Exploring the WIKI At first our whole class spent a number of lessons exploring the WIKI. As the sole administrator of the page, I was able to monitor the WIKI to ensure the safety of my students.
Utilising Other Teachers I invited other teachers to become involved in the WIKI and visit our business.
Drawing on Prior Knowledge and taking ownership. Eventually students were familiar enough with the WIKI to decide how they would use this forum to help their business grow. Notice how the language and intent has changed. They have taken ownership and are rising to the challenge. They have become the business enterprise.
Scaffolding the WIKI I scaffolded the introduction to this technology by leaving posts and creating threads. This generated discussions and enabled me to exercise control when online conversations needed to be redirected. As we continued to access the WIKI during lessons, students became more and more engrossed in our play. They used professional language and demonstrated workplace discourses. They started to discern whether content posted was appropriate or inappropriate for a workplace.
Moving On to the Next Intellectual Challenge After we had finished exploring the WIKI, we no longer needed to devote entire lessons to being online. The WIKI was now merely our means of communication, a point of reference for our business plans. There aren’t many businesses which only operate during one or two periods a day and thanks to the WIKI, our business was online and growing 27/7!
Let’s Play at “Working From Home” A student uploaded his graphic artwork onto the WIKI over the weekend for others to comment on. The WIKI helped students make the most of out of school study time. The students no longer viewed it as homework, rather their business empire!
Making Collaboration more Productive One of the challenges of involving students in group work is that there are always situations where a group can’t meet or one student is absent. Collaborative group work is much more effective with the WIKI. I watched students learn to work together as they would upload store designs on our page and ask for comments. Even when students were away sick they still could “play” by accessing the WIKI.
Student Initiative Some sent other members messages from home over the weekend, reminding people to bring the advertising brochures. Links were uploaded to the Sproose Joose web page one boy created. Through using the WIKI students were learning how to work together as a group to solve problems and plan ahead. http:www.freewebs.sproosejoose.com
Assessment While my students played, I assessed. One of our assessment tasks required students to print and submit evidence of their contributions to the WIKI. Certain aspects of our business were to be only discussed via the WIKI, challenging everyone to test their workplace communication skills.
Authentic Assessment Sproose Franchise Information Booklet and free key rings and magnets!
Criteria Documents CONCORDIA COLLEGE TOOWOOMBA Year 11 English Communication WRITTEN: Workplace Texts SPOKEN: Presentation in a Business Meeting The Sproose Joose business has grown and we have made a decision to offer our business as a franchise. The Sproose Joose business has grown and we have made a decision to offer our business as a franchise. Successful franchises produce information booklets which are distributed to potential franchisees in order to inform and persuade them to enter into a franchising agreement with us. You are part of a staff team who have been assigned the task of writing, formatting and designing the Sproose Joose Franchise booklet. Your role in this process involves: Deliberately constructing a section of the franchise book. It is important that you consider appropriate text, images and design. You will need to consult with other employees to ensure that the book contains the same themes, graphics and ideas. It is important that your section is thoroughly edited, informative and persuasive. Presenting your section and discussing at a staff meeting. You and your business partner will discuss the decisions that you made with regard to the design, content and layout of the page during the meeting. You will have to seek feedback from other staff members and ask questions. It is important that you justify to other staff why you feel the content of your page must be included in order to reach our desired goal.
Standards associated with exit criteria – English Communication (2004) • Table 3: Very High Achievement • Knowledge of contextual factors • The student has demonstrated knowledge of the • ways that meanings in texts are shaped by purpose, cultural context and social situation by: • Knowledge of textual features • The student has demonstrated knowledge of the appropriateness of textual features for purposes and audiences by: • Knowledge and understanding of texts • The student has demonstrated knowledge of • how texts are interpreted and constructed by: • consistently using patterns and conventions of genres to achieve particular purposes • selecting and synthesising relevant subject matter • explaining information ideas and arguments with analysis and evaluation • substantiating opinions with relevant evidence • controlling appropriate roles and relationships • selecting and integrating modes and media, where appropriate. • consistently sequencing and organising subject matter • consistently using cohesive ties to link ideas • using a range of suitable vocabulary • controlling most clause and sentence structures • maintaining control of paragraphing and most punctuation • controlling conventional spelling • controlling visual (graphic still and moving images), auditory (music, silence and sound effects) and / or digital (graphic design elements) features to make meaning in layout or presentation of texts • controlling spoken / signed and nonverbal features that contribute to meaning: • pronunciation, audibility and clarity,pace, volume, phrasingand pausing for emphasis • facial expression, stance, movement, gestures, proximity. • explaining or purposefully shaping representations of people, places, events and concepts in texts • explaining or effectively using cultural assumptions, attitudes, values and beliefs in texts • explainingways readers, listeners and viewers take up positions in relation to texts • making language choices to invite readers, listeners and viewers to take up positions in relation to texts.
Taking Time to Evaluate Were we succeeding? Was our culminating activity, the trade fair presentation on schedule? The power of metacognition!
The Trade Fair The trade fair displays were remarkable. Everyone had used various multimedia, clever marketing skills, striking artwork and product confidence to showcase the business in a professional context. Each group gave a 20 minute trade fair presentation and I was impressed by how well organized and polished these presentations were.
Meeting our Objectives…and More! • The WIKI had worked wonders. It’s purpose and design was flexible enough that our students were able to use it as a tool maximize the benefits of working collaboratively with others. • There seemed to be greater sense of unity within the groups - they were having fun together, playing together, using electronic texts which their generation know and love. In their eyes, they weren’t learning how to work together in a business, they were just simply working together in their business.
So What’s Next For Our WIKI Page? The great thing to realize is that your WIKI can be adapted to your learning environment. Last semester it served as a communication tool for building a business……. This semester, students will again login in the roles of film and TV industry executives, using our WIKI as a communication tool as they plan, write, film, produce and edit a documentary about a Year 11 class who built a Juice Empire…..
Director of Sproose Joose. Miss Rebecca O’Grady (B.Ed Primary/Middle School USQ) Concordia Lutheran College Australia