TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

BLOG STAGE 2

Methodology

Interventions

Results

Analysis

Recommendations

Reflection

Peer Feedback (Blog Stage 1)

Transformative Window "Information literacy is a range of information practices used to transform oneself and society."  Lupton and Bruce 2010 p 14

Transformative Window
“Information literacy is a range of information practices used to transform oneself and society.”
Lupton and Bruce 2010 p 14
retrieved Chapter 1 : Windows on Information Literacy Worlds : Generic, Situated and Transformative Perspectives.Course Materials Database CLN650

Reflection

CURRENT POSITION 

PERSONAL REFLECTION ON INQUIRY LEARNING

I’m looking out Lupton and Bruce‘s (2010) transformative window and am excited by the view. Murdoch (September, 2013) suggests the wheel might actually need to be reinvented and I’ve started the drawings. There are so many new learnings and understandings for me. My class is looking forward to their upcoming passion project (Murdoch, August, 2013 ).

MY QUESTIONS AT SEARCH BEGINNINGS

Questions at the Start of the Search

Questions at the Start of the Search

SOME ANSWERS ALONG THE WAY

Emerging Answers

Emerging Answers

REFLECTION

"Challenge students to find a question as a result of their investigation – a question can be a conclusion! Murdoch, K, 2013 http://justwonderingblog.com

“Challenge students to find a question as a result of their investigation – a question can be a conclusion!
Murdoch, K, 2013 http://justwonderingblog.com

References

Lupton, Mandy and Bruce, Christine, (2010). Chapter 1 : Windows on Information Literacy Worlds : Generic, Situated and Transformative Perspectives. In Lloyd, Annemaree and Talja, Sanna, Practising information literacy : bringing theories of learning, practice and information literacy together, (pp.3 – 27). Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies. retrieved from Course Materials Database CLN650

Murdoch, K. 2013. Reflections on ‘i-time’, August 24. http://justwonderingblog.com

Murdoch, K. 2013. Sometimes we DO have to reinvent the wheel, September 16, 2013.  http://justwonderingblog.com

Recommendations

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

PLAN OF ACTION

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ILA IMPROVEMENT

When implementing the ILA in the future there would need to be several modifications to bring it more in line with constructivist inquiry pedagogy.

PLANNING

The first issue to rectify is time devoted for implementation. This ILA requires six to eight weeks to address the complexities of each stage adequately. Because Term 3 was a relatively longer term in the school year,  I attempted to fit too many tasks into the term. Murdoch (2006, p 34) advises against this and Jones and Dotson (2010, p 40) stress that enough time be allocated for focused engagement on the learning journey. As implemented, the ILA did not allow the time necessary for students to engage in the information seeking process and then to move on to higher-order tasks of analysis, evaluating and creating.

The ILA was planned using the TELSTAR Model of Inquiry (Schultz, 2011).  A planning outline is provided in the ILA page of this blog.  Schultz promotes the need for students to become familiar with the stages of the inquiry cycle so that inquiry becomes a habit of mind. The TELSTAR model as presented by Schultz (2007) lends itself to authentic inquiry learning and investigation of information literacies through the generic, situated and transformative windows outlined by Lupton and Bruce (2010, p. 3-27)

However, I believe the graphic presentation of Murdoch’s model in FIGURE 1 below would be far more appealing for this group of students than the acronym for the TELSTAR model. The two models are not dissimilar and both allow for student interaction with information through all GeST windows (Lupton and Bruce 2010, pp. 12-14).

Source: Murdoch, K. (1998). Classroom Connections: Strategies for integrated learning. Prahran Victoria. Eleanor Curtain Publishing. Poster desgined by John Crawford, www.crawfordesgin.net

FIGURE 1
Inquiry Cycle
retrieved from: http://paws.wcu.edu/ncluke/paperorplastic/

Wilson and Wing (2003 in Wilson and Murdoch n.d.) provide a detailed outline of each stage in Murdoch’s Inquiry Cycle (see FIGURE 2 below). To ensure students and I are both using the same inquiry terminology, I would use this model for further development of the ILA.

Wilson and Wing

FIGURE 2
Inquiry Stages and Purposes
Source: Wilson, J., Wing Jan, L., (2003) retrieved from http://napiercentral.wikispaces.com/Models+of+Inquiry+Learning

Wiggins and McTighe (2005, p. 15) highlight the need for teachers to plan for learning rather than teaching.  In the planning of this ILA I was too focused on ‘covering’ the content. To improve this ILA I would need to establish the ‘big idea’ at the planning stage and incorporate higher-order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation into the demonstration of understandings, skills and values to be developed during the ILA (Murdoch, 2010).  Wiggins and McTighe (p.18) stress the refinement of assessment criteria at this stage.  To have assessment criteria for the demonstration of higher-order thinking more clearly defined at the planning stage would have given greater direction to the implementation of the ILA. The assessment planned for the ILA, i.e. information report and video presentation to demonstrate higher-order thinking skills can still be incorporated into the ILA. Jones and Dotson (2010, p.39) observe that students are motivated when they can incorporate social meanings to their work.  The presentation of videos to the class, School Leadership personnel and school/parent community may help students identify the purpose behind their task, particularly if the focus of the presentation included a message to the audience.  If using Animoto again for this ILA I would pay for a subscription. The students were using my free account, which allowed only 30 seconds of video time. From experience with Animoto in this ILA, the time limit ensured succinctness but limited creativity. To provide further autonomy for students, other ICTs may be suggested, e.g. Prezi, Educreations, iMovie trailer. Of these only Prezi would require upskilling for this group of students.

TUNING IN

Murdoch (2010) stresses the combined foci of this stage: students tune in to the topic and teachers tune in to the students. The ILA as practiced was successful in allowing students to provide opportunities to express current beliefs and understandings and for me as their teacher to identify misconceptions and clarify language (Wilson and Wing, 2003 in Wilson and Murdoch, n.d.).  I would be keen to encourage students’ thinking by asking if they had any ‘wonderings’ about the topic (Murdoch, 2013).

What wonderings do you have after listening to the story about Rosy Dock?

These wonderings may promote a class discussion that could lead students to their own questions for inquiry on the topic. This class includes several students who would engage enthusiastically and creatively in this process and stimulate their peers’ questioning.  In this way the ILA’s foundations would be based on more constructivist grounds.

