ACTION RESEARCH BLOG
The methods I used to collect data for cycle 1 of my Action Research project included a quantitive pre and post survey provided via a linked Google Doc. The qualitative approach I used was informal and formal discussions during and outside of instruction such as online discussions.
The results between my cycle 1 and cycle 2 data are best described as individual. Given that my pre-survey focused on K-12 classroom teachers who had not yet been formally instructed on media in education and my post-survey reflected results from participants who had been trained on several technology tools to assist them in engaging parents and community members. Each survey reflected similar questions, therefore, they were comparable and could be synchronized due to the questions asked being relevant of the same intended finding. For example, the question specifically associated with the limitations and/or obstacles that could be present in implementing a Web 2.0 tool would relate to both K-12 classroom teachers before training and those who had completed training on Web 2.0 tools. Due to the amount of prior knowledge the participants had about Web 2.0 tools. In addition, my findings represented 45 participants in the survey provided to K-12 teachers prior to being trained and 28 participants that had completed training. More information would need to be acquired in order to determine the factors involved in the lack of participation post-training. In terms of increased communication between parents and teachers. Cycle 1 data* reflected 54% (26 out of 48) of participants reporting very little to some level of communication with parents. 29% (14 out of 48) reporting no communication and one reporting constant communication with parents. Whereas, cycle 2 data reflected 18 out of 28 (64%) participants reporting little or some communication and two participants (1%) reporting constant communication with parents. The remainder being six (21%) who were still reporting no communication with parents. Overall there appeared to have been an incremental improvement of approximately 10% between cycle 1 and cycle 2 survey participants as it pertained specifically to reporting some communication with parents.
(* denotes that an additional three surveys were considered in this summary versus the cycle 1 reflection data, due to the timing of the blog post)
GSM contributed to my Action Research by providing me with an in depth discussion of the skills, interactions, and applications of games in an educational environment. In respect to communication it has been widely held that participants who are involved in a game or simulation environment typically develop problem solving skills that encourage them to ask questions and enjoy competitive actions that allow for conversation. Gaming and the development of games by nature involve multiple components and invite interaction. If a student or adult learner is involved in a game it is common for them to be involved in a conversation either of their experience (success) or their confusion (lack of ability to overcome an obstacle). This type of dialogue opens up a new process of engaging student interactions. When shared or connected to real world learning concepts they can involve a richer discussion of activities or enhance the enthusiasm to participate in learning. My Action Research project has been specifically impacted by the ability to interact in discussions with others about games currently utilized and expanding the premise of utilizing even more gaming concepts in the future to welcome open and safe environments for competition and learning to happen simultaneously.