stringer,E2007) Project Assessments The area of Project Assessments will be a collection of data representing the written assessments which will provide pre and post research data which will show the skills and knowledge gained through the PBL curriculum. The written assessments will also provide independent viewpoints of student experiences and learning.
  19. 19. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 19 The data connected to the final project outcomes will also be contained in this area of data. The final project data will give a conclusive viewpoints to the collaborative project and the technology skills learned during the research. The technology assessment tests which will have some quantitative elements to their data will also be contained in this area of research. The technology assessments will provide pre and post project data which will define the learned technology skills. (Stringer,E2007) Relationships in Project based learning Due to the collaborative nature of the learning experiences involved in my data I would like to have an area of defined data which will make connections to the relationships and learning experiences between specicif learners and collaborative environments. I expect that there will be a whole new section of data which will evolve out of the research. The research having connections to Constructivist learning theories will also enable some of this research to come up. Task and Time Management Plan Previous To Research Interviews with participating Teachers,Administrators,Students Written Assessments of Technology Knowledge of teachers and students.
  20. 20. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 20 Weekly Schedule Each week will have a specific project based lesson to complete an overall group project over a 12 week period. Before each lesson there will be introductory interviews to help define the context of the research phases. Each week there will also be focus groups based on the specific topic of learning and collaboration and technology. Observations will be conducted during three specific phases of instruction. Introduction of project,collaboration of participants,technology integration and presentation of skills. Post Project Presentation Phase Written evaluation of Group projects. Final Interviews with all participants. Focus groups on completion of program. Final technology skills assessment. Data Collection Schedule Pre- Research Interviews Focus Groups Observations Technology Assessment Project Based Topic Week 1 Pre and post Written included Pre and post Yes-focus on intoductions Complete Yes-prior to program Introductions to projects
  21. 21. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 21 observation- video Week 2 Pre and post Written included Pre and post Focus on group work- Complete observation- video Introduction to collaborative process Week 3 Pre and post Written included Pre and post Yes-focus on tech impl. Introduction to technology implementation Week 4 Pre and post Pre and post Yes-focus on group work Begin collaborative work on given project Week 5 Pre and post Written included Pre and post Yes-outside community interaction Implement community element Week 6 Pre and post Pre and post Yes-focus on collaborative process- Complete Structured work week with 3 elements
  22. 22. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 22 observation- video Week 7 Pre and post Pre and post Yes-focus on collaborative process yes Structured work week with 3 elements Week 8 Pre and post Written included Pre and post Yes-tech focus Technology skills integration Week 9 Pre and post Pre and post Yes-tech focus Technology skills integration Week 10 Pre and post Written included Pre and post Yes-focus on collaborative process yes Expand collaborative review Week 11 Pre and post Written included Pre and post Complete observation- video Synthesizing community element Week 12 Pre and post Written included Pre and post Complete observation- video Finalizing of Technology integration
  23. 23. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 23 Presentation Phase Pre and post Written included Pre and post Complete observation- video yes Final Project Presentations
  24. 24. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 24 References Betzer,Nadav,Mioduser,David(2007). The Contribution Of Project Based Learning to high achievers Acquisition of technological knowledge and skills. Springer Science & Business Media Boudria,Theodore J,(2002). Implementing A Project Based Technology Program For High School Women. Taylor & Francis 2002 Doppelt,Yaron ,(2003).Implementation and Assessment Of Project Based Learning In a Flexible Environment. International Journal Of Technology & Design Education Kluwer. Academic Publishers 2003 Gazi,Yakut,Murphy,Karen, Role Plays,(2001).Panel Discussions and Simulations: Project Based Learning In A Web Based Course. Online Course Design International Council For Education Media Gultekin,Mehmet (2005).The Effect Of Project Based Learning On the Learning Outcomes in the 5th Grade Social Studies Course In Primary Education. Educational Sciences:Theory & Practice 2005 Turkey
  25. 25. RESEARCH PROSPECTUS:PBL DANIEL DOWNS 25 Gibbs,Graham R,(2005)How and What to Code.Online QDA Learning Qualitative Data Analysis on the Web: Retrieved December 8, 2009 from http://onlineqda.hud.ac.uk Stringer,E(2007). Action Research(3rd Edition). Thousand Oaks,CA:Sage

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