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University of Wollongong <a href=Research Online Emerging Technologies Conference 2008 Faculty of Social Sciences 2008 Using technology to motivate student learning R. Handley University of Wollongong , rayh@uow.edu.au Publication Details This conference paper was originally published as Handley, R, Using technology to motivate student learning, Proceedings of the Emerging Technologies Conference, University of Wollongong, 18-21 June 2008. Research Online is the open access institutional repository for the University of Wollongong. For further information contact the UOW Library: research-pubs@uow.edu.au " id="pdf-obj-0-2" src="pdf-obj-0-2.jpg">

University of Wollongong

2008

Using technology to motivate student learning

R. Handley

University of Wollongong, rayh@uow.edu.au

Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Handley, R, Using technology to motivate student learning, Proceedings of the Emerging Technologies Conference, University of Wollongong, 18-21 June 2008.

Research Online is the open access institutional repository for the University of Wollongong. For further information contact the UOW Library:

research-pubs@uow.edu.au

Using technology to motivate student learning

Abstract

The motivation of students to effectively learn and complete their secondary education is a key priority for education systems. This paper explores ways in which technology can be used to enhance this motivation, particularly for those students who experience the greatest risk of failing to finish their education. A design- based research approach, with a case study and action research methodologies will be used to explore the problem. Using authentic learning tasks as a framework, a variety of technology based learning tools will be introduced to the students. Through the observation of the process, interviews and an analysis of student work and attitudes, changes in motivation will be recorded. As a result of this research, information will be gathered on the ways in which motivation is affected by the choice and methods by which technology is used within schools. From this information, further models can be developed that ensure schools have the strategies and the means to reengage those students who, through a lack of motivation, are failing to meet their full learning potential.

Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Handley, R, Using technology to motivate student learning, Proceedings of the Emerging Technologies Conference, University of Wollongong, 18-21 June 2008.

U s i n g t e c h n o l o g y t

U s i n g t e c h n o l o g y t o m o t i v a t e s t u d e n t l e a r n i n g

R a y H a n d l e y

U

n i v e r s i t y o f W o l l o n g o n g

Abst ra ct:

The mot iva tion of studen ts to ef fe ct iv el y learn and compl et e the ir secondary educa tion is a k ey priori ty for educa tion sys te ms. This paper e xplor es way s in whi ch te chnology can be u sed to enhance this mot iva tion, part icu larl y for those studen ts who expe ri enc e the greate st risk of fai ling to f inish their educat ion. A de sign-based resear ch approach, wi th a case study and a ct ion r esear ch methodologi es wil l b e us ed to explor e the problem . Us ing authent ic l earning tasks as a frame wor k, a var ie ty of t echnology based l earning tools wi ll be introduc ed to th e s tudents. Through the obs erva tion o f the process , int erv ie ws and an analysis of s tudent wor k and att itudes , changes in mo ti vat ion wi l l be re corded. A s a r esu lt of this resear ch, in format ion wi ll be gathered on the ways in wh ich moti vat ion is af fe ct ed by th e choic e and methods by whi ch t echnolog y is us ed wi thin schools. From th is informa tion, fur ther mode ls can be deve loped that ensur e s chools ha ve the stra teg ies and th e m eans to reengage those s tudents who, through a lac k o f mo ti vat ion, ar e fai ling to m ee t the ir ful l learn ing potent ial .

I n t r o d u c t i o

n

Increasing the l evel of student ach i ev em ent has b een a major focus of s chool syst ems in m any countri es as pa rt of a g eneral m ovemen t in educational re form . Equally i mport ant is the n eed to en sure that the one third of students who are not co mpl eting s eco ndary s chool in Australi a, the US A, UK and Europ e a re reen gag ed into the l earn ing process. Th e cons equ ences o f f ailing to address the issue of student ret ention have b een st at ed for some time . Braun (1993) estimat ed that the costs to soci ety of students failing to compl et e s eco ndary s chool we re $100 billion each ye ar.

