Tag Archives: reflection

Questionnaire / Reflection Sheet 3

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

I know that Inquiry learning can be an extremely valuable method for students learn a wide range of skills and in particular to develop a deep understanding of content. It can be a risky undertaking for teachers as they need to give up some of their long held beliefs about methods of instruction and act as a ‘guide on the side’ rather than a ‘sage on the stage’ but the benefits for students are great, including:

  • Developing skills through social interaction
  • Linking learning to real life and constructing meaning that they find valuable
  • Gain independence in research and learning and develop a strong sense of accomplishment
  • Experience a high level of motivation and engagement and come to a greater understanding of the affective domain of learning
  • Gain skills that are transferrable to learning situations outside of school

2. How interested are you in this topic? Check () one box that best matches your

interest.

Not at all not much quite a bit a great deal

3. How much do you know about this topic? Check () one box that best matches how much you know.

Nothing not much quite a bit a great deal

4. Thinking back on your research project, what did you find easiest to do? Please list as many things as you like.

The easiest thing for me was to:

  • select an ILA to investigate
  • set up a blog page
  • Write in a scholarly manner
  • Give feedback to group members

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

I found two main things difficult and challenging:-

  • Finding the hours needed to meet the requirements for this subject, I felt like I was behind from the start and this subject has been the most demanding of my Masters so far in terms of hours required just to keep up & complete set weekly tasks, do readings & lectures, and then the assignments required enormous commitments of time.
  • Technology- I found Jing easy, Evernote so/so but doing the video & trying to upload it with the sound embedded required me to use my technology ‘guide on the side’. Doing the blog on WordPress was OK as I had used it before but there were often finicky things like one table not uploading properly, having to revert to using HTML to make font size consistent that were time consuming and annoying to fix

6. What did you learn in doing this research project? Please list as many things as you like.

I have learnt so much it would really be difficult to list them all. When I first began this subject I had a vague idea that Inquiry was something about learning by doing & my understanding is now much more sophisticated than that. The thing that stands out for me from everything I have researched and written is the inclusion of the Affective domain as part of the learning process. Although I had experienced this for myself on many occasions when I first saw Kuhlthau’s model of the ISP it was like a revelation. This is what will stay with me most from this subject and what I will use constantly when guiding both students and my own children through the Information Search Process

INQUIRY MODELS AND MY OWN INQUIRY PROCESS

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Inquiry learning has constructivist theories of education at its core. The concept of constructivism can be traced back to Socrates directing questions to his students. In the twentieth century Piaget and Dewey with their theories of childhood development paved the way for constructivism with new perspectives being added by Vygotsky, Bruner and Ausubel
(Matsuoka 2004, n.p.). The main activity in a constructivist classroom is solving problems. Students use inquiry methods to ask questions, investigate a topic, and use a variety of resources to find solutions and answers. As students explore the topic, they draw conclusions, and as exploration continues, they revisit those conclusions. Exploration of questions leads to more questions. The wide variety of Inquiry-Learning models available today hold constructivism as the underpinning philosophy.

Trevor Bond, (2010), on his website provides an overview and background on twenty-three different models of Inquiry-Learning, including his own known as SAUCE. There is an enormous amount of information available on Inquiry-Learning and most of the models have areas that overlap. However, for my own personal inquiry journey, and in particular my ISP process, the model that best fits is, The Alberta Inquiry Model (AIM), (Figure 1). This process model is theory-based and grounded in research from the fields of education and library and information studies (LIS). From education, comes learning theory and from LIS, information seeking behaviour theory (Oberg. 1999, para 5).

The similarity with Kuhlthau’s Model of the Information Search Process, (Kuhlthau et al. 1997 p, 19) is the understanding of the complexity of learning from information and the consideration of both the affective and cognitive domains. It was this dual consideration that mirrored my ISP process, as was discussed in the last blog post. The main differences between the two models however are the emphasis on reflection and the non-linear experience in the AIM.

The graphic design of the AIM has reflecting on/ reviewing the process at its core and this is an essential part of every stage of the process. The other stages all fit around this central piece, illustrated as part of a puzzle and all the puzzle pieces are equally essential to completing the overall picture. This reflects my ISP experience, it was nonlinear and recursive and the continual reflection was essential for me to facilitate deep understanding. Reviewing the Process is a critical element for helping students to understand research as a learning process and to develop their metacognitive abilities, for both ‘thinking about thinking’ and for ‘thinking about feeling’ (Alberta 2004, para. 8).