McKenzie  (2005, p. 25) suggests teachers develop at least five essential questions for students to work with in the formulation of their own questions. Schultz (2006, p 15) proposes the use of ‘ else’ questions to maintain the focus on the ‘big essential’ question. Organising a visit from a guest speaker or incorporating an excursion at this stage may go toward bringing the topic into the students’ worlds and increasing students’ personal connections to the topic (Ward, 2006, pp 396-397).  As this ILA integrated SOSE as well as History curricula, such community involvement may enhance student connection through citizenship concepts (Murdoch, 2006 p. 11, Calliston, 2006 p. 11). One suggestion for community integration is involvement in Downfall Creek Bushland Centre education activities.

I realise that I am only at the start of my search for generative open-ended questions, but list of potential questions is provided:

          • Do you think Year 5 students need to learn about species that were introduced more than 200 years ago?  Explain.
          • Who needs to know about introduced pests in Australia? Why?
          • What can pet owners learn from the study of introduced animals? (e.g. ‘Cats’: survey school students / teachers, seek opinions from guest speakers with opinions from different perspectives)
          • The early settlers should have learned to use only the animals and plants that were indigenous to Australia. Do you agree?
          • We study history to learn from the mistakes of our predecessors. Do you agree with this statement in light of what you have discovered about your chosen animal?
          • You are a time traveller. How will you let early settlers know you can understand their perspective for the introduction of animals/plants? Can you create a short video that helps them understand your perspective about introduced animals/plants. Do you have a message for them?
          • What is most important: that immigrants to a new country feel safe and comfortable by bringing with them the species they know how to farm and have as pets or that Australia’s environment be protected? Create a persuasive response.
          • Do you agree that (your chosen pest) needs to be controlled? Do you agree with the control methods taken by authorities? What would be your solution to this problem? (This topic may be more suited to more independent learners.)
          • How can pest species be a danger/problem to you?  How can a pest species be a problem for our school?  (pigeons at school, interview with groundsman, survey students, control methods: humane? ‘soft’ humane solutions)
          • Introduced species: So what?

Some of these questions may ignite students’ own questions to guide the direction of their personal investigations.

Students need to be given time to become immersed in the research process. At this stage students can begin to record their feelings about their learning journey in a simple journal format. Kuhlthau et al (2007, p. 119) notes the advantages of students keeping a learning journal or chart to provide evidence of learnings throughout the ILA.  A template for students to download and complete is provided below (FIGURE 3). Based on Murdoch’s Inquiry Cycle, note the emphasis on reflection throughout the learning journey.  I would anticipate that students in this group would commit to the journalling process if it was kept relatively simple.

FIGURE 3 My Inquiry Journey based on Murdoch (2010) Integrated Inquiry Planning Model source: http://www.kathmurdoch.com.au/uploads/media/murdochmodelforinquiry2010.pdf

FIGURE 3
My Inquiry Journey
based on Murdoch (2010) Integrated Inquiry Planning Model
source: http://www.kathmurdoch.com.au/uploads/media/murdochmodelforinquiry2010.pdf

FINDING OUT

An area for improvement of the ILA involves students’  gathering of data from multiple perspectives. Information encountered by students for this particular topic, introduced species, did not generally illustrate a variety of viewpoints. To remedy this I would need to devote more time to examining the perspectives of early settlers and their reasons for the introduction of species (ACARA). Calliston (2006, p.13) notes that ideal inquiry involves student interaction with multiple sources of information and perspectives. To incorporate various points of view students could be engaged in role-plays, surveys, interviews, videos and excursions (Murdoch, 2010). Examination of topics could occur using De Bono’s Hats technique.  Using information in this way brings it into the Situated window as described by Lupton and Bruce (2010, p.13) This stage is an opportunity to address issues revealed through SLIM questionnaires competed, e.g.

“I don’t know if the answer is true or false. If we are in groups and people are in front or behind or if they are not the right thing (sic). Or have a different answer to someone else so I don’t know if my answer is correct or wrong.”

This student’s response lends itself to a discussion of the nature of inquiry and an awareness that the teacher is not wanting a regurgitated answer.  Calliston (2006, p.10) suggests inquiry requires that there be no one correct answer. To reinforce the questioning disposition of students, students can be reminded of the Habits of Mind or variations of these thinking dispositions as presented in Knodt (2009, p. 4).

This stage also lends itself to integration with the English curriculum to deepen understandings and generate more questions. See FIGURE 5 for suggested Behind The News clips and literature suitable for this Year 5 class.  Some of these resources could also have been used in the Tuning In stage to further engage students’ interest and questions.

Introduced Species thinglink

FIGURE 5
Introduced Species thinglink
created with http://www.thinglink.com

SORTING OUT

To immerse students in the culture of inquiry,  opportunities need to be provided for student reflection on their emotions and progress through the Inquiry Cycle. In this Sorting Out stage students record any changes in their thinking.

My Inquiry Journey

FIGURE 3
My Inquiry Journey
based on Murdoch (2010) Integrated Inquiry Planning Model
source: http://www.kathmurdoch.com.au/uploads/media/murdochmodelforinquiry2010.pdf

Other ICTs which may have been useful for incorporation in this stage of the ILA include:

GOING FURTHER

This stage could be used to foster differentiation within the ILA. Students who have a desire to explore further issues or those who would benefit from a challenge could have been catered for here.  Some of the questions proposed earlier in the Tuning In stage could now be addressed in mini-inquires (Murdoch, 2010).  The AnimotoPreziEducreationsiMovie presentations can be used to demonstrate higher-order thinking skills in this stage.

REFLECTION / ACTION

The final questionnaire from the SLIM toolkit is administered in this stage to allow students to reflect on their learning.  Students again reflect about their inquiry process, the emotions they have experienced and changes in thinking. This stage leads on to the students considering the transfer of learnings into their ‘real’ worlds (Murdoch, 2010). Students may present their findings to audiences, particularly those who might have connection with the topic.  (issues of pet ownership to other students within the school, issues of school pest problem to Leadership personnel).  The incorporation of community action in this stage brings the use of information into the transformative perspective presented by Lupton and Bruce (2010, p.14).

To conclude the ILA and reinforce the disposition of questioning, students may collaborate to generate new questions. Murdoch (2013) suggests that contrary to common practice, the inquiry may  conclude with a new question / questions.  Branch and Galloway (2003, p. 6) and Calliston (2006, p. 9) advocate for reflection as a significant stage in the  inquiry process.  Leading questions to prompt reflection can be found in the Thinkers Tooklit.  Students and I can record  individual reflections on the class web page, using tools such as http://padlet.com.

References

Branch, J. (2003). Inquiry- Based Learning: The Key to Student Success. School Libraries in Canada; 22, 4; retrieved from

https://inquiryandlearning.wikispaces.com/file/view/InquiryBasedLearning.pdf/264174771/InquiryBasedLearning.pdf

Callison, Daniel. (2006). Chapter 1 : Information Inquiry : Concepts and Elements in Callison, Daniel and Preddy, Leslie. The blue book on information age inquiry, instruction and literacy, Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited, pp.3-16.