The Business Council of Austr ali a has reco gnis ed this t ren d in the Australi an com munity. Lah ey (2003) sum maris es:

Thos e young p eopl e who l eav e s chool ea rly and do not pursue other for ms of educ ation and trai ning or find sust ainabl e employment will fac e a life char act eris ed by une mployment and poor living st andard s. Ho wev er, there ar e flo w on e ffec ts beyond the individual. The broad er com munity pays through hi gher welf are costs, higher he alth costs, higher crim e r at es and other soci al impacts. Business f ac es l abour and skills short ages. (p . 14)

In order to meet thes e ch all enges a change in par adigm is need ed to meet the de mands o f a post industri alis ed soci ety. ( Bra un 1993)

Such a shift in educ ational thinking req uires a sound ba ckground in res ear ch. This paper des cri bes a res e arch direction that supports this change by looking at the ext ent the motivation of stude nts can be influenced by the us e of the t e chnology l earn ing tools delivered within a student cen t e red cl assroom environm ent. In looking a t the motivation and changes in attitude of students r ather th an

improvem ents in l earn ing out co mes the res ear ch addr es s es the concern s rais ed in the rep ort – One Third of a Nation: Raising Dropout Rat es and Declining Opportuniti es (B art on, 2 005), whi ch

st at ed: ‘For the past t wo d ecad es, the agend a of s chool

refo r m has

been to imp rove the quality of s chools and rais e the l ev els of student ach i eve ment. Th e t ask no w is to broad en this ef fort to e ncompass s chool compl etion as well as higher a chi evem ent.’ (p. 6 )

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T h e b a c k g r o u n d t o t h e s t u d y

Following t wenty ye ars of expe ri ence in working with programs to engage adol es cen ts who risk ‘dropping out’ or ‘failure ’ within the s eco ndary s chool syst e ms, this r es ear cher has wo rked i n a r ange o f educational s ettings. Throughout this experi enc e, the q uestion has continued to be explored – ‘ What e ffe ctive strat egi es ca n be us ed to enabl e dis engaged students to fulfil their pot enti al by b ecoming s elf motivat ed l earn ers and productive citi zen s in their soci ety?

The need for res e arch to addr ess this issue is evident fr om the continuing concern over the nu mber of students f ailing to finish their s eco ndary s chool. Aft er making som e inroads during the peri ods of high unemployment and conc entrat ed gov ernm ent fund ing in the 1980s, rat es o f r et ention in both the US A and Australi a have de clined. In the Europe an Union ( EU) com munity conce rn over the l ack o f improvem ent in r et ention rat es has prompt ed the est ablishment of benchma rks to mark signifi can t improve ments up to the yea r 2010. Ove rall, countri es within the EU in 2004 aver aged 76 % of 22 y ear olds who had co mpl et ed s e condary s chooling. By 2010 the EU h as s et the bench mark at 85 %. ( Com mission of Europe an Com muniti es, 2005, p. 45)

With a gro wing a ccep t an ce that further de mands of industry req uire a workfo rce with a sound und erst anding of continuing l earn ing process es, this tren d is conc ern ing.

In this s etting exploring how student ret ention can be i mproved through increasing the motivation and engag em ent of st udents in the l earn ing environm ent beco mes an i mport ant focus for e ducat ors. Whil e so me countri es such as the UK hav e adopt ed stra t egi es such as making pay ments ( EM A or Educ ation M aint enance Allowan ce) to students who st ay on ( with som e succ ess), this paper in vestigat es strat egi es that address the intrinsi c curiosity and l e arn ing need s of the student. Th es e strat egi es will res ult in a long-t erm ability to l earn – a key co mponent of educational pl ans fo r institutions s eek ing to guide education through the 21 st cen tury .

T h e p r o b l e m o r p u r p o s e o f t h e s t u d y

The prim ary purpos e of the res ear ch det ail ed in this paper is the investigation of ways in whi ch t ech nology bas ed, stude nt cen tred l earn ing tools can be designed and impl e ment ed to incr eas e the engagem ent of students pr es ently showing a l a ck of mo tivation and parti cipation in l earn ing. Whil e specifi cally t a rgeting thos e students failing within their pr es ent cl assroo m s ettings, the res e a rch will have broad impli cations for all students.