The Alberta Inquiry Model

Figure 1. The Alberta Inquiry Model (Alberta. 2004, ch.2, p.10).

The Focus on Research: A Process Approach, (Figure 2) is an instructional model of this process,  it was developed because of teacher and teacher-librarian demand and my ISP is analysed further under each of the stages. Note that for the purpose of this analysis I have added a third column to the table that lists the affective domain.

The Focus on Research: A Process Approach

STAGES

SKILLS

Planning
  • Establish Topic
  • Identify Information Sources
  • Identify Audience and Presentation Format
  • Establish Evaluation Criteria
  • Review Process
Information Retrieval
  • Locate Resources
  • Collect Resources
  • Review Process
Information Processing
  • Choose Relevant Information
  • Evaluate Information
  • Organize and Record Information
  • Make Connections and Inferences
  • Create Product
  • Revise and Edit
  • Review Process
Information Sharing
  • Present Findings
  • Demonstrate Appropriate Audience Behavior
  • Review Process
Evaluation
  • Evaluate Product
  • Evaluate Research Procedures and Skills
  • Review Process

Figure 2. Focus on Research: A Process Approach (Oberg, 1999, n.p.)

STAGES

SKILLS

AFFECTIVE

Planning
  • Establish Topic
  • Identify Information Sources
  • Identify Audience and Presentation Format
  • Establish Evaluation Criteria
  • Review Process
  • engaged
  • interested
  • curious
  • positive

In the Planning stage, students are given the opportunity to get an image of the whole research process; this was the case in CLN650 with detailed outlines for the unit, weekly overviews and links to past projects. Oberg, ( 1999, para. 11.) emphasises this getting a sense of the project as a whole supports student success. Engaging students in the planning stage is crucial. My engagement came in the form of selecting my ILA, so even though the parameters for the assignment were already laid out I was able to select content that interested me, was relevant to my experience and connected me to the world outside this subject. At this stage of the process I experienced all of the emotions listed in the affective column and the review process here involved reflective analysis in the form of questionnaire 1, and discussions on Facebook and in weekly tutorials.

STAGES

SKILLS

AFFECTIVE

Information Retrieval
  • Locate Resources
  • Collect Resources
  • Review Process
  • (information overload)—anger
  • frustration
  • fatigue
  • irritability, (leg jiggling or swearing

The information Retrieval stage is where students locate the information needed. The knowledge of information tools and systems and of search strategies are essential and again we were given the tools necessary to adequately do this in the form of demonstration, ‘how to’ videos and guidance in tutorials. My practising with these is documented in the ‘searching’, sections of my blog. Concept mapping was useful to me here to narrow down my search terms and begin to focus on what information I wanted to retrieve. Again the affective component was extremely true to my experience, (it was as if someone had been spying on me to see the frustration and swearing). This was definitely caused from”information overload” (Oberg, 1999, Para. 12.) from both researching Inquiry-Learning and coming to terms with using new technology. The review process again involved discussions and solutions on Facebook and emails back and forth to my other team members. This went hand in hand with retrospective analysis of the information I had retrieved.

STAGES

SKILLS

AFFECTIVE

Information Processing
  • Choose Relevant Information
  • Evaluate Information
  • Organize and Record Information
  • Make Connections and Inferences
  • Create Product
  • Revise and Edit
  • Review Process
  • anger
  • frustration
  • irritability
  • engaged
  • interested
  • curious
  • positive

Information Processing is really a two-phase stage that combines both the processing and creating stages from Figure 1. After selecting and recording pertinent information, the students create a research product by organizing and synthesizing their information in a unique and personal way (Oberg, 1999, Para. 13.).For me this was in the form of blog entries, particularly the essay that synthesized all the information. There were feelings of frustration at the beginning of this stage as I was still dealing with information overload and needed to further narrow my focus. Part of the review process was personal reflection on the purpose of this subject for me and discussion and feedback from my lecturer. At the end of this stage I moved back toward the feelings of positivity.

