For this cycle of the research, I used several ways to collect data that included research journal, collection of students' presentation, students' reflection and students' survey.
As the teacher and researcher, I have been keeping a reflective journal focusing on my own intentions and on how the students are responding to the environments and lessons I create and facilitate. Revisions, actions taken and responses are also noted. My action research journal can be accessed at http://xkarp.blogspot.com.
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This final product was the demonstration co-created by students and their peers. Communicating with their cross-cultural buddies was an on-going activity that supported the primary, essential learning question of the unit. This selected presentation was made by 4 eighth graders at the Bishop's School. Multimedia technology was used as tools for their oral and written reports in both English and Chinese. It takes about 7 minutes to view the entire presentation. Please click on the link Your School,My School to view it. Other students' presentation can be accessed in my Bishops website.
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Survey on Students' Learning:
A survey was administered to the students at the end of the project to help me understand how the collaborative learning with the native Chinese students increases students' motivation to learn the language and opportunities to use the language, and helps students learn the language more effectively. Here are the questions and survey results. Overall, the responses are very positive.
1. Do you think that working on the project (Your School and My School) has helped you learn the language effectively? If yes, why?
- 91.5% students felt connected to the world through the use of e-mail communication.
- 91.5% students felt enthusiastic about the learning from their Chinese peers.
- 83.3% students felt excited about and confident in their demonstration using technologies.
- 91.3% students expressed that they have learned the Chinese school life directly from their peers in China.
- 100% students indicated that they become to understand the differences of the school life in China through the project.
- 50% students stated that they have learned how to use the newly acquired vocabulary and grammar from the native Chinese speakers.
- 100% students are confident in their improvement of the pronunciation and speaking through PowerPoint.
2. If not, why not? Please list reasons:
Fifty percent of students think that it was a good leaning experience, but they have not really incorporated the new Chinese vocabulary into conversation. It takes some time to build up their own vocabulary.
3. How do you like the collaboration in this project? Why?
Selected comments about collaboration included:
- It was fun working with my classmates as a team to complete this project. It was hard to coordinate the tasks, however. With a better allocation of work, the project could have gone more smoothly and efficiently. I would definitely want to work in a group on a future project - GJ
- I enjoyed working on this project with some of the members of my team. It was fun working on the PowerPoint and recording voice together. I was also able to help my teammates speak and learn, which I enjoyed. - ZG
- With the people that worked on it I feel more connected. I feel this way because after working so hard on it we have become much better friends. - BF
- People in the group can help each other out because everyone is good at different aspects of the language. A group can accomplish a much bigger task with more people, and can learn more. - CWL
- I thought our group worked very well together. Even though all our of us didn't work on the same thing at the same time, we got everything done on time. We didn't argue at all and helped each other with pronunciation and Chinese characters. - FL
- I liked my team because they helped me understand the grammar and pronunciation of the sentences and we worked well together - ML
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At the end of the project,
I had each student complete a reflection to help me better assess their feelings about working on the project, about their progress in their learning, and about working with technology as a facilitator. Here are some selections
of the students reflections.