Issues with students failing to rea ch their full pot enti al concern paren ts, s chools and s chool syst ems, r esulting in the ad option of a vari ety of approach es whi ch s eek to i mprove the educ at ional parti cipation and l earn ing out co mes for thes e students. Exa mpl es of thes e approa ches include a focus on b asi c skills, st anda rdis ed perfo r manc e t esting, voc ational progra ms, modifi cation s in curri culum , alt ern ative s chools, spe ci alis ed progra ms a nd re medi ation programs

The mod els us ed

for developing alt ern ative approa ches have b een

compreh ensively res e arch ed and evaluat ed to provide a n ext ensive

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outline of the key components. Thes e evaluations us e a number o f param et ers to m eas ure success and f ailure for alt ern ative progra ms including:

Att endanc e r at es

Ret ention and/or dropout r at es

Tru ancy

Nu mber and s ev erity of b ehaviour probl e ms

Compl etion of high s chool progra m

Self est ee m, s elf con cep t, locus of control ratings

Parti cipation in the com munity and workfo rce aft e r s ch ool

Handl ey (2002) compa res the work o f Morl ey, (1991) , Barr and Parr ett, (2001) , Ray wid, (1994) and Aronson, (1995) to summ aris e thes e co mponents. F rom thes e studi es s ev eral char act er isti cs can be identifi ed that are co mponents of suc cessful alt ern ative education programs . The cha ract e risti cs most consist ently rep ort e d were:

Caring and de manding t ea chers. B arr and Par rett (2001 ) identify this charact e risti c as the most po we rfu l co mpo nent in effe ctive progra ms for at-risk students.

Choi ce and co mmit ment. In many suc cessful progr ams both students and t each e rs chos e to parti cipat e (R ay wid 199 4, B arr and Pa rrett 2001)

Compr ehensive and continuing programs . Short-t er m o r int ensive programs s eldom assist students who a re unsuccessful in m ainstrea m s chools. Students benefit fr om long t erm p rogra ms that fo cus on the developm ent of th e whol e p ers on, and their ac ade mi c, so ci al, b ehavioural, f amily and health ne eds ( Bar r and Pa rrett, 2001)

Small p rogra m si ze is need ed to provide the fl exibility, individuality and positive int eractions import ant for suc cess ( Wehl age 1983, J a cobs, 1994)

Whil e thes e attribut es apply more specifi c ally to the s et ting of programs designed as alt ern atives fo r dis engaged students there is also evidence that the way cont ent is pr es ent ed within thes e s ettings can also be a signifi can t fa ctor. In their rev i e w of p rogra ms to address the need s of at-risk students Rossi and Montgom ery (1994) not e ‘Tech nology is " empo weri ng and motivating," a s elf- p aced and ev er- pati ent tutor that provides im medi at e feed b ack ; it en abl es students to creat e high-quality products of whi ch they c an be prou d; it helps trai n

them fo r a t ech nology-ri ch wo rkpl ace; it can b e deploy ed to cr eat e more fl exibl e l ea rning environm ents that ac com modat e students who

l earn in diff eren t ways

. . .

’ ( chap. 8e, par a. 15).

By using the adv anced tools that t ech nology affo rds for the delivery o f l earn ing, the constrai nts felt by s chools h ave a mean s f or being overcom e. The purpos e of the study outlined in this paper is to analys e the way in whi ch thes e tools c an be ef fectively us ed to creat e the student l earn ing environment outlined in the st at em ent above.

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T h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e s t u d y

This study brings together t wo import ant issues – the n eed to i mprove the motivation and r et ention of students in full s eco nd a ry education, and the issue of cr eating the most ef fective m ean s by w hi ch t ech nology can be us ed to support a ped agogi cal dire ction that both s eek s to improv e l ea rning out comes and address the issue of student ret ention. F rom this study a fr am e work will be confir m ed and a model developed that provides a pr acti cal me ans by whi ch the res e arch findings can be i mpl em ent ed into future cl assroo ms.

Schools, t ea chers , students and p aren ts will directly b e nefit as this model provides an a ccessibl e and af fordabl e alt ern ative l earn ing approach to us e with students failing within the s chool syst em. Indirectly, the b roader co mmunity ben efits fro m incr ea s ed productivity and a red u ction in the soci al costs associ at ed with students failing to compl et e a full s e condary education.

D e f i n i n g t h e u n m o t i v a t e d s t u d e n t

Within the purpos e of the res ear ch it is nec ess ary to def ine the students for whi ch the res e arch is direct ed . Many t erms have b een us ed to des cri be students who show a l ack of willingness to positively parti cipat e in s chool. Th e distinctions betwe en thes e de s cri ptions are oft en uncl ear and confusing. Som e co m mon des c riptors are alt ern ative, dropouts, at risk, unmotivat ed, behaviour di sordered , dis engaged, under ach i eving, non- acad emi c and students with spe ci al need s. Whil e ea ch t er m car ri es c ert ain emphas es in t er ms of the soci al, acad e mi c and beh avioural develop ment of the individual they c an be us ed to defi ne a com mon group of students for whom s chool is neither an enjoyabl e nor productive experi enc e. This group will be re fer red to in this study as dis engaged students.

