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Early-stage use of The Federations learning objects in schools: A report of survey and case-study results Peter Freebody The University of Queensland.

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Presentation on theme: "Early-stage use of The Federations learning objects in schools: A report of survey and case-study results Peter Freebody The University of Queensland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early-stage use of The Federations learning objects in schools: A report of survey and case-study results Peter Freebody The University of Queensland January, 2006

2 Acknowledgement and thanks to… The principals, teachers, parents and students from the schools involved in the research Sandy Muspratt and David McRae for collecting and analysing the data The Federation Contact Liaison Officers for their support

3 Our goals recap of trial pilot findings the results of a Field Review of the implementation of TLF online curriculum content developed to date (surveys and case studies) Conclusions and ways forward: maintaining development and implementation, directing resources to professional development and evaluation of efficacy.

4 Review of trial pilot findings Review of trial pilot findings (from Freebody, 2005) The positive case: A strong prima facie case was established, from direct observation, interview and extensive surveying, that: the use of TLF online curriculum content is in general supported enthusiastically by teachers, parent home-tutors and students the use of TLF online curriculum content motivates students to attend to and engage with tasks the use of TLF online curriculum content enhances students learning and interest in learning across a range of tasks

5 The Cautions Teachers need time to ensure that their selection of learning objects, from an increasingly wide range, is appropriate to needs Technical difficulties present ongoing frustrations to teachers and increasingly complex and consequential challenges to systems.

6 We speculated that … online curriculum content may operate more effectively in some task domains and for some learning purposes than in others these domains and purposes may not be equally distributed across curriculum subject areas access to online curriculum content affects the nature and efficacy of usage

7 The current study: goals to test trial pilot findings in light of improved instrumentation and sampling to revisit perceptions, practices and recommendations from school colleagues a year on to have a better sense of the range of LO-related practice in classrooms

8 The current study: design Surveys were web- administered to teachers and students (with paper- copy back-up) Case study sites were visited, with principals, teachers and students interviewed, and lessons observed

9 Percentages of survey responses

10 The case studies Of the 17 schools 11 urban, 3 rural, 3 remote 7 primary, 7 secondary, 2 K-12, 1 K-8 Some special features: 5 High Indigenous 3 Special needs / At-risk 2 Girls schools 1 Distance Education Centre

11 The current study: preview of main findings There is continued strongly positive reaction from teachers and students for both learning and engagement. These patterns apply across all teacher and student demographics. Multi-level models show considerable variation within and between LOs, and some related to curriculum area. There are major variations in: i) awareness and usage in schools, and ii) degrees of integration. There is evidence of potentially new learning environments being put to old pedagogical work

12 General evaluations of students

13 Features helping students learn from LOs

14 Teachers perceptions of motivational effects

15 Teachers perceptions of learning outcomes

16 Clustering teachers on their assessments of learning outcomes

17 But no associations… between responses and the student or teacher demographics we assessed that is, differing degrees of like or dislike, and nominations of key features were all distributed randomly across the teacher and student samples

18 Curriculum area effects I: Overall ratings LOTE tends to rate lower on overall approval than the other curriculum areas, Literacy a little higher The negative effect for LOTE is statistically reliable only for interesting and fun and helps me think about new ideas







25 Curriculum area effects II: Helpful features LOTE tends to rate lower on helpful features than the other curriculum areas, Literacy higher Statistical effects are reliable but the magnitudes are not great









34 The specificities of the LOs I Some LOs are rated more highly than others BUT those rated highly for a particular feature are not the same set as those for a different feature

35 The specificities of the LOs II There is more variability associated with individual LOs for on-screen features (sound, colour and movement, interactivity) THAN For off-screen features afforded by the LO (working at my own pace, getting feedback, etc)

36 e.g., Sound and getting helpful feedback

37 The case studies: Highlights and challenges Of the 17 schools 1 - use of the Learning Objects (LOs) embedded into general, conventional teaching practice 5 - substantial use by a small proportion of staff 6 - some people using them from time to time 5 - in the earliest stages of implementation

38 Key features: engagement and responsibility I love the way [the LOs] engage kids and help them in the production of their work. They are so powerful in that regard. They are a great tool in our repertoire of engaging kids. … Students are working at their own pace and … being responsible for their own learning. We can use them across the board, and find them especially helpful with our integration students (teacher, Brighton PS )

39 Key features: The right starting point One of the major issues for the students I work with is finding the right starting point to enable them to learn effectively. In their normal classroom work the entry level can be just too high. Through using the objects I find that we can progress at a much faster rate through the syllabus and the sorts of content we want them to master. (teacher, Good News Lutheran School)

40 Key features: Independence and feedback they get feedback straight away which keeps them involved and motivated. (teacher, Brighton PS) The independence kids can achieve is phenomenal. Variety, motivation, flexibility, ease of use, the interactivity is very important. (teacher, at-risk centre) They re-read we do notice this go back and recover. Being able to repeat is very important. It is an additional incentive, which otherwise would not be there and which our kids need, to get things right. (teacher, at-risk centre)

41 Key features: Summary from a dedicated user They encourage a high level of engagement from students because of their interactivity. The open-endedness of many of the objects stimulates further independent learning. The screen and interface are generally very clear and accessible. (teacher, Atherton PS)

42 New technologies, old pedagogies Pedagogy is influenced but not determined by LO use (case study summary notes, McRae) We saw the LOs being used in ways ranging from the tightest lock- step process imaginable to unsupported open choice. (case study summary notes, McRae)

43 Like a textbook or a library book? Some of the considerations that guided the thinking of some schools staff were: that LOs should be used for a particular educational purpose only and not as a time-filler (if they were openly accessible they might lose some of their appeal and interest); only the teacher should be making judgments about their use to optimise learning. We saw cases where all accessible objects were made available for staff as part of the schools digital resource library and were indexed and delivered in a structured, pre-determined way. (case study summary notes, McRae)

44 A cautionary tale Guttenberg and the promise of new technologies and Ramus, when institutions bring technologies to heel (Ong, 1983)

45 Ways forward Preserving investment in the implementation phase. Now more responsibility onto systems and colleagues in schools to take the investment to the next phase with regard to producing quality teaching and learning environments. That is, the outcomes are outcomes of enhanced teaching and learning, not magical properties of the LO of itself.

46 References Freebody, P. (2005). Does the use of online curriculum content enhance motivation, engagement and learning? The Federation trial review. Report to Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) [available at odeID=67] Images from Google Image. Ong, W. (1983). Ramus: Method, and the decay of dialogue. NY: Methuen.

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