Student Reflections Media 21 December 2011 Final Draft


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Student Reflections Media 21 December 2011 Final Draft

  1. 1. Media 21 End of Semester Reflections Fall 2011Susan Lester and Buffy Hamilton, 10th Honors Literature/CompositionIssues and Challenges for Students ● password management (student proposed solution--create a graphic organizer for students to help them manage this information) ● time management ● stress management ● technical issues w/ some databases (primarily GALE) ● finding information that is detailed/specifically helpful that answered research questions ● synthesizing information ● communication w/ group members, coordinating tasks and deadlines; members not committing to virtual meeting times ● resisting urge to fix problems w/ work that was not done well by other group members ● deciding which information to use and how to incorporate it ● juggling new web-based tools (some felt slightly overwhelmed by the menu of new tools we learned over the course of the project) ● focusing topics/subtopics (research questions) ● some students found it difficult to use time wisely ● difficult for some student to accept responsibility for learning ● organizational issues ● discomfort in having to get fellow group members on track ● priorities: time for self, sports, music lessons, family; juggling other class assignments in reference to homework; some don’t see value in assignment if not for a grade ● some articles had misleading titles and students felt frustrated ● writing the research design proposal was difficult for some students even though we provided a model and template---none had ever had to do that before ● grasping design concepts of Prezi even though we modeled and worked through tutorial videos together---working through the learning curve w/ hands-on experience ● learning new digital mediums for sharing info/presenting ● learning how to develop effective search termsSkills/Processes of Improvement in This Unit for Students ● improving time management skills ● finding and improving strategies for collaborating/working with others ● gaining confidence in new digital mediums for sharing info/presenting ● using more diverse and credible sources ● better utilizing the potential of more for organization and for crowdsourcing research as a networked learner (what others are scooping)1
  2. 2. ● gaining confidence and focus by writing the research design proposal ● developing leadership skills ● learning to slow down, relax, focus, and do more than “slap something down”; coping w/ pressure ● learning how to be a productive and “good” group member who contributes ● learning how to read for information and strategies ( like highlighting) to discern important info; “mental tools” and “game planning” ● applying the CRAAP test to EVERY source, not just websites ● learning to “more than skim; I actually read the articles!” ● going beyond Wikipedia and Google for information sources and search ● learning MLA style of documentation for citations ● for some students, it was a stretch to find articles in databases that actually had information to answer research questions, and they learned how to adjust search terms and/or dig more deeply ● Learning how to use constructive criticism effectively ● Telling a story with images ● We learned “it was time to stop playing around and time to work together and think rationally.” ● Learning to ask for help from teachers/librariansHelpful Activities/Likes ● face to face Fishbowl discussions in class(overwhelmingly valued) ● most students indicated they enjoyed the reading of actual books (our touchstone texts for our reading/inquiry circles) ● most students indicated they felt they had adequate time provided overall and in class for learning tasks/activities ● many students indicated they enjoyed Prezi/found it a rewarding experience to create one ● many students felt proud they learned how to create a Prezi or VoiceThread ● many students found to be a helpful organizational tool ● many students were proud group overcame initial challenges to create a product that they felt had quality ● nearly all students indicated they learned a great deal of information about new topic ● some students preferred writing essays but thought this project was a positive change of pace; others thought the digital medium provided them a better form of expression for their ideas ● one student found Symbaloo very helpful as an organizational tool or starting point for each day’s research---not sure if other students felt the same or forgot to mention it in their reflection narratives ● students enjoyed sharing work w/ VoiceThread, Google Docs, Prezi ● some students said the research articles kindled an existing or inspired a newfound passion for topic2
