Month 10 AR Blog Post

Is there a connection between the data produced from your Cycles and the research reported in your Literature Review?

Yes, there is a definite connection between my Literature Review data and Cycles 1 and 2 For example, students in both cycles did demonstrate academic achievement, increased student engagement, and student responses and final projects facilitated a deeper inherent understanding which is an outcome that several articles asserted.  In addition, several educators claimed that the utilization of discussion forums increased student participation.  During both cycles, students completed assignments, and the assignments were effective and demonstrated a more insightful analysis and connection to the questions posted by the students and me.  My literature review indicated that more students would feel more comfortable to fully respond and develop answers within a discussion forum and after utilization, students would feel more confident when having small group and whole group discussions.  This idea is supported through my own observations and student observations.  In both cycles, students actively participated more after completion of responses in the Schoology discussion forum.  Another correlation between my Literature Review and my cycles is the increased understanding of feedback and response requirements when a definitive process was provided and taught to the students.  Through providing samples of RISE critical feedback posts and samples of insightful open- ended responses as well as providing videos and step by step guides on how to create the feedback and responses, students demonstrated a better understanding and generated insightful responses that illustrated a new ability to connect to what is read with the author’s message.

How did your AR project turn out for you? Describe as a practitioner, how did this project improve your practice.

The AR project has been quite educational for me. I have gained my own new insight regarding providing definitive steps and examples when asking student to critically think and when providing feedback.  I have also gained an invaluable skill regarding utilizing a peer and teacher feedback process.  Students academically and intellectually soared as a result of my AR project.  The amount of insightful discussions that has resulted from this project is so impressive that I found myself reading their responses and sharing them on our campus Facebook page until early hours of the morning.  Our in class discussions have become so engaging that students are having a hard time controlling their enthusiasm to the topics we are discussing.  I find that a focus question or quotation that I had planned to only take 15 minutes is now taking 40 minutes, and every extra minute spent is relevant and engaging.  The question, for me, should be how has it not improved my practice because every aspect of my AR project has been insightful and has had a direct impact on my classroom.  By providing the visual breakdown, the samples, the step by step guides, and increasing my own expectations, my practice continues to improve.  Something as simple as using a Learning Management System has empowered my students and me, and not just from utilizing the discussion forums.  I am able to easily differentiate instruction, apply accommodations, and address the whole learner within Schoology.  I can give quick and relevant feedback to each individual student; I can score essays and the students have the rubrics right at their fingertips within Schoology, and I can provide the comments easily.  The students are able to quickly send revisions, and provide their own feedback.  I feel that my AR project has increased my ability to reach students, help them experience success, and guide them to generate connections we would have missed if I had not invested in my Action Research Project.

Is a personal learning environment or an LMO something that could be part of your AR project in the future? Why or why not.

Absolutely-a personal learning environment is something that I incorporated into my Action Research Project through the utilization of the Schoology discussion forums; however, since implementation, I have incorporated Schoology into our every day classroom usage, and I am constantly working on videos and lessons that are outside the scope of my project.  Both the students and myself love Schoology, and my parents are excited to have it available as well.  Parents can log into Schoology and see their student’s responses, projects, lessons, and my comments and feedback.  This has opened an amazing world of communication, and it is something that I will not step away from.  Students and parents can access lessons (even copyrighted lesson) safely from within Schoology, so if an assignment is forgotten or a resource needed, it is right there at their fingertips.  As mentioned above, the beauty of utilizing Schoology is that I can differentiate, accommodate, and extend for EACH individual students-the extent of this capability is unimaginable.  Success is achievable for all students (even those that like to make excuses), and I feel that this is because of utilizing the personal learning environment, Schoology.

Visual Accompaniment of AR Project Process and Student Engagment


Gaming and Motivation Lesson Plan

Action Research Focus: 

Within the English classroom at Crenshaw School, students struggle to create relevant discourse regarding author’s purpose in assigned readings. Implementing the Reflect, Inquire, Suggest, Elevate (RISE) model of critical feedback as a requirement for students to follow when evaluating peer responses to discussion posts should enhance student analysis of an author’s purpose in assigned readings.