Jones Jami L. andDotson Kaye B. (2010). Building the Disposition of Reflection through the Inquiry-focused School Library Program. School Libraries Worldwide 16 (1) pp.33-46.

Knodt, J. S. (2009). Cultivating curious minds: Teaching for innovation through open-inquiry learning. Teacher Librarian, 37(1), 15-16,18-22. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/cv_159420/docview/224883950/1415D057A8434E65D73/1?accountid=13380

Kuhlthau,C., Maniotes, L., Caspari, A. (2007) Guided Inquiry Learning in the 21ST Century, Westport: Libraries Unlimited

Lupton, Mandy and Bruce, Christine, (2010). Chapter 1 : Windows on Information Literacy Worlds : Generic, Situated and Transformative Perspectives. In Lloyd, Annemaree and Talja, Sanna, Practising information literacy : bringing theories of learning, practice and information literacy together, (pp.3 – 27). Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies. retrieved from Course Materials Database CLN650

McKenzie, Jamieson, (2005). Chapter 3 : Questions as Technology. In McKenzie, Jamieson, Learning to question to wonder to learn (pp.15 – 26). Washington: FNO Press.

Murdoch, K. (2006). Inquiry learning: journeys through the thinking processes. Teacher Learning Network, v.13 n.2 p.32-34. retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/fullText;dn=154063;res=AEIPT

Murdoch, K. (2006). Inquiry-based learning: bringing out the purpose with passion. Classroom; v. 26 n.2 pp.10-11;  retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/fullText;dn=150527;res=AEIPT

Murdoch, K., (2010) An overview of the Integrated Inquiry planning model retrieved from http://www.kathmurdoch.com.au/uploads/media/murdochmodelforinquiry2010.pdf

Murdoch, K. 2013. Moving on from the KWL chart : student questions and inquiry, June 8, 2013.  http://justwonderingblog.com

Schulz, J. (2006). How can we develop SOSE literacy? A practical approach, Ethos; v.14 n.4 p.11-15. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/fullText;dn=155969;res=AEIPT

Schultz, J. (2007) The future of SOSE? Integrative inquiry is the answer.  Social Educator; v.25 n.3 p.11-16;  Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/fullText;dn=169136;res=AEIPT

Schultz, J. (2011). SOSEAQ An Integrated Learning Community – SOSE Inquiry. http://www.learningplace.com.au/deliver/content.asp?pid=50241

Ward, D (2006). Revisioning information literacy for lifelong meaning., Journal of Academic Librarianship 32 (4) pp.396-402.

Wiggins, Grant and McTighe, Jay, (2005). Essential Questions: Doorways to Understanding. In Wiggins, Grant and McTighe, Jay, Understanding by design, (pp.105 – 125). Alexandria VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum development. Retrieved http://reader.eblib.com.au.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/(S(k0a4ttooe10gc2lhno0ephxs))/Reader.aspx?p=280441&o=96&u=f%2f99Xmpi3vQo7ED5zVgcFQ%3d%3d&t=1383386567&h=

98E613BC15DC9F9D641A9F1DDB6C6BBF535E5907&s=10635557&ut=245&pg=117&r=img&c=-1&pat=n

Wilson, J., Murdoch, K. (n.d) What is Learning? Retrieved from

http://napiercentral.wikispaces.com/file/view/CU8%20What%20is%20Inquiry%20Learning.pdf/402385780/CU8%20

What%20is%20Inquiry%20Learning.pdf

Analysis

Tags

, , ,

SEARCH CRITIQUE

ANALYSIS OF THE ILA

The ILA was planned with a rudimentary knowledge of inquiry learning theory and no previous experience with this topic as a unit of study. Much of the ILA was planned, as I am accustomed, to cover curriculum content outlined in the Australian History Curriculum integrated with QSA SOSE content.  The TELSTAR Model of Inquiry (Schultz, 2011) was used to plan learning opportunities to develop relevant knowledge, understanding and skills. An outline of planning can be found in the ILA page of this blog.

t

TUNE IN

Initial tuning-in activities were designed to elicit student knowledge about some of the concepts associated with the broad topic of introduced species. The students were keenly engaged in this activity and enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge. It was clear from some of the responses that clarification of concepts and terminology would need to be addressed through elements of the English curriculum. A selection of responses is shown below (student names have been omitted).

teacher environmentenvironment-26 at 8.53.39 PM

teacher invasive  invasive species

teacher feralferal2013-10-26 at 8.54.38 PM

teacjher weed 2013-10-26 at 10.04.26 PMweed

teacher pest pest

teacher introducedintroduced2013-10-26 at 8.58.08 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 9.36.53 AM

EXPLORE

Students were given a focus for the topic through the picture book The Story of Rosy Dock by Jeannie Baker. At this stage the class was involved in a discussion about the possible reasons for the introduction of species by early settlers to Australia and obvious consequences highlighted in this narrative.

l

LOOK

At the Look stage of the ILA the students were introduced to the key question of the inquiry: to find out how European settlement, specifically the introduction of new species in the C19, impacted on the Australian environment. I chose the particular focus, introduced species, as I believed there would be adequate sources of information (books and digital) and felt the topic was age-appropriate.

The majority of students responded positively to the challenge to research the impact of a chosen species that had become a pest in the Australian environment.  All but three students quickly chose an animal to research from a teacher-provided website.  Many students chose a particular animal because of its ‘cuteness factor’.  One student was keen to research sea stars because “I like sea stars and I like to do something different”. Although the sea star wasn’t introduced in the C19, I understood it was important for this student to be interested in the inquiry and encouraged her to research this pest.  The other two students weren’t enthused by any of the animals indicated on the given website so I spent some time going through available books to find a pest they both decided to investigate. One of these students was rather indifferent to the topic in general. In hindsight I realise this situation was a missed opportunity to attempt a more constructivist approach to the treatment of curriculum content.

Students were asked to write questions that would guide their search for information about how a chosen pest harmed the environment.  A sample of responses is provided below:

teacher

4
3

2  1

I now understand that the approach I took with this ILA was not based on students’ posing “real” questions (Brunner in EDC, 2012) because the direction of inquiry was guided more by my desire to cover curriculum content. The direction taken led to “teacherly” questions rather than “essential” questions (Wiggins, 2007).  Commentators stress the importance of students forming their own questions to lead inquiry (Murdoch 2006, p. 11, McKenzie, 2005 p.21). My Recommendations post addresses the questioning framework further.