  3. 3. ● nearly every student stated he/she liked F2F Fishbowl discussions--human, emotional aspects of these discussions were described as important ● many students shared they now felt more comfortable with technology ● several students indicated they were proud they had learned new search skills from the librarian ● many students indicated a sense of pride and accomplishments in creating digital products ● most students felt they had ample time to complete learning tasks ● most students felt the lit/reading/inquiry circle readings inspired research topics for exploration and expanded or broadened the knowledge of world ● at least half of the students felt peer review helped them learn how to improve their own work ● several students shared they gained knowledge of new cultures ● some students liked that the unit helped them build on curiosity sparked by the discussions and /or readings ● creating the VoiceThread was fun; tension eased by making mistakes together and learning/helping each other (a sort of group bonding experience) ● Many students shared they liked working in the libraryAdditional Student Opinions or Reflections on Peer Review ● peer review was helpful for many; some found it extremely helpful ● some students found peer review was intimidating ● most would like peer review during the creation of their digital texts rather than at end OR in addition to the end ● a few students felt peer review was a waste of time; one felt if we did peer review as a formative assessment, people would steal ideas ● some students were not for peer review as a formative assessment (in the process of creating the digital text) because they would not have been ready to have produced digital text--need more leeway/flexibility in terms of time to process/craft the text ● one indicated feeling pressure someone other than teacher was assessing work ● one students thought peer review should be included in all assignmentsVirtual Fishbowl: Why They Didn’t Do It ● nearly every student felt class discussion in the f2f Fishbowl was enough/sufficient ● several students cited there were too many distractions at home ● several students shared they were afraid of being ridiculed by their peers ● some students stated they had too many other things on their plate for this project and honestly forgot to post to Fishbowl ● some students were afraid of repeating ideas already said in class ● several students shared a fear of no one responding to their discussion posts3
  4. 4. ● most student felt depth was present in f2f meetings and lively—they did not feel need for carryover into blog/virtual discussion space outside of class ● a few students said they felt unsure of “how to start a post correctly/discussion topic correctly” or if anyone would reply ● some students cited a lack of motivation ● some students cited a lack of time/balance w/ other classes ● nearly all students prefer f2f interaction ● some students had perception that an online discussion cannot be as rich or meaningful as a f2f one ● one student did not feel teachers should not expect students to do work outside of class ● a couple of students identified lack of computer (or a modern computer) or Internet access at home ● a few students shared they were shy by nature and didn’t feel confident to post until someone else did ● because we met daily, they didn’t feel the virtual Fishbowl was needed since they did most discussing during class/f2f meetings ● one student shared that fellow students blew off the assignment as “unimportant” because a grade was not attached to the virtual Fishbowl; other students felt the lack of a grade being assigned to virtual discussions was a major factor in prioritizing what needed to be donePost-Unit Perceptions/Identification 21st Century Skills/Literacies ● the use of computers (basic competencies) ● typing/keyboarding ● using the web and databases effectively ● presentation skills ● knowing how to find and evaluate quality information sources ● knowing how to follow directions ● how to read and write using 21st century technology ● communication w/ technology and HUMAN skills ● evaluating sources of information ● organizing research w/ online tools ● distinguishing important from not so important information ● research skills in general ● cooperation with others in groups and helping each other ● creating with multimedia tools: “go beyond Microsoft Office” ● being able to adapt to new technologies ● human skills for defining problems, fixing them, and creating new ways of learning about issues ● reading4
  5. 5. Insights and Future Points of Need for Instruction ● “A major problem with students in today’s society is that we are all afraid to be wrong. Even with something like this that could have been helpful to other classmates, we are scared to post something that others will find unintelligent.” How do we help students (and ourselves as teachers and learners, too) overcome this fear or at least mitigate it? ● Helping students better distinguish terms and conceptualization of differences between websites, search engine, database sources ● apply CRAAP test to all information sources ● Good words of praise for Academic Search Complete, Global Issues in Context ● Some students referenced other’s accounts to see what articles they were using ● Do we need to have a conversation as a faculty about what constitutes meaningful homework? ● The high school learning environment and influence of peer culture have different dynamics from that of higher education; how do these social factors impact the learning mediums and spaces we create for students? ● Continuing to grow our definition and perceptions about 21 st century literacies ● Incorporating mindmapping strategies (inspired by Howard Rheingold: ● Continuing to nudge students toward inquiry and to make more explicit the connection between Stripling’s model of inquiry and the tools/mediums for learning that embody those stages of inquiry ● Tweaking the template of the research design template we borrowed from Tom Romano and making the process of crafting bigger “how/why” or more inquiry driven questions more explicit. ● How do we introduce new tools for learning without overwhelming students? ● Continuing to provide students choices in our learning tasks and options since students seemed to appreciate that latitude from semester 1. ● Improving our efforts to help students articulate our learning objectives and to have more ownership/input in assessment tools.5