Action Research Game Connection:

This game is designed to engage students interactively via a role playing game that requires students to critically analyze peer responses in conjunction with actual evidence and character portrayals from within the novel, Anthem by Ayn Rand.  Students will utilize the RISE feedback process by Emily Wray to debate and question ideas and events encountered by teams.  Student teams will judge responses as the Transgressor, Society, and Councils in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the RISE process and open-ended responses in order to determine effectiveness and rate the level of responses.  This game will generate peer analysis data, and as an observer this game allows me to evaluate responses by individuals during game play utilizing the same rubrics and process outlined and detailed in my Action Plan and Cycle I page.

Lesson Objective:  Students will infer connections, cite relevant and specific evidence to support conclusions, evaluate theme, summarize key points and details, analyze how individuals, events, and ideas develop and change within Anthem, analyze tone through characterization and plot development, evaluate point of view and author’s purpose, and delineate and evaluate arguments and claims in Anthem by Ayn Rand through role playing, Reflect, Inquire, Suggest, Elevate (RISE) feedback process, and open-ended responses. Mastery is demonstrated when teams earn three escape cards.

1. Pacing:  What is the pace of your lesson or game?  Who will go first?

  • Each round is approximately 25 minutes-players have 5 minutes to draw the option and discuss tactics.  Players have 5 minutes to interact and debate with society.  Players have five minutes to present their information, findings, and ideas to the Council. The Council has 10 minutes to debate with the teams.  While the debates are occurring with the council and society, Transgressor team is determining the points teams are earning by creating tally marks on the rubrics:  RISE, Three Levels of Analysis, and Lincoln Douglas Debate sheets.
  • Beginning play is determined by team responses to questions based on events from the novel, Anthem.  Players will take a 60 second quiz based on elements of the novel.  Winning teams choose what role they will play first.
  • Teams will present to Society and the Council in order of points earned.  The team with the highest accumulated points will go first, second highest points will go second, and so on.
  • Each game round ends after 25 minutes.
  • Players rotate positions-Council of Scholars become Society, World Council becomes Council of Scholars, Society becomes Transgressor, Transgressor becomes one of the three:  International 4-8818, Equality 7-2521, and Liberty 5-3000.  The team that wins the escape to the Unchartered Forest becomes the World Council of Scholars.
  • Teams can’t be the same character twice in a row, so the losing team’s new character/team will be determined by what they played before.  This will leave the Transgressor to become what is left.
  • There are a total of eight rounds in each game.  When a team earns three escapes, they move to a new game in Minecraft, and are no longer included in this role-playing game.  Each team will become all characters before the end of the game.

2. Instructions:  How will your leaners learn how to play your game? 

  • An instruction sheet will be provided via a print out. The sheet will delineate and provide visuals to assist students in understanding game process.  Students will also have a video to access on Youtube that will detail out and demonstrate how to play the game.
  • Students will practice as a whole class on day one what to expect and how to interact during the game.
  • Students will also view a video on Lincoln Douglas Debate and will have a
    ‘cheat’ sheet that details the order to follow when debating.  (This debate style is already familiar to students in my class.)
  • Students utilize the RISE rubric and the Three Levels of Reading rubric on a regular bases, so there will be no need for review, but the rubrics will be in their game folders for them to utilize during the debates.