Although checks were made with individual students and brief class discussions addressed the need to review questions to make sure student searches located relevant information, the ILA would improve with a more structured approach to the collection of information. Reflection points as recommended by Schultz (2011) in the Telstar Model of Inquiry may ensure continuous reflection and review of information recovered. In my Recommendations post I recommend some ways this stage might follow a more genuine constructivist pedagogy.

Despite these deficiencies, this stage of the inquiry process met with some success. The direction of inquiry was a satisfactory compromise to begin the inquiry learning journey for students and myself.  The key motivator for the students was their ability to choose their own focus within a broader topic and experience the key question with some level of personal input (Gordon, n.d., p.7).

St 2

SORT / TEST

The information seeking and processing stages became the predominant learning area for all involved in the ILA. The students were keen; they were selective about the sites they used, took notes in table or dot-point form, generally collaborated successfully with their partners, and at times some were distracted and off task.  Comprehending some elements of the information found during the search process was a challenge for the majority of students. As predicted, most students found resources (sites and books) that provided some relevant information quite quickly.  Collating the information and typing it into a report proved very time consuming.  Ciardello (1998) in Calliston (2006 p. 10) notes that good inquiry texts are challenging and at a slighter higher reading level than the student has previously experience. This was the case for the majority of students.

This stage of the ILA took longer than I had anticipated, but it was here that I was most helpful as a counselor (Kuhlthau (1993b) in Thomas et al,  (2011, p 51). After personal experience of the cognitive, physical and affective aspects of Kuhlthau’s  Information Search Process (2004, in Kuhlthau et al, 2007, p19), I was keen to support my students as they embarked on their information literacy journey. I did not become concerned with the levels of support needed by particular students as I might have done in the past.  I have gained so much understanding of the importance of this information literacy stage that I was able to relax and offer support and guidance for students and be prepared for their ‘moods’ (Kulthau in Pickering et al (2011 p 53). I have gained a greater insight into the compelling constructivist argument that learning to learn is far more important than covering curriculum content (EDC, 2012).

easelly_visual

Windschitl, M. (2002). Framing constructivism in practice as the negotiation of dilemmas: An analysis of the conceptual, pedagogical, cultural, and political challenges facing teachers. Review of Educational Research, 72(2), 131-175. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/214115395?accountid=13380

I believe that the students and I learned the most through this stage of the inquiry. Calliston (2006, p.4) acknowledges the challenge for students of all ages to master the information literacy skills of analysis, synthesis and inference that are so essential for the C21 learner. Even though this ILA requires further developing,  I am convinced the students made personal discoveries of their own inquiry journeys. Students’ responses to questions 6, 9 and 10 from Survey 3 reveal student learning about their information literacy process and assimilation of new concepts into knowledge and understanding:

Question 6. What did you learn in doing this research project?

“that it isn’t as easy as you think to work in a group”

“how to put it all into paragraphs”

“that if you set your mind to something you can get done (sic)

 “some things can be hard to research and others are easy”

“How to use good words”

“I learned that not all animals can be cute and fluffy”

 

Question 9. Has your thinking about anything changed since you started this task? Please mention everything you can.

“The red fox is worse than I thought”

“I realised that rabbits aren’t all cute and sweet”

“I thought the fox wasn’t as bad”

“Before I started I thought the buffalo was harmless but I learned that is very dangerous”

Question 10. What did you learn about yourself as a learner?

“That I work better with a friend”

“That it can be hard to work in a group”

“I go quicker when I just put everything down and then rearrange it”

“I got better at researching”

“I’m pretty confident once I start the subject but worried if I haven’t”

“I learned to not think about work to (sic) much because sometimes it gets harder to think of what to write down”

“That I need help sometimes putting information in the wright (sic) order”

“I learnt that not everything can be hard to do”

a

ACT

When planning the ILA I was unsure how to lead students toward the creation of a product or task which utilised Bloom’s higher order thinking skills.  At the beginning stages of the ILA I was relatively content to leave the final product unstructured in line with  McKenzie and McKinnon’s (2009, p. 37) proposition that a truly student-centered approach could not predict the final outcome of inquiry. I was keen for the students to develop their repertoire of digital skills so the general plan was for students to create a video with Animoto.

McKenzie (2005, p. 19) suggests that questions are an avenue to higher-order thinking. There was evidence of this occurring throughout the unit. Some of the students spontaneously wrote about their reaction to various control methods and a spontaneous discussion occurred about control methods in general. Time constraints held me back from incorporating deeper discussions into the ILA but this was a missed opportunity to afford students a personal connection to the topic (Ward, 2006 p. 396).

As I read more about the design of inquiry units, my goal was that the inquiry answered the ‘so what’ question (McKenzie, 2006).  Why is this class of Year 5 students finding out about introduced species from the 1800s? The answer seemed to be found in the words of George Santayana: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  My attempt to direct students toward higher–order thinking resulted in the following brief:

You are a time traveller. You are going to present a video to the early settlers of Australia. As a Year 5 student from the year 2013, what is your message for them about the animal you have studied?

Unfortunately for the majority of students the Look and Sort stages took up more time than was anticipated and Term 3 came to an end before most students could move on to the Animoto task.  Consequently this ILA  did not involve as much work in the higher-order thinking stages as was hoped.  All students wrote their information reports ready to be included in the online FlipSnack book. But only eight students were able to move on to the higher-order task of presenting their learning in an animated presentation of their findings. Further time was needed for discussions with this group of students after the first student video advised settlers not to introduce the animal at all.

Would you tell the settlers not to introduce the species at all?

What would you think if you could step into the settlers’ shoes?

Could we understand the need to introduce the species?

Why would you think differently from the early settlers?

What would your advice be?

It was time to pause and reflect.  In a further reincarnation of this ILA I would address this issue more deeply during the Explore stage (and as needed further into the inquiry process). Some improvements to the ILA are discussed in the Recommendations post. Two student videos are presented below. The second video was produced after some discussion about incorporating others’ perspectives and motives of people from the past.

PIGS DON'T

Student Video 1: Pigs Don’t Bring Them Here

PIGS WATCHOUT

Student Video 2: Pigs Watch Out

r

REFLECT

At this stage of the unit students completed Survey 3. This provided some avenue for students to reflect on aspects of their inquiry processes.  Student responses can be found in the Results  post.  For those students who were able to complete the video task, there was additional opportunity to reflect on how they could assimilate the points of view of people from the past into their understanding of the topic during earlier discussions. I recognise that in planning the unit I did not allow enough time for a greater focus on student reflection, a significant component of inquiry learning.