For the purpos e of this res e arch the over riding defi nition will be the exist ence of a signifi can t dif feren ce bet ween the pot ent i al of a student to l earn and the pe rfo r manc e of that student in their l e ar ning. This defi nition allows for ac ade mi c, soci al and kinaestheti c skills to be considered , and is inclusive of ea ch of the c at egori es ou tlined above.

R e s e a r c h Q u e s t i o n s

The res e arch questions that will direct the focus of the s tudy are:

To wh at ext ent do co mput er-bas ed l earn ing tools motivat e the l earn ing of students with a history of dis engage ment fr om for mal education?

Wh at co mponents and inher ent advant ag es of comput e r bas ed l earn ing tools res ult in an inc reas ed motivation and p art i cipation of students in the compl etion of l earn ing a ctiviti es ?

M e t h o d o l o g y

The m ethodology for the study involves the d evelopme nt of an Action Res ea rch Model and s ev eral Cas e Studi es as well as the quantit ative coll ection of dat a profiling the parti cipants, their ba ckgrounds and attitudinal changes over tim e.

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Obs erv ations, fi eld not es, student s elf ratings, student p ortfolios and int erv i ews will provide the c entral tools in the gathe ring of information for int erp ret ation with the us e of cont ent an alysis.

Const ant comp arison and cont ent analysis m ethods will be employed to est ablish connections between the diffe ren t co mpone nts of this study such as motivational styl e, read iness to change , c hoi ce of t ech nology l earn ing tools and t ask pe rfo r manc e.

R e s e a r c h D e s i g n

Sever al st ages are pl anned within the d esign-bas ed r es e arch approach .

S t a g e

1 :

A n a l y s i s

o f

p r a c t i c a l

p r o b l e m s b y

r e s e a r c h e r s

a n d

p r a c t i t i o n e r s

For students at risk of f ailing to compl et e s eco nda ry s c hool, a l e arn ing experi ence that stimul at es, motivat es and r e-ignit es an i nt erest in l earn ing is req uired . The us e o f t e chnology bas ed l ea rning tools, managed within a situat ed l e arn ing fr am e work, is rep or t ed in the lit erat ure to provide the conditions for this to occu r. To assist in the manage ment of thes e conditions att ention need s to be g iven to both the qualiti es and cha ract e risti cs of the tools, and the cha ract eristi cs and ori ent ation of the students. It is the purpos e of this design bas ed res ear ch to address thes e fa ctors so that a l ea rning mod el can be developed that bett er underst ands the int eraction bet we en the motivation of dis engaged students and the us e of t e chnology bas ed l earn ing tools.

S t a g

e

2 :

D e v e l o p m e n t

o f s o l u t i o n s w i t h

a

t h e o r e t i c a l

f r a m e w o r k

 
  • 1. Dev elop of a s et of principl es and l ea rning environm ent design principl es that incorporat e a theor eti cal underst anding o f situat ed l earn ing, motivation and st age b as ed ch ange.

  • 2. Dev elop t wo authenti c l e arn ing t asks to be us ed within a situat ed l earn ing environm ent. Ea ch t ask will consist of an issue and a chall enge to be addr ess ed, and r equire approximat ely si x week s of time to co mpl et e using s eve ral pe riods per week .

  • 3. Sel ect the t ech nology l ea rning tools to be us ed in the co mpl etion of the authenti c l earn ing t asks. Thes e tools or pack ages will include the following components:

Pres ent ation tools such as desktop publishing, Po wer Po int or web design appli cations such as F rontPage , Go Live an d Dr ea m weav er

Hype rm edi a and hypert ext using multim edi a authoring appli cations and appli cations such as Po we rpoint, Hype rstudio and Mi c rosoft Word

Video and sound editing appli cation such as iMovi e , Windo ws Movi em aker , Photo 3 and Qui ck Time . Digit a l video will also be utilis ed using DV ca mer a.

Anim ation and gr aphi cs appli cations such as Macro me di a

Fl ash and Po wer Point, Res ea rch using s e arch engines such as Googl e and webquests.