3. Controls:  What will the learners manipulate in your game?  

  • Teams:  Students will be divided into 7 teams of 3 players each.  Teams will be determined by drawing a number from a box.  Students will cooperatively become the following:  Council of Scholars, World Council of Scholars (Collective 0-0009), Society, International 4-8818, Transgressor of the Unspeakable Word, Equality 7-2521, and Liberty 5-3000.
  • International 4-8818, Liberty 5-3000, and Equality 7-2521.
  • Teams will draw challenges from events in the novel.  Each team will have a different challenge based on challenges or events in the novel.  For example, one may draw creating light, another may draw breaking the time law, and another may draw speaking to another and showing special favoritism.  Other events could be vocation assignments-where in the novel, Liberty 5-3000 works in the fields, and she could be switched to working as a street sweeper.
  • The events and decisions made by the author will be generated and changed by all class members.
  • Each student will create a shift or change to be placed into the box of options-this is where students pull their challenges from.
  • Team members will randomly draw the challenge.
  • The team members will discuss the three possible scenarios and then choose the one that they wish to role-play.  The unused choices will be placed back in the box for further play.
  • The Council of Scholars and the World Council of Scholars will join forces and will function as the lead team with Collective 0-0009 being the leader of this group and this person will have the final decision regarding where the other characters go.
  • If the characters can’t convince the scholars that their actions and thoughts in the novel are just and worthy, then the council will determine if the players are to be eliminated, jailed in the Palace of Corrective Detention, or if the players are able to escape into the Unchartered Forest.  Three escapes mean that the team has earned enough cards to enter into the Minecraft Realm.
  • The society will function as the inhibitors of the game-their duty is to try to convince the remaining characters that their actions are just or unjust through the utilization of RISE.
  • The society’s role is to propel collectivism forward-to try to keep true to the society within the novel.  This group, in order to earn rewards, can’t delineate from being collected members of society-no individualism.
  • Transgressor of the Unspeakable Word will be the gift giver-these players will give the other teams codes, skins, and cheats to be used when the play reaches our classroom Minecraft server.
  • The type of gift and extent of gift will depend on how successful the teams are in reflection, inquiring, suggesting, and elevating ideas and responses in debates with the councils.
  • Transgressor team will determine how successful the other teams are by utilizing the RISE rubric and Three Levels of Reading rubric to justify the number of items and kinds of rewards given.
  • International 4-8818, Equality 7-2521, and Liberty 5-3000 are the debating teams-each team will draw a quest to complete-these quests mean defying the laws of society or following society rules.
  • Each team must present their ideas or findings to the Council-the presentation of information will follow a Lincoln Douglas debate scenario where the players must convince the council that their ideas are just and good for society.
  • They will take their challenge and then create a plan of implementation and they must utilize evidence and details from the novel to support how this project will help society-the catch is that they are convincing the Councils that the idea is for society-even though the task is individualistic in nature.
  • The Council will determine how valid and relevant the ideas are, how these ideas would affect the novel, what changes would result, and the council will reflect on the ideas of the three teams, inquire for more information, suggest other possible scenarios if the actions and choices of the teams are permitted, and then elevate alternatives that would be better for the “whole” society.
  • The teams must then detail out and justify why their idea is the best and justify how the change in the novel would be beneficial for the good of the society in the novel and still keep true to Ayn Rand’s overall purpose of the novel-individualism should be valued more than collectivism.
  • One catch to this role playing game is staying true to the character traits of the characters in the novel-Transgressor and Society will evaluate the effectiveness of the validity of the character portrayal-this means that the teams will have to provide specific evidence from the novel that supports various actions ad decisions the characters make within this game.
  • When a team can demonstrate to society and the Transgressor that their actions parallel the actions, thoughts, and decisions of the characters, then the team members all receive an escape card.  This escape allows them to escape from a town burning and the Palace of Corrective Detention.  If a team earns three escape cards, then they are earning the right to escape to the Unchartered Forest that takes them to Minecraft play.
  • The Council will determine which team is successful-Collective 0-0009 will determine which team or teams has successfully escaped to the Unchartered Forest, which teams will be burned in the city for all to see, which will be strapped to the posts in the Palace of Corrective Detention and lashed.
  • If a team is lashed or burned, then they earn no gifts, skins, or tokens to be utilized in the classes Minecraft Server-teams will work in rebuilding the world in Minecraft with hurdles and obstacles, challenges, and quests embedded and created by classmates, but this is a new game, but Minecraft is also my motivation tool.
  • If a team is determined to be eliminated, then the players switch roles-each team assumes a new identity, and the play begins again. See above for role-playing rotation.

4. Knowledge:  What do you expect your learners to know when they enter the game?  What do you want them to learn from this game based lesson?  What do you expect them to know when they leave? 