The TELSTAR Model allows for inquiry to embrace the three perspectives of literacy outlined by Lupton and Bruce (2010, pp 3-27): generic, situated and transformative. Although I had planned the ILA using the TELSTAR model I was not fully appreciative of the complexities of each stage.  The ILA in practice treated information largely through the generic perspective (Lupton and Bruce p. 12).  Although the generic aspects of literacy are essential for students, the ILA was limited in its treatment of information.   Schultz’s (2007) application of the TELSTAR model (Table 1 below) demonstrates its potential to foster inquiry that includes all literacy perspectives as outlined by Lupton and Bruce (2010).  There is scope for the development of this ILA to include the situated and transformative aspects of literacy. Some of my emerging thoughts about the use of this and other inquiry models can be found in the Recommendations post.

TELSTAR Schultz 2007 copy copy

Table 1:
source: Schultz, J. (2011). SOSEAQ An Integrated Learning Community – SOSE Inquiry. http://www.learningplace.com.au/deliver/content.asp?pid=50241

REFLECTION

Reflections while writing the Analysis post leave me with mixed feelings. Although disappointed that the ILA did not fulfill its potential to develop students’ higher-order thinking skills, I am satisfied that gains were made in Information Literacy skills. Fortunately for me the students, as a whole, took ownership of their research even though it was not as authentic as true inquiry needs to be. I am conscious that sometimes progress is achieved in small advances.

There's so much to discover in the searching.

There’s so much to discover in the searching.

References

Callison, Daniel. (2006). Chapter 1 : Information Inquiry : Concepts and Elements in Callison, Daniel and Preddy, Leslie,The blue book on information age inquiry, instruction and literacy, Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited, pp.3-16.

Education Development Center (2012). Intro to Inquiry Learning: YouthLearn : Technology, media and project based learning to inspire young minds retrieved from http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/general-info/our-approach/intro-inquiry-learning/intro-inquiry-learning

Gordon, K. (n.d). Inquiry Approaches in Primary  Studies of Society and Environment Key Learning Area, occasional paper Queensland School Curriculum Council, retrieved from http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/downloads/publications/research_qscc_sose_primary_00.doc

Kuhlthau,C., Maniotes, L., Caspari, A. (2007) Guided Inquiry Learning in the 21ST Century, Westport: Libraries Unlimited

Lupton, Mandy and Bruce, Christine, (2010). Chapter 1 : Windows on Information Literacy Worlds : Generic, Situated and Transformative Perspectives. In Lloyd, Annemaree and Talja, Sanna, Practising information literacy : bringing theories of learning, practice and information literacy together, (pp.3 – 27). Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies. retrieved from Course Materials Database CLN650

McKenzie, Jamieson, (2005). Chapter 3 : Questions as Technology. In McKenzie, Jamieson, Learning to question to wonder to learn, (pp.15 – 26). Washington: FNO Press.

McKenzie, Jamie (2006). The (merely) Demanding Question. The Question Mark v. 2 n. 1; http://questioning.org/sept06/demanding.html

McKenzie, K., and McKinnon, M. (2009). Inquiry-based learning: encouraging deep thinking and a passion for learning. Practically Primary, v.14 n.2 pp.37-40; retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/fullText;dn=177788;res=AEIPT

Murdoch, K. (2006). Inquiry-based learning: bringing out the purpose with passion. Classroom; v. 26 n.2 pp.10-11;  retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/fullText;dn=150527;res=AEIPT

Schultz, J. (2011). SOSEAQ An Integrated Learning Community – SOSE Inquiry. http://www.learningplace.com.au/deliver/content.asp?pid=50241

Thomas, Nancy Pickering, Crow, Sherry R., Franklin, Lori L. (2011) Chapter 3: The Information Search Process Kuhlthau’s Legacy in  Information Literacy and Information Skills Instruction: Applying Research to Practice in the 21st Century School Library (3rd Edition), Westport, CT pp.33-58. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com/lib/qut/docDetail.action?docID=10478301

Ward, D (2006). Revisioning information literacy for lifelong meaning., Journal of Academic Librarianship 32 (4) pp.396-402.

Wiggans, Grant. 2007, What is an Essential Question. Big Ideas http://www.authenticeducation.org/ae_bigideas/article.lasso?artid=53

Results

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

SEARCH INTELLIGENCE

RESULTS FROM QUESTIONNAIRES

 

Question 1: Take some time to think about your topic. Now write down what you know about it.

FIGURE 1
Question 1: Take some time to think about your topic. Now write down what you know about it.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.12.40 AM on all questionnaires was open-ended; asking students to write all they knew about their chosen topic (a introduced species that had become a pest: see ILA page for details). As indicated in the Methodology post, I made the mistake in the first two questionnaires, of encouraging students to respond to this question in note form. Analysis of responses to this question required coding them into categories of fact, explanation or conclusion. The majority of students responded in note form and consequently the number of explanations and conclusion type statements was low (see FIGURE 1).  Fact statements remained high in all surveys although there was a slight increase in explanation statements over the course (from 3% to 9%).  There was a trend for responses to indicate a greater depth of knowledge as the ILA progressed. A sample response is provided below:

Survey 1

  • “cute
  • plays in mud
  • introduced in the 1800s
  • many different species of pig
  • are a pest”

Survey 2

  • “caused a great deal of damage
  • put some frogs in risk of extinction
  • trapping and shooting is done to control the number of pigs”

 

Survey 3

“Shooting from the air is the method they use to control feral pigs. It has been proven that trapping is less effective. Feral pigs’ reproduction rate is the main reason for why it’s a pest. It was declared a pest in NSW in 1800s.”

The overall results for Question 1 do not indicate a high level of deep knowledge and higher-order thinking. In reviewing this ILA, I accept these results as a fair indication of the limited scope provided for students to interact with information literacies. My Analysis post addresses these issues further.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.50.53 AM

Question 2: How interested are you in this topic?

FIGURE 2
Question 2: How interested are you in this topic?

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.14.19 AM provided a multiple choice response, and required students to indicate their level of interest in the topic. Although selection of the topic in this ILA is not exemplary of ideal constructivist pedagogy, (see Analysis post) I was fortunate that student interest was high, peaking during the information seeking stages of the unit.  The students had chosen their topic because they were attracted to a particular animal. It is worth noting that this class of students is keen to please and quite compliant. As indicated in FIGURE 2, interest remained high to the conclusion of the task but dropped slightly. Interviews with students and classroom observations indicated some students had become tired of the ILA toward the end of Term.  A more constructivist approach to topic choice and presentation of findings, i.e. students having more input, may have kept interest high and even improved interest level toward the conclusion of the unit.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.50.53 AM

Question 3: How much do you know about this topic?