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S t a g

e

3 :

E v a l u a t i o n

a n d

t e s t i n g

o f

s o l u t i o n s i n

p r a c t i c e

 

The l earn ing environment d eveloped in St age 2 will be impl emen t ed and evaluat ed with students in St age 3 of the r es ear ch.

Data coll e ction

  • 1. The S ampl e group will be t arg et ed and ba ckground inf ormation coll ect ed fro m student r eports, att endance re cords and dis cipline reco rds.

  • 2. Int erv i e ws will be conduct ed with students prior to p art i cipation and at the end of e ach of the t wo t er ms. Th es e int erv i e ws will involve open questions in a dis cussion of the students’ vi ews on s chool, education and thoughts of the futur e. Both digit al t ape and video c am era will be us ed to cap ture a re cord of thes e int erv i ews.

  • 3. Obs erv ations and re cord she ets will be us ed ea ch week to reco rd progress. Fi eld not es will be us ed to gathe r qualit ative information on student parti cipation and attitudinal changes refl ect ed in behavioural changes . Video ca mer a d at a wi ll be coll ect ed to docu ment the occu r ren c e and quality of col l aboration betwe en students during the compl etion of the authenti c t ask.

  • 4. As wo rk is dev eloped a digit al portfolio will be us ed as the mean s for both storing work and maint aining a reco rd o f work quality over time .

  • 5. Inform ation will be coll ect ed fro m t e ach ers pres ently working with the t a rget group in m ainstream s ettings using rating s cal es to det ermine the l evel of motivation shown by students to l earn ing both prior and cons equ ent to the study.

Parti cipants

To enabl e an Action Res e arch m ethod a s eco ndary s ch ool s etting will be us ed. The s chool s etting will also f acilit at e the coll aboration necess ary to authenti cat e thes e methods and p rovide a s ource of obs erv ations and re fl ections fro m students and t each e rs . The parti cipant group will consist of t en students alr ead y t a r get ed by the Welfar e and Dis cipline Co mmitt ee of the s chool. Stude nts are ref erred to the com mitt ee following the coll ection of infor matio n from vari ous sources such as par ent conc ern s, suspensions, dis cipline slips, fa culty progress slips, couns ellor r efe rrals, HS LO re ferr als and l earn ing support t eam ref err al. Following a re fer ral f rom this co mmitt ee , students and paren ts will be inform ed of the natur e of this study and formal cons ent as specifi ed by the NS W Depa rtment o f Edu cation and Tr aining will be ar ran ged b efo re the com men ce ment of the res ear ch.

Data Anal ysis

To analys e changes in the engag em ent of students a tri a ngul ation of evidence will be us ed. Co mparisons will be investigat e d in the dat a from the cont ent analysis of int erv i e ws, the qualit ative i nformation gathered f rom students rating s cal es and fi eld obs erv ati ons, and the evidence of student work p res ent ed in the student portf olios.

QSR NVivo or an equival ent p rogra m will assist in the cont ent analysis of tran s cri pts f rom the int erv i e ws conduct ed b efo re and during the study and in the corr el ation of tri angul at ed d at a. Th e design

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of this Cont ent Analysis will be cen tred on the principl es des cri bed by Viney (1988), Gl es er , Winget & Seligm an (1979) and Pet ers en &Seligm an (1984) and will us e crit eri a fro m the Model of St age Bas ed Change outlined by P rochaska , Nor cro ss and Di cl emen t e (1994). To further assist in the proc essing of this dat a, c onst ant comparison methods as developed by Gl as er and Strau s s (1967) will also be e mployed to group and concep tually l abel infor mation reco rded in student int erv i e ws.

From the t wo authenti c l earn ing t asks given to students dat a will be coll ect ed through the rev i e w o f work submitt ed in digit al portfolios. The crit eri a for this rev i e w will include:

Lev el of Co mpl etion

Does the proj e ct ans we r the qu estion or solve the p robl em outlined?

Using a five point r ating s cal e:

 

Ho w does the l earn e r r at e the quality of their wo rk on t his t ask?

Ho w does the l earn e r r at e their s atisfaction in doing the t ask?

Student portfolios through print and el e ctroni c medi a will be us ed to provide evidenc e of work compl et ed.