STAGES

SKILLS

AFFECTIVE

Information Sharing
  • Present Findings
  • Demonstrate Appropriate Audience Behavior
  • Review Process
  • Positive
  • Satisfaction or
  • disappointment

In the Information Sharing stage, the students present the research product in a way that is meaningful for a particular audience. There is also opportunity for the students to consider the role of the audience members in enhancing the sharing experience (Oberg, 1999, Para. 14.).This occurred with the posting of blog entries and with the valuable use of peer feedback and review. Also, part of my personal review process during this stage was to review other group members blogs which was a great experience in becoming more aware of shortcomings in my own writing and presentation of ideas. In the affective domain I felt relief that I was able to produce something coherent form the research and that the process was over for the moment!

STAGES

SKILLS

AFFECTIVE

Evaluation
  • Evaluate Product
  • Evaluate Research Procedures and Skills
  • Review Process
  • emotional literacy
  • understanding

In the Evaluation stage, the emphasis is on involving the students in the assessment of the process as well as the product of the research (Oberg, 1999, Para. 15.). The main part of my personal review process was Questionnaire 2. By this stage I was relieved to have Blog stage 1 complete and wasn’t really interested in any more reflection but the questionnaire was useful for me to examine where I had started in terms of my knowledge and how much I had progressed. I had markedly increased my emotional literacy particularly in terms of the ISP and had come to understand better my own metacognitive process.

The Alberta Inquiry Model emphasizes the affective as well as cognitive aspects of Inquiry-Learning. Information seeking is a complex process and students need to be helped to recognize as natural the waves of optimism and frustration that accompany complex learning (Kuhlthau, 1993). As a teacher-librarian I have discovered from experiencing this process myself that students need to be aware of and have coping strategies to address such phenomena as library anxiety and information overload. In my future practise I will try to help students recognise these feelings as normal parts of learning, to understand them, and to regulate them. Students who understand that their feelings are not unique but shared by others are less likely to be overwhelmed by them.

REFERENCES

Alberta.(2004). Alberta Learning. Learning and Teaching Resources Branch.

Focus on inquiry: a teacher’s guide to implementing inquiry-based learning.

Focus on Inquiry Chapter 2 p. 9 Alberta Learning, Alberta, Canada 2004 Retrieved September 8, 2012 from http://education.alberta.ca/media/313361/focusoninquiry.pdf

Bond, T (2010.) SAUCE: An Inquiry Learning Approach. Retrieved

    September 13, 2012 from http://ictnz.com/index.htm

Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L. And Caspari, A. (2007) Guided Inquiry: learning in the 21st century     school. Westport: Greenwood. Retrieved September 8 from     http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~kuhlthau/index.html

Matsuoka, B.M. (Exec. Prod.)(2004). Concept to Classroom: A series of

Workshops. Constructivism as A Paradigm for teaching and Learning. Educational Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved September 13, 2012 from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index.html

Oberg, D. (1999). Teaching the research process – for discovery and personal growth.

In 65th International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Council and General Conference Bangkok, Thailand, August 20 – August 28, 1999 Retrieved September 8, 2012 from
http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla65/papers/078-119e.htm

    

REFLECTIVE QUESTIONNAIRE 2

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

inquiry learning

  • There is an Inquiry model for almost every occasion, most of them reflect Kuhlthau’s Information Search process and the most useful ones have a cognitive and affective component to them
  • Researchers agree that Inquiry Learning engages students on a deep cognitive level but is something that should be introduced (at primary level)in scaffolded levels
  • One of my favourite quotes from the research is ‘all inquiry is not created equal’, there are different levels of inquiry activities and a plethora of videos and kits that demonstrate and encourage ‘best practice’
  • Teachers need to be supported when initially introducing Inquiry into their classrooms as they too experience the ISP process and this is where teacher-librarians and their specific skills come in.

information literacy

  • An ability to access or retrieve information, whether it is online, in a book, in someone’s memory. Then to comprehend that information and to utilise it in a way that helps to answer the initial questions and even to formulate new ones

2. How interested are you in this topic? A great deal

3. How much do you know about this topic? Quite a bit

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

  • Use Boolean operators and conduct specific searches
  • Access databases and retrieve specific information by narrowing down searches
  • Synthesize information and make it relevant to my needs, present it in a logical manner
  • Link specific ideas to the ‘bigger picture’
  • Reflect on what I have read or discovered (this is a necessary process for me when my brain is feeling too full) and keep or reject ideas and information as it suits.