FIGURE 3
Question 3: How much do you know about this topic?

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.15.01 AMprovided a multiple-choice response to indicate level of knowledge of the topic. As expected, students indicated having a higher knowledge of the topic as they progressed through the ILA (FIGURE 3).  A significant decline in the ‘not much’ response is evident.  Interviews with students indicated a sense of achievement as they worked through the information collation and processing stages.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.50.53 AM

Question 4: When you do research, what do you generally find easy to do?

FIGURE 4
Question 4: When you do research, what do you generally find easy to do?

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.17.52 AMasked students to indicate aspects of the research process which they considered easy to do. Student responses were coded for analysis purposes into the four broad categories as indicated in FIGURE 4 above.  The Literacy and Information Literacy categories, although nonexclusive, were broadly differentiated as follows.

Literacy: comprehending and writing text

Information Literacy: searching for information

ICT: using personal laptop

Learning Environment: classroom environment, group work

A sample of student responses in shown in FIGURE 5 below. It was noted that some responses were not exclusively limited to one category.

FIGURE 5

FIGURE 5
Sample of student responses to Question 4: When you do research, what do you find easy to do?

The increased numbers of students indicating Literacy and Information Literacy responses from Questionnaire 1 to Questionnaire 2 may be evidence of positive impacts of interventions taken after Questionnaire 1. Classroom observations and interactions with students revealed an increased confidence in their selection of websites.  A number of students received considerable teacher support and all students were encouraged to consult / work with peers.

The high numbers of responses for ICT in Questionnaire 1 could be assumed to be the result of students’ familiarity with digital technology. This group of students have been part of a one-one laptop program for 18 months and use their laptops daily. The majority of students are familiar with digital devices including iPads, iPhones and cameras. My knowledge of this class leads me to presume that the drop in numbers of responses for ICT in the last two questionnaires is more likely to indicate ICT to be a non-issue for these students rather than an area of concern.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.50.53 AM

Question 5: When you do research, what do you generally find difficult to do?

FIGURE 6
Question 5: When you do research, what do you generally find difficult to do?

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.18.45 AM was similar to Question 4 but asked students to indicate aspects of the research process they considered to be difficult. To aid analysis, the responses were coded using the same four categories as above. The results of this question reinforced findings from Question 4.  There was a decline in Literacy and Information Literacy responses from Questionnaire 1 to Questionnaire 2. This may be attributed to interventions taken after Questionnaire 1. The increase in responses for Information Literacy from Questionnaire 2 to Questionnaire 3 may be accredited to students becoming more aware of the complexities involved in using information.  Sample responses indicating this trend are provided below:

“getting the right infamation (sic) “

“getting good info”

“it was difficult to find percific (sic) information …”

“not copying word from word”

” finding right and true information about my topic”

Results from this questionnaire also indicated a decline in difficulty with the learning environment, which may also be attributed to interventions taken after Questionnaire 1.  Students were encouraged to improve the learning environment by working in different areas as much as possible, staying on task and being sensitive to others’ learning preferences.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.50.53 AM

Question 6: What did you learn in doing this research project?

FIGURE 7
Question 6: What did you learn in doing this research project?

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.06.43 AM responses were able to be coded similarly to Questions 4 and 5 but ICT was replaced with Topic Knowledge. To gain a clearer indication of students’ learnings I would need to conduct follow up interviews. Apparently contrary to previous results, the responses to this question indicate little advancement in Information Literacy aspects of research. It is clear that for most students, topic knowledge was the significant learning area. As noted earlier, student knowledge indicated cognition in Bloom’s lower order thinking skills (knowledge, comprehension). It is worth considering that some students were tired at the conclusion of the ILA and not keen to elaborate thier responses to questions on the final questionnaire. It is accepted however that the ILA needs improvement to lead students toward higher-order thinking. A sample of comments to Question 6 is provided in FIGURE 8 below.

Results also indicate students becoming more aware of their preferences for learning environment and conditions. This is addressed further in Question 10 below.

FIGURE 8 Questionnaire 3 Q. 6 What did you learn in doing this project?

FIGURE 8
Questionnaire 3
Q. 6 What did you learn in doing this project?

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.50.53 AM

FIGURE 9 Question 7: How do you feel about your research? Tick one box that best matches how you feel.

FIGURE 9
Question 7: How do you feel about your research? Tick one box that best matches how you feel.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 11.01.16 AM (multiple choice) was added to ascertain student emotional response at the conclusion of the ILA.  Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (ISP) model acknowledges the generalised progression of students’ feelings from the Initiation stage through to the Presentation and Assessment stages (2004, in Kuhlthau et al, 2007, p19). The significant number of responses indicating satisfaction at the conclusion is consistent with Kuhlthau’s ISP. Follow up with the student who responded as ‘confused’ revealed a generalised lack of interest in the topic. This student,  although not highly proficient with digital technology, is very adept at comprehension and writing. Consequently I was surprised at some comments made by this student in response to Question 5 above.

Q. 5 Thinking back on your research project, what did you find most difficult to do? Please mention as many things as you like.

“Finding information, taking dot points, using own words, turning dot points into sentences.”

The response given to this question highlights the criticality of student autonomy over the research topic.  I would have expected this student to find it relatively easy to formulate sentences and paragraphs from notes. Ward (2006, p. 396) stresses that educators must ensure students’ personal connection to the topic of investigation. Had topic selection occurred more in keeping with a constructivist approach, this student may have had more positive experiences during the ILA.  The closing comment of this student in Question 10 indicates at least one area of learning for her:

“I got better at researching.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.50.53 AM

generated by http://tagcrowd.com

FIGURE 10
Question 8: Please think about some of your feelings during this task and complete the table below. Please write as many feelings as you had. You can use feelings that are not included in the chart.generated by http://tagcrowd.com

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 9.36.15 AMwas included into the final questionnaire to record student responses about their emotional experiences during the ILA.  I encouraged regular discussions during the ILA about emotional reactions to the research process and I often shared the emotional experiences I encountered while researching for this blog. Student responses were largely in keeping with Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (ISP) model  (2004, in Kuhlthau et al, 2007, p19).  Many students progressed through stages of emotional discomfort at the beginning of the ILA to a sense of accomplishment at the conclusion of the ILA. My own experiences gave me an insight into the students’ world and I was able to reassure them that their feelings were normal. The inclusion of this question was hoped to serve as a learning tool for students to gain further insight into the progression of emotions throughout a research task. Interactions with students revealed that some of the ‘glad’ responses indicated that students were relieved their task had been completed as well as happy with the results.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.50.53 AM

Question 10: What did you learn about yourself as a learner?