S t a g e d e s i g n

D o c u m e n t a t i o n p r i n c i p l e s

4 :

a n d

r e f l e c t i o n

t o

p r o d u c e

Following the analysis of this dat a a matrix will be est a blished that provides a guideline to the changes in motivation that c an occu r with students using t ech nology bas ed l earn ing tools. This m atrix will consider both the l ea rning ori ent ation of the students an d the types of tools that provide the most effe ctive r espons e in motivation.

As a r esult of this m atrix l ea rning models can b e est abli shed that enabl e a m ass customis ation of stimul ating l earn ing ap proach es suit abl e for us e in any cl assrooms and espe ci ally eff ecti ve with students for whom most l e arn ing expe ri ences produce a minimal res pons e.

Given the cha ract e risti cs of the s ampl e group – unmotivat ed adol es cen ts, the coll ection of honest, genuine d at a is oft en diffi cult. The us e of tri angul at ed dat a coll ection involving obj ective dat a such as att endanc e r eco rds, indirect dat a coll ection methods through the cont ent analysis of s e mi structured int erv i e w convers ati ons, and work portfolios provide some me ans of addressing this limit a tion.

Other limit ations include issues arising fro m the int erac tion of the res ear cher with the subj ect. Sinc e many o f the students involved have had rep e at ed ‘s essions’ with t each e rs, couns ellors, psyc hologists and medi cal p ractitioners, they can develop a neg ativity that res ults in guard ed or def ensive res pons es. The contribution that this defen siveness or rel uct an ce mak es to the authenti city of the dat a must be considered as p art of the int erp r et ation of the d at a.

Student parti cipation, whil e volunt ary , must also give s ome longitudinal el emen t to this study. Dat a must be abl e to show mor e than just a novelty ef fect fro m an initi al involvemen t in a n e w and int eresting program . A l ack o f co m mitment to continue with the study can be us ed as a gener al indi cat or of continuing dis engagem ent.

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Much o f the lit er ature addressing dropout rat es , s chool failure and ‘dis advant age’ look at the f act ors b eyond the student an d the s chool. Socio-eco no mi c conditions, raci al b ack ground, fa mily chara ct eristi cs, mobility and health st atus ar e s e en as indi cat ors of a pr edisposition for failure. Ho wever , for the purpos e of this study thes e f ac tors will be ack no wl edged but not included in the dis cussion. The e mphasis of this study remai ns with identifying ho w student motivation and engagem ent c an improv e with the us e of t ech nology ba s ed l earn ing tools pres ent ed within an authenti c l e arn ing t ask.

E x p e c t e d o u t c o m e s

The m ajor out co me o f the res e arch will be a bett er underst anding of how the us e o f edu cational t ech nology tools aff ects the attitudes and motivation of students to l earn ing. In br eak ing do wn th e fa ctors that contribut e to this affe ct t ea chers and educ ational pl anne rs can direct a specifi c fo cus on the p rovision of res our ces, the trai nin g of t ea chers and the design of progra ms that utilis e the mor e e ffe ctive us e of comput ers in the cl assroo m s etting.

As education syst ems look to incre as e the cont ent to be cover ed, change the way t each e rs pr es ent this cont ent and addres s the issue of maint aining or incr easing ret ention r at es due to the incr easing deman ds in the workpl ac e fo r l e arn ing-comp et ent m em bers; the fo cus on attitudinal change beco mes a signifi can t investigative ar ea .

Factors that appea r signifi can t in a chi eving this attitudinal change and whi ch will be validat ed through this study cove r both t he chara ct eristi cs of the t each ing approach es us ed to d eliver the educational t ech nology and the types of tools us ed.

T e a c h i n g a p p r o a c h e s

J ane Hunt er (2007) des cri bes a numb er o f ch anges in th e

way t each ers

int eract with students in the cl assroo m as t ech nology is utilis ed. Thes e

include more e mphasis on coll aborative appro ach es b etwe en t e ach ers and students, the us e of s mall group activiti es and the r ot ation of group through differ ent activiti es, a focus on pers onalis ed or independent approach es to student l ea rning and the us e of int er- cl assroom l e arn ing through video con fer encing links.

