Wikis and TGfU: A Collaborative Approach to Games Education

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Wikis and TGfU: A Collaborative Approach to Games Education

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1. Wikis and TGfU: A Collaborative Approach to Games Education MSc Thesis Defense Presentation Presented by Helena Baert on July 24th 2008 University of Manitoba

8. What do all these websites have in common? These are all wikis Web pages created and managed by teachers and students Creating a blank wiki takes 30 seconds Managing a wiki = adding, editing and erasing content freely.

9. Presentation Outline Research Question Rationale Theoretical Framework Literature Review (TGfU, Wikis, Collaboration and Scaffolding) Methods Findings: answering the research questions Discussion Conclusion

10. Research Question What are the perceptions of physical education teacher candidates regarding the usefulness of wikis as an instructional tool to enhance learning through a collaborative group project?

11. Rationale for this Study Changes in Manitoba PE curriculum The teaching of games is a main focus within PE. PETE Programs: Insufficient time spent teaching the content of games during class (Light, 2003). Results in a poor understanding of effective game teaching practices (Howarth, 2005). Can integrating technology foster learning and extend the learning experience? Wikis within the context of teacher education.

12. Theoretical Framework Constructivism (Piaget (1955), Bruner (1960),Vygotsky (1978)). My own teaching philosophy Learning should be interactive and based upon students’ prior knowledge, interests, and abilities. Planning effective activities where students can connect and integrate experiences from other contexts or with other students will further develop their understanding of the content.

13. Teaching Games for Understanding First published by David Bunker and Rod Thorpe in 1982. Focuses on creating a student-centered games education that links tactics and skills in game settings. The approach encourages students to construct meaning from situations that incorporate any of the four game categories: Invasion/territory, Net/wall, Target, Striking/fielding. E.g. Basketball vs Soccer

14. Wiki Created by Ward Cunningham in 2001. “The simplest online database that could possibly work” Named after Honolulu airport shuttle busses which are called “wiki wiki”, which means “quick” in Hawaiian. In short: a wiki is a webpage with an edit button!

15. Collaboration Collaboration is sequential / asynchronous Vygotsky (1978): acquire new knowledge through collaboration with peers. Through collaboration, students show different views, negotiate, generate various meanings and create common understanding related to the content. Research indicate that wikis foster collaboration.

16. A scaffold = an intentional assistance provided to another (Vygotsky, 1978). According to McKenzie (1999), in order for learning to occur students must be provided with a clear and complete outline of the scaffolds involved. Scaffolds in this study are offered in sections. Each week, as a new section of scaffolds was offered, students elaborated on their experiences in a reflective journal. Scaffolding

17. Methods Qualitative / Interpretive Inquiry (Ellis) 28 Final Year female and male PE teacher candidates completed a TGfU / Wiki project online. Students are organized in 4 groups of 7 according to the 4 game categories. Specific weekly tasks such as editing, creating and reflecting. Research activities: pre and post writing samples, weekly reflective journals and 4 focus group interviews.

18. Research Questions Answered What are the experiences of PE teacher candidates (PETC) using a wiki in a group project? How do PETC perceive the influence of wikis on their understanding of the TGfU approach? How do wikis facilitate the scaffolding of ideas to create deeper content knowledge? How do PETC perceive the influence of wikis on their writing skills? How do PETC perceive the influence of wikis on their computer skills?

19. 1. What are the experiences of the PETC using a wiki in a group project? Lucid technology: convenient, accessible, simple and straight forward. “…simplicity of editing and learning how to use the wiki happened primarily through trial and error without much frustration.” “You can work on it whenever you want and where ever you want.” “…using a wiki is easy, just sign in, read, edit when needed and add what is missing, plain and simple!” Dynamic, “two-dimensional” instrument for combining individual contributions with group collaborative contributions. Communication issues: discussion tab. “ If we all posted on the discussion board, communication would be easier… it is essential in the process of collaboration.”