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

  • Decide on a focus and not be distracted by other interesting looking information
  • ‘work smarter’ see my blog post about this
  • Remember to save websites, links and other information needed for reference lists
  • To STOP and remember when enough is enough

6.  How do you feel about your research so far? Confident – I think I know where I’m heading

MY INFORMATION SEARCH PROCESS

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MY INFORMATION SEARCH PROCESS (ISP).

When I first saw Kuhlthau’s Model of the Information Search Process,  (Figure 1), it was a light bulb moment for me. I had frequently experienced the affective process but had never really given it due consideration as an important part of the learning process. This was an “a-ha” insight as I now had the vocabulary to describe what I experienced each time I embarked on new learning. I would have liked to have discovered this model a week earlier as whilst I was doing an ILA observation I watched students really grappling with feelings of frustration and the teacher experiencing increasing doubt and it would have been great to reflect on this model and discuss how normal and even expected these feelings were. Oh well, the benefits of hindsight, this will form part of my ILA recommendations for future practice.

Figure 1. Kuhlthau’s Model of Information Search Process. Kuhlthau et al. (1997 p, 19).

My search process paralleled each of the stages in Kuhlthau’s model in the following ways:-

  • INITIATION. When I first started to examine the concept of inquiry I had some vague notions about it but as questionnaire 1 reflects, there was a lot of uncertainty. I had heard and read some things and thought I could remember others but was generally unsure exactly what inquiry learning meant or looked like in a classroom. When I completed my wordle I really became aware of my lack of knowledge and some feelings of apprehension began to creep in.
  • SELECTION. As I viewed the mini lectures and participated in the weekly tutorials and started to develop an understanding what inquiry learning was about I began to feel more optimistic. Perhaps I should have looked more closely at the model as I didn’t realise that this feeling would be (very!) brief. However I was armed with enough information to start some research on my ILA.
  • EXPLORATION…this was when the trouble started! I found enormous amounts of information that was pertinent to my ILA- science in the primary curriculum, but I was becoming more confused in the process. Some of the information was conflicting and I hadn’t initially realised the wide scope of activities that fall under the banner of Inquiry. The breadth and depth of the information was overwhelming. In addition to this, I kept coming across articles about how teacher-librarians are essential collaborative partners in the inquiry process.
  • FORMULATION. So…. after much deliberation about what I wanted to achieve from this subject and approval from she who knows all (Mandy), I finally decided to make the teacher-librarian collaboration aspect the focus of my research. This gave me clarity and marked a return to feelings of optimism and confidence. This confidence was again diminished though when I started to use new technology and the exploration stage started all over again in relation to this aspect of the task requirements.

  • COLLECTION. Once I had a focus for my research that I was happy with I continued with information seeking with a definite sense of clarity. There were still some ‘crises of confidence’ along the way but nothing as marked as during the exploration stage. I became increasingly interested in the Inquiry process, particularly in the problems associated with implementing authentic inquiry into the classroom. This became another ‘mini’ focus area for me.
  • PRESENTATION. The presentation stage really occurred for me when I had completed the mini-essay. I experienced a feeling of satisfaction as I had been able to synthesize all those previously garbled thoughts into a coherent document. I had conveyed what was important to me from the literature and devised how, as a future teacher-librarian I would be able to put this learning to use.
  • ASSESSMENT. A sense of accomplishment (and relief) was experienced when all of this information was published on my blog.

OBSERVATIONS.

Although I experienced all of the stages in Kuhlthau’s model, my ISP deviated from it in that it was not a linear progression. I would continually revisit the exploration and collection stages and the associated feelings of confusion and doubt were mixed in with moments of clarity. I also needed to continually reflect on what I was feeling and where I was at in the information seeking process. It is for these reasons that my ISP, although paralleling Kuhlthau’s stages, is more accurately represented by The Alberta Inquiry Model which I will discuss further in a later blog post.

REFERENCES

Kuhlthau, C., Maniotes, L. And Caspari, A. (2007) Guided Inquiry: learning in the 21st century school. Westport: Greenwood. Retrieved September 8 from

http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/~kuhlthau/index.html