FIGURE 11
Question 10: What did you learn about yourself as a learner?

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 8.19.37 AM was an additional question to that provided in the Student Learning Impact Measure (SLIM) toolkit (Todd, Kuhlthau and Heinstrom, 2005). This question was based on McKenzie and McKinnon’s Inquiry Framework (2009) discussed in the Methodology post.  The question was open-ended, but its wording may have prompted a significant number of responses to focus on learning environment. The majority of students indicated a preference for a quieter working space, but not necessarily working independently.   Sample responses follow:

“that I work better with a friend”

“it is so times (sic) easy to work by yourself”

“that it can be hard to work in a group”

“that i can get easyally (sic) distracted”

Managing the learning environment is an area I am keen to pursue further. Kuhlthau et al (2007) make much import of collaboration between students to foster an environment of trust, expose students to differing perspectives and ensure inquiry is relevant (pp 35-45). Guiding students to develop skills in collaborative inquiry can help them on their journeys to interact critically and creatively with the information they encounter.

References

Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L., Caspari, A. (2007) Guided Inquiry Learning in the 21ST Century, Westport: Libraries Unlimited

McKenzie, K., and McKinnon, M.( 2009 ). Inquiry Based Learning: Encouraging deep thinking and a passion for learning. Practically primary , 14 (2), p. 3. Retrieved from  http://search.informit.com.au.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/fullText;dn=177788;res=AEIPT

Ward, D (2006). Revisioning information literacy for lifelong meaning. Journal of Academic Librarianship 32 (4) pp.396-402.

Interventions

Tags

, , , , ,

RAPID RESPONSE

 

INTERVENTIONS AFTER THE QUESTIONNAIRES

The interventions provided for students were guided by their responses to Questionnaires 1 and 2. The interventions targeted the development of skills in Emotional / Behavioural habits, Information Literacy and Literacy.

EMOTIONAL / BEHAVIOURAL SUPPORT

Buoyed by results from Questionnaire 1,  I was satisfied that the students were enthusiastic about their research topic. Three students, however, indicated a lack of interest:

Q.5 When you do research, what do you generally find difficult to do? 

“Getting the right information It’s hard for me when I don’t like the topic”

“Making the report, getting information, getting good information, getting information about topics I’m not interested in.”

“finding really good info to put in. Changing it into my own words. Consentrating (sic) on my work. finding a good website. not licking (sic) the subject. writing something big/long.”

One student was encouraged to pursue her interest in sea stars, although not introduced in the C18 (historical period outlined for Year 5 History Curriculum).  The two other students and I browsed through relevant books to find a topic of interest, not restricted to C18 pests.  They both settled on a topic to work on together but neither was particularly excited by the prospect of researching this animal. I found it difficult enthusing these students toward the topic as a whole.  I thought their enthusiasm might improve as they discovered more about the topic, but this wasn’t the case. Neither indicated a level of disinterest in the topic in Questionnaire 2.  With the benefit of hindsight I realise I could have worked with them on a separate project altogether, while still fulfilling the requirements of the curriculum. Alternative topic ideas are discussed in the Recommendations post.

FIGURE 1 When you do research, what do you generally find difficult to do? Please mention as many things as you like.

FIGURE 1
Questionnaires 1 & 2 sample responses
Q. 5 When you do research, what do you generally find difficult to do? Please mention as many things as you like.

Emotions impact heavily on the successful progression through cognitive and physical aspects of the information search process (ISP) (Kuhlthau et, 2007, p. 15).  Because of my recent insights into the influence of the affective domain during the research process,  I was keen for students to be cognisant of their feelings throughout the ILA. Although not surveying the class formally for their emotional states until the final Questionnaire, feelings were discussed regularly during the ILA.  Discussions revealed the majority of students experienced some level of discomfort at the introductory stages of the ILA. Student responses to Questionnaires 1 and 2 indicated difficulty with Information Literacy, Literacy and the Learning Environment (see FIGURE 1 above). Regular discussion of emotions was intended to normalise feelings of anxiety during different stages of the ISP (Kuhlthau et al, 2007).  To accompany description of feelings, I often asked students to describe their ‘window’ , i.e. was it opaque, translucent or transparent (to reinforce Science concepts at the same time!).  This seemed to be a safe method for students to communicate the need for support. Throughout the ILA I believe I was successful in providing a safe learning environment so that emotional states were supported and students weren’t anxious about making mistakes (Jones and Dotson p 40).

I attempted to manage individual students’ emotional moods (Kuhlthau, in Thomas et al, 2011, p. 53). One particular student sought regular guidance on how to initiate her writing. This student is a high achiever and very keen to ensure her answers are correct. This desire to ‘get it right’ was impeding her progress. After reassuring this student several times, I eventually suggested she write down her information in its imperfect state and later edit as necessary. This seemed to resonate with her and she was able to move past her writing block.

FIGURE 2 Sample responses to Q. 5 When you do research, what do you find difficult to do?

FIGURE 2
Sample responses to Q. 5 When you do research, what do you find difficult to do?

Student responses to Questionnaire 1 indicated some level of difficulty with the learning environment (see FIGURE 2 above ).  In response, I encouraged students to work together to stay on task within their groups. I was able to spread the groups around physically; some outside the classroom and some in the “conference room’.  Students were asked to be sensitive to others’ learning needs; either for some quiet or for discussion. I also rewarded on-task discussions with group points. After Questionnaire 2, ‘concentrating’ was the dominant theme. This is an area for development in future research tasks and can be explored through a focus on learning dispositions (see Recommendations post).

LITERACY SUPPORT

Responses to question 5 from Questionnaires 1 and 2 revealed student concerns about aspects of Literacy, including comprehension of texts found in searches and writing information in their own words. Sample responses from question 5 are provided in FIGURE 1 above. From past research activities with these students, I was aware that a number of them would have difficulty with the literacy skills associated with this task. My planning incorporated additional support for these students with comprehension, note taking, organising information and writing their reports. I worked with students (in groups/pairs) who were working on the same topic or individually if required to scaffold these skills. When I was unable to provide support to a student (because I was already working with another), I encouraged the offering of / and asking for peer support.  I attempted to move around from group to group when able to check on their needs. I  worked with individuals or groups for a time on a particular skill and set them to complete the mini-task independently so I could support others who needed guidance.  I was able to make use of class Teacher Aide time to support one student with learning difficulties. I can appreciate the tremendous benefit of having a support team including Teacher Librarian and other specialists as recommended by Kuhlthau et al (2007, p. 48).