For students with low motivation and oft en de fi cit in ag e rel at ed acad e mi c skills the us e of proj ect o ri ent ed t asks that us e a cl ea r, multimedi a exampl e of the finished product and a fl exi bl e, cr eative way in whi ch to p roduce this product can res ult in incr e as ed parti cipation and eng age ment. This can b e a chi eved us ing rel atively inexpensive t ech nology tools such as a co mput er with Mi cro soft Powerp oint, a dat a proj ect or and int ern et ac cess. When students can visualis e the out come and f eel compet ent in m anaging t he tools to reach this out come they a ctively s eek out the skills nee ded to fullfil the t ask. Rather than being pushed to l earn students are pull ed into l earn by the desire to re ach the final multimedi a-styl e p roduct. Along the way they int eract with the cont ent of the pr es ent ation and us e higher l evel thinking skills in the int erp ret ation and syn thesis of information.

For students with a poor r eco rd o f work co mpl etion an d acad emi c success the t asks p res ent ed also req uir e c are ful s caf folding. By ‘cl unking’ the t ask into s ever al short er and mor e manag eab l e a ctiviti es

E M E R G I N G

T E C H N O L O G I E S

C O N F E R E N C E :

S u p p o r t i n g

a

l e a r n i n g

c o m m u n i t y

students can ach i ev e short t e rm res ults and are not over whel med by the possibility of l earn ing too many n e w skills. The rep orting of student success is also ch anged as the product of l e arn i ng can st and it’s own g round as a r eco rd of effo rt and exp ertis e. As s tudents demonstrat e the work compl et ed through the pr es ent ation of their

multimedi a pr es ent ations and exp eri ence the st aff their effo rts are rei nfo rced .

feed b ack f rom p eers and

E f f e c t i v e t o o l s o f e d u c a t i o n a l t e c h n

o l o g y

In t er ms of the type o f tools that can be us ed to produc e a change in the motivation of students an i mport ant bal an ce need s t o be a chi eved betwe en the s cope o f the tool to provide multipl e av enues of int er est for the student such as animation, us e of t ext/video/image/sound, int eraction with the int ern et, ac cess to multipl e l ayers a nd fl exibl e s equencing, and the its avail ability and e as e o f us e . Wh il e softwa re programs such as Adobe Fl ash and Photoshop provide a gre at depth and s cope in t erms of wh at c an be ach i ev ed they are l ar gely unavail abl e to students in s chools due to their pri ce and hard wa re req uirem ents. They ar e also dif fi cult to us e with studen ts and t each ers

who h ave

a va ri ed co mpet en ce in the us e o f multimedi a software .

Progra ms such as Mi cro soft Po werp oint , Qui cktime, i Movi e and Movi em aker provide r ead ily avail abl e ac cess and gener ally reco gnis abl e tool m enus for students to explore. As int e ractive whit eboard s b eco me inc reasingly avail abl e ability for t each e rs to demonstrat e and int era ct with t ech nology tools in the cl assroom will increas e the speed at whi ch ne w skills are l e arn ed and i ncreas e the sophisti cation of the multimedi a produ cts cr eat ed by students in res pons e to their s et t asks.

As thes e ch anges a re ach i eved educ ational practi ce will dra w clos er to the educational philosophy of the p res ent tim e that arti c ul at es a fo cus on lifel ong l earn ing, indep endent thinking, quality t eac hing and an ability to reco gnis e, underst and and adapt to the changi ng soci ety in whi ch we live .

To assist thes e changes a model will be gen erat ed for the design and impl emen t ation of progra ms that h ave the pot enti al to p roduce the highest l evel of eng agem ent for students. Students will more willingly become s elf direct ed in their l e arn ing and t e ach e rs will be abl e to

move a way fro m the

po wer struggl es that char act eris e s chool

cl assrooms and beco me mor e supportive guides and f ac ilit ators for l earn ers. This model will also provide an innovative ap proach by whi ch the goals fo r the introduction of IC T a cro ss the s chool curri culum can be eff ectively ach i ev ed.

The final out co me is that a g roup of students who wer e prev iously at risk of failure in the s chool develop the motivation and skills to

become s elf direct ed , cognitively active and pe rfo r man ce

enh anced

students with a g reat e r ch ance to beco me res ponsibl e a nd successful me mbers o f the wider com munity. Whil e p res ently m a ny models fo r working with at- risk students are bas ed on behaviourist man age ment principl es and re medi ation as the fo cus of l earn ing, the model developed fro m this r es ear ch pr es ents a constructivist manage ment approach with a fo cus of l earn ing on higher orde r thinking skills. This provides a r ealisti c alt ern ative for thos e students pres en t unabl e to access education be cau s e of their inability to fit the beh aviourist model.

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E M E R G I N G

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