- 1 Outcomes of Olympicpedia Camp are not letter grades on report cards. Here comes a blend of summer, sports and the sweat of creating literate Olympians.
- 2 Olympicpedia Camp deploys a researched matrix to classify the educational content of the wiki use.
- 3 Collaborative Learning
Outcomes of Olympicpedia Camp are not letter grades on report cards. Here comes a blend of summer, sports and the sweat of creating literate Olympians.
A summer camp setting that is unlike that of typical academic classroom effort geared to student letter grades (A+, Bs, etc). Teachers and coaches won't have 'grade books' but do have systems to monitor and judge outomes for various awards and prizes. The outcome goal for individuals at Olympicpedia Camp are mostly intrinsic, but gentle bribes of treats (such as pins and t-shirts) have some motivational value. Olympicpedia Camp streses team work, and group projects. There, winning is always cherished.
For certain projects and for certain reasons at certain times of the year (particularly at the beginning of the session in order to establish climate), grades for individual contributions to group work can occur. But with the Olympicpedia Camp, a team effort needs to be the top driver. Fear not, as teams do change throughout the weeks and activities. Plus, individual edits do get recorded on the logs as well. So, some top camper individual awards are sure to come. But thinking and acting as a group and team happens as much as possible at Olympicpedia Camp.
Olympicpedia Camp deploys a researched matrix to classify the educational content of the wiki use.
Research the University of Bath created a matrix to classify the use of wikis in an educational context. [Quantitative Data ¦ Wiki-related (Mejias, 2006). Source http://colligo.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/first-steps-to-classification/
The research exploration went into the functionality and appropriateness of Wikis as an e-Learning tools in relation to learning goals and in the context of a Year 9 History scheme of work. A detailed plan to embed the use of an e-Learning tool within a real life project where pupils utilise wiki functionality to create a worksheet concerning the exploration of the history of the local area. This was followed by a period of evaluation of the task.
With the Olympicpedia Camp, a real life project is tackled by the students. Wiki pages are crafted and on the web for the world to see. We'll talk about real people in real places doing real world results in sports -- not fictional characters nor historic (now departed) characters. Olympicpedia Camp interacts with writers with books out and in the marketplace, with show hosts who do interviews with sports stars, and athletes who aim to get to the Olympics in 2012.
The wikis and wiki pages to be authored and opperated are splendid e-Learning tools. They are functional and be appropriate needs to be understood by all. Students headed into the 9th year history class as part of the research were appropriate. The goals of the PPS Camps is to get our campers to grade level and this is right in line with what has been proven with research. The subjects of the study had a local history focus, and the Olympicpedia Campers focus can include local sports history, as in what high school won the city league title in 2009. But we'll write more about recent history and plenty is more global as well. However, the subject matter is not the prime focus of the study, but the evaluation of the task was what was studied.
The Olympicpedia Camp evaluation benchmarks can review the tasks in the same style of the researchers. The assessment (reference, Ulises Mejias (2006)) explored a criteria for summative evaluation of wikis as a learning technology. Later, a secondary school project adapted Mejias’ questions. Olympicpedia Camp benchmarks of volume, page activity and such are detailed.
- How many pages were created?
- How many edits were made?
- How was the creation of pages and edits distributed through the group?
- Which pages were edited the most?
- Which pages were edited the least?
- What was the average number of times a page was edited?
- What was the average number of users that edited a page?
- Which pages were edited by the most/least number of users?
- How many edits and new pages are attributable to n segment of the class
Individual and group interviews with pupils.
- Teachers have ongoing interviews. Camp directors and school supervisors are also expected to conduct interviews.
- Unit-related questions.
- Can you show me a piece of work that you are particularly proud of and talk to me about it?
- Did you find that working both individually and in groups increased your enjoyment of the Year 9 Unit?
- Which type of working did you prefer and why?
- What did you think of the role of the teacher during the entire unit?
- Did you have too much autonomy over your learning?
- What pages or sections of the wiki did you find most valuable and why?
- What pages or sections of the wiki did you find valuable and why?
- What obstacles did you encounter during your participating in this wiki?
- Where those obstacles overcome? If so, how?
- Do you feel the wiki contributed to the learning experience? How so?
Following Mejias’ work, the question remains, what is the most effective way to classify the use of wikis in an education context? I would assume that colleagues have not got time to conduct a series of interviews about how wikis were used in a particular context, and why the activity in the wiki followed the path that it did. In particular, the qualitative questions could yield useful data (for later analyses and interpret), but this needs to be collected in a easy, quick, and potentially “box ticking”, manner.
The Olympicpedia Camp expects to report upon and follow up with the existing research. After the camp concludes, from August 13 to the start of school, phone interviews are expected.
Inexperienced teachers may assume students already have the skills necessary for collaborative work. Cooperative skills, like other skills, must be learned.
Groups that function efficiently demonstrate mastery of the following skills:
Members communicate well and have the ability to both articulate their ideas and to listen to the ideas of others.
Members send and receive two trust messages: “I trust that when I express my opinion, you will listen and critique appropriately, not confusing the person with the idea.”
Likewise, “I hope you understand that when you make a contribution, I will consider and critique the idea and not you.”
No one student dominates the group, and everyone participates in brainstorming and developing ideas.
Creative problem solving
Students bring their own talents to a project and resolve collaborative issues.
Groups are chosen by the teacher.
Too often teaches allow students to choose groups. Students frequently choose their friends, and consequently much useful time is lost on maintaining those friendships instead of remaining on task.
Also, friends develop internal cliques within groups that often undermine successful group functioning.
When students complain about not choosing their own groups, offer the following:
1) In real life people do not often have the opportunity to work with their friends. An employer expects the newly hired employee to get along with co-workers. This learned skill (to get along with others in problem solving enterprises) is extremely important in the adult world, and this is why schools must teach this skill.
2) Often it is not easy to tell a friend to stop gossiping or playing and get back on task.
Choose groups after an appraisal of abilities and work ethics.
Usually assign the top students in a class, say the top six students, to six different groups. Then assign the six most inexperienced students to those same groups. Continue this process until the entire class is assigned.
Alternatively, at times, assign students based on their talents (visual, verbal, etc.) or their interests (nations, sports, heros, etc.). But be careful not to make the same student the illustrator all the time. The visual student have to write, act and perform. The primary task of educators is not to indulge their interests, but to expand them.
Time is an Issue
Students are less experienced about time management. Students often complain they need more time.
There should be enough work so that at the beginning they seem overwhelmed. If they have been working steadily and everyone in the group is on task, then extend the collaborative time by a day or even more. “Well, I have my own schedule to maintain, but you all seem to be working hard and on task, so, okay, I will extend it another day.” Not only do the teachers keep them on task, but they become the kindly authority figures!
Motivation: The Power of the Clipboard
Once students know that they are in a sink and swim situation and that any student’s off task behavior diminishes them all, a supervisor who checks on the group often makes them return to the task at hand.
When the students are working, especially in the early stages of a document, teachers and leaders need to be visible. Walk around the room. Stop at each group and ask about the progress. These times were some of the most satisfying teaching experiences. Sit with small groups of students and work with them.
When some students get off task, walk around the room with a clipboard. Stop at an offender’s desk and make some notes on a chart. Sometimes use an actual chart!
- Tip: Do not always address the offender who is off task, but his/her fellow group members. Looking straight at them (almost ignoring the student who is off task), admonish, “Do you know that his/her being off task is costing you points?” Make the off task behavior their problem. In the adult work world, it is our problem when a colleague shirks responsibility.