After reading rough copies from students who had been working in a group, it became evident that I needed to clarify with them some misunderstandings they had formed about their topic. I took this group aside to reread information they had located and discuss its meaning.  It took quite a deal of discussion within the group for them to clarify their misunderstandings. Windschitl (p.140) notes that from a cognitive constructivist approach, it is the teacher’s task to guide students to understandings in line with established disciplinary norms.  The students edited their work to incorporate their new constructs.

INFORMATION LITERACY SUPPORT

Responses to question 5 in Questionnaires 1 and 2 also indicated that students had some concerns about their Information Literacy skills.  A sample of responses is shown above in FIGURE 1. The class had already worked on activities to guide their selection of appropriate websites  (Common Sense Media).  Many students were using natural language searches as noted by Whelan (2006, in Kuhlthau et al, 2007), so I was keen to show them some of what I had learned about Boolean terms through my own search process (see Search Strategies and Information Analysis page).  The video Searching with AND and OR (Evans, 2008)  was shown to students and placed on the class web page (Life) for reference.  The  video explained the Boolean terms AND and Or simply to students and many enjoyed this newfound skill.   In past research activities, these students have searched teacher-selected websites, so to scaffold this more independent search activity, the  students were encouraged to search with Kidrex  rather than Google. With the combination of Boolean searches, site selection guidelines (predominantly domain suffix) and the Kidrex search engine, most students were able to find relevant sites.  I provided support for those students who had difficulty finding sites by helping them with online searches and selecting relevant books.

The interventions provided aimed to support students during critical moments of the search process. Interventions were offered as a result of questionnaire responses, classroom observations and direct requests for help by students.

References

Jones, Jami L. and Dotson, Kaye B. (2010). Building the Disposition of Reflection through the Inquiry-focused School Library Program. School Libraries Worldwide 16 (1) pp.33-46.

Kuhlthau,C., Maniotes, L., Caspari, A. (2007) Guided Inquiry Learning in the 21ST Century, Westport: Libraries Unlimited

Thomas, Nancy Pickering Crow, Sherry R. Franklin, Lori. (2011) Chapter 3: The Information Search Process Kuhlthau’s Legacy in Information Literacy and Information Skills Instruction: Applying Research to Practice in the 21st Century School Library (3rd Edition), Westport, CT pp.33-58. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com/lib/qut/docDetail.action?docID=10478301

Windschitl, M. (2002). Framing constructivism in practice as the negotiation of dilemmas: An analysis of the conceptual, pedagogical, cultural, and political challenges facing teachers. Review of Educational Research, 72(2), 131-175. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/cv_159420/docview/214115395/14173F39E2117655B51/1?accountid=13380

Methodology

Tags

, , ,

Methodology

The students were given surveys from the Student Learning Impact Measure (SLIM) toolkit (Todd, Kuhlthau and Heinstrom, 2005) at three intervals during the research period as suggested. The first survey was completed in Week 1 at the beginning of the ILA, the second completed in Week 3, during the Formation/Focus stage and the final survey completed in during Week 5 at the conclusion of the ILA.  Twenty-three of the 28 students completed all three surveys.

For the first two surveys, the students were ambivalent about how to complete Question 1; asking whether they should respond in sentence or note form. Being unfamiliar with administration of this toolkit, I assured the students it would be fine to respond in note form. Todd, Kulhthau and Henistrom (2005) recommend that students be encouraged to write in sentences. With hindsight, I recognise the benefit of this advice.  After completion of the teaching and learning period, when I was coding student responses in categories of fact, explanation and conclusion, I realised that responses written as sentences may have provided more accurate data. By the time Survey 3 was to be completed I had become more familiar with test administration and encouraged students to respond in sentence form.

I decided to adapt Survey 3 slightly from that provided in the SLIM toolkit. As I became more familiar with the pedagogy underpinning inquiry learning I became more aware of the relevance of Kuhlthau’s (2004) affective stages (in Kuhlthau et al, 2007, p. 19).  For Survey 3, I included a table in which students could indicate and note the progression of their feelings during their inquiry from beginning to conclusion.  I was also more aware of the importance of students’ metacognition as an aspect of inquiry learning. I added two further open-ended questions based on the Reflection stage of the Inquiry Framework presented by McKenzie and McKinnon (see questions 9 and 10 below).

Question 8. Please think about some of your feelings during this task and compete the table below. Please write as many feelings as you had. You can use feelings that are not included in the chart.

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 5.54.46 PMQuestion 9. Has your thinking about anything changed since you started this task? Please mention everything you can.

Question 10. What did you learn about yourself as a learner? Please mention everything you can.

Informal interviews, observations and interactions with students also provided information about aspects of the information search process.

References

Kuhlthau, Carol C., Maniotes, Leslie K. & Caspari, Ann K, (2007). Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century.  Westport: Libraries Unlimited

McKenzie, K., and McKinnon, M. (2009). Inquiry-based learning: encouraging deep thinking and a passion for learning. Practically Primary, v.14 n.2 p.37-40; June 2009 retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/fullText;dn=177788;res=AEIPT

Todd, R., Kuhlthau, C. & Heinstrom, J. (2005). School Library Impact Measure. A Toolkit for Tracking and Assessing Student Learning Outcomes Of Guided Inquiry Through The School Libray. Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries, Rutgers University, http://cissl.rutgers.edu/images/stories/docs/slimtoolkit.pdf

Image

Inquiry Learning: my experiences

Tags

IMG_5774

Beauty in the Chaos, Yuraygir National Park

I began searching in earnest for information about inquiry learning last semester while studying the QUT Master of Education Teacher Librarianship subject CLN646 Learning Hubs. In this subject I began investigations on the role of the TL and her use of inquiry learning.  I was specifically interested in finding ways to help students with note taking in order to avoid plagiarism as I have noted this to be a problem with my students in the past.  I also knew inquiry learning was an area of expertise with which I had to become more familiar as the Australian Curriculum is heavily reliant on it. I have found it easy and natural to incorporate inquiry learning into my Science units through the use of hypotheses and fair tests. I have incorporated some inquiry investigations into Maths units.  But I was keen to know how exactly to work with it in the other KLAs, particularly History. A big concern of mine was the level of control it seemed I would have to forego to begin inquiry units in History. How could I make sure the students still covered the required content? How could I ensure the safe use of digital technologies?

As I searched and found illuminating sites, I decided to create an Inquiry Learning LiveBinder for my own reference.  There may be something enlightening for you too; you’re welcome to check it out.

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 11.13.46 PM