20. 2. How do PETC perceive the influence of wikis on their understanding of the TGfU approach? Several processes assisted in their learning: researching, reading, editing, paraphrasing, formatting and scaffolding of ideas. At various times, students reflected that using the wiki enhanced their understanding of the TGfU approach. Each week, a new topic was introduced: Overview of TGfU: History/philosophy of TGfU Model /Steps to the model Specifics of one category : general info, transfer skills and tactics Games Sequence (lesson plan)

21. Closed ended, concrete headings. E.g. history, model Focus is on contributing knowledge Core knowledge, foundation Students interact primarily with research: Read the scaffold Research Copy & Paste or Paraphrase under heading Edit: correcting spelling and grammar Direct teaching Quote: “Researching and understanding the theory behind TGfU has given a background and purpose to this strategy, which greatly benefited me in terms of how well it fits into a quality PE program” Section 1: Overview of TGfU Question 3: How do wikis facilitate the scaffolding of ideas to create deeper content knowledge? Question 3: How do wikis facilitate the scaffolding of ideas to create deeper content knowledge?

22. One Dimensional Scaffold Example History is recorder in order to compare and re-instate content.History is recorder in order to compare and re-instate content.

23. Specific sub-sections. E.g. game categories, teaching implications. Focus is on making connections between content and research. Students interact with research and content: Read new scaffold Read and comprehend content already on wiki Research Making connections between research & content Create content Teaching Style: Guided Discovery Quote: “I begin to understand the model and how it transfers to the specific category” Section 2: Specific Game Category

24. Application focused: creating original games. Focus is on building on each other’s ideas. Open scaffolds: encourage creativity Interactions with content and peers: Read new scaffold Reflect on the content and how it can be applied Add content + build on each others’ ideas to create new and brighter ideas. Student centered teaching Quote: “The major advantage of a wiki is when you read what others have added, it helps me come up with new ideas, ideas I would never come to if I were to design a game on my own, it is in fact a superior product.” Section 3: Game Progressions

25. Focus Group Discussion Section 3: an increase of creativity through open-ended scaffolds created frustrations. Possible explanations: 1. Inability to meet the increase of need for communication (use of discussion board). 2. Quick transition between section 2 and 3 (6 week project) 3. Scaffold in section 3 too broad – open for interpretation caused confusion. 4. Unclear expectations Student suggestions to enhance the wiki project: Give each student specific roles and responsibilities. Organize more opportunities to communicate.

26. 4. How do PETC perceive the influence of wikis on their writing skills? Using a wiki may improve writing skills. Three levels of usage were mentioned: Creating and publishing text. “Posting text online made me pay closer attention to my spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.” Editing and formatting information. “Through reviewing, editing and formatting, I developed my proof reading and error detecting skills.” Research and paraphrasing. (copy and paste vs. paraphrasing: level of reading)

27. 5. How do PETC perceive the influence of the wiki on their computer skills? No perceived influence on the general computer skills. Mostly framed within the usage of the wiki. “ I am getting more comfortable with the wiki tools” Insufficient time to evaluate the use of the wiki on general computer skills. (6 week project) Technical skill level may have exceeded the requirement to operate the basic tools of a wiki.

28. Discussion: 4 levels of interaction Interacting with the wiki: straight forward and simple, no HTML coding, convenient, interface design (discussion tab), collaboration on a wiki is a new skill. Interacting with the content: scaffolding, increase level of understanding, shift from direct instruction -closed to student centered –open. Teacher interaction: delimitation in the study, assign roles and responsibilities, process facilitator , use of a teacher’s blog to provide feedback. Interacting with peers: communication is crucial, synchronous vs. asynchronous, face to face meetings, teach students how to use the discussion board.

29. Conclusion A wiki can be a valuable instructional tool in: Facilitating collaboration through scaffolding. Enabling a deeper understanding of the TGfU approach. Encouraging the construction and deconstruction of games knowledge. Promoting inquiry into the pedagogy of games. Minimizing frustrations regarding traditional group work. Extending the learning environment.

30. Supplementing the learning experience Teacher supports the wiki’s intrinsic learning potential. Continued guidance from the teacher. Assigning specific roles and responsibilities. Clear organization. Teach students how to collaborate on a wiki. Increase communication possibilities.

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