  • Learners will have some basics knowledge about the characters in the novel, events and incidents that occurred in the novel, themes of the novel, and the author’s purpose behind writing the novel, and some knowledge about character development.
  • Learners will also already know the elements of Lincoln Douglas Debate, RISE process and rubric, and The Three Levels of Analysis rubric.
  • Learners will know plot development, cause and effect, and be able to determine problems and solutions through collaborative methods-these are skills that students have already encountered within the classroom.
  • Students will evaluate the events and decisions Ayn Rand’s characters make in the novel in order to determine the validity and outcome of purposeful decisions and the subsequent actions that are generated from these decisions.  Students are not limited to the actions of characters (but must stay true to the character traits given by the author) within the novel, but can change the decisions in the course of play in order to evaluate the effectiveness behind these actions in relation to the author’s purpose.
  • When students finish this game, students will understand how authors make deliberate choices when writing.  Students will be able to evaluate choices and how choices generate problems, solutions, causes, and effects within the novel and within life.  Students will be able reflect on ideas of others, inquire for more information to help create valid and relevant analysis, suggest other perspectives for consideration, and elevate a connection between themes, messages, and purpose within a novel to their own life and the world in which we live.
  • When students finish this game, students will also be able to effectively communicate ideas by providing assertions, valid and relevant evidence, and explaining what the evidence demonstrates to purpose, theme, and tone and how the evidence facilitates the ideas in assertions and creates a parallel to society outside of the text.
  • Students will also be able to internalize, evaluate, and vocalize the significance of individual choices in relation to the impact on their environment and world.

5. Achievement: What are the short term and long term victories for the learner? How do you incorporate operant conditioning in your lesson?

  • Short-term victories are the rewards earned for Minecraft and escapes earned through the debating sessions.  Short term victories are also earned when a team is able to progress forward in the game and move beyond the three characters:  International 4-8818, Equality 7-2521, and Liberty 5-3000.
  • Long-term victories are earned specifically through the escapes awarded. When three escapes are earned the team advances into a new game on Minecraft. Achieving Minecraft status means the players understand the choices of the author regarding the theme of individualism, the theme of collectivism, the power of choice, and the consequences of choice.  This enables the teams to advance to recreating the world in Minecraft where they will create a new game for their peers.
  • Operant conditioning is incorporated by the opportunity to earn rewards for winning rounds.  The more logical the approach a team takes to influencing society and the Councils means a larger reward.  The rewards condition the player to think logically, provide relevant and valid data, and explain the justification for their proposals and decisions.  This practice creates permanency policy will help students embed the power of choice and resulting rewards and consequences in the novel and in his/her own life.
  • Operant conditioning is further utilized when no reward is received and when a team is sent to detention or burned.  This helps condition students to understand that assertions made and choices made must be based on reliable and relevant data.  The connections that are generated must be viable and believable.  Not earning rewards for ideas that are not based on legitimate and valid details helps condition the player to think critically and make connections.
  • The RISE feedback process embedded in the game also provides operant conditioning.  Players that can reflect, inquire, suggest, and elevate earn rewards when these ideas are based on relevancy, data, and critical thought.  This assists in conditioning students to apply effective discourse when analyzing situations and events.  Students are also being conditioned to work collaboratively, judge quality of responses, and evaluate the effectiveness of connections.

6. Story:  What is the immersive story or background information that brings the learner deep into your world?

  • Individualism has been erased from the world.  One can only exist for the group. There is no individual thought, and the world is no longer living-it just exists.  Within the middle school and high school setting, teens lose sight of self in order to belong to a group.  They make decision based on others instead of the self. Uniqueness is socially punished, and being within a clan or group provides protection and power.  Anthem by Ayn Rand (although it is politically driven) dives into the layers of collective choices that are not based on individual success or individual ideas.  The story is this world-one where “I” does not exist. “We” is the only concern, and individuality is burned on a stake in front of society.  The struggle to regain an identity and individuality is predominant in this story.  Can the players fight against being with a group because it is expected? Can they emerge as individuals that can find success for themselves and others?  The story is our own world in which we live.  Granted, Anthem is an extreme version, but in the minds of teens that want to fit in and be accepted, it is not extreme it is valid and real.  The struggle to find oneself is enhanced and revealed within this story.  The hero is the one that can see the “I” within the collective group and understand how each individual choice can make a difference-even if the cost means alienation from others.

7. Endgame:  Who is the evil boss character they have to fight at the end? What is the final outcome? Is there an ending to your game?

  • The evil boss character that they have to fight at the end is Collective 0-0009 of the World Scholars and society.  However, they must also conquer and live up to the expectations of the Transgressor.  The Transgressor is a character in the novel that is burned at the stake in front of all of society for standing up for his own individual beliefs.  He is unwilling to take back his unspeakable word (I and ego) and is willing to die for his individual beliefs.  The Transgressor team determines the level of success while the World Scholars and Collective 0-0009 determine what teams are victorious and escape.
  • The final outcome is to escape to the Unchartered Forest where teams create what they envision the new world in Anthem to look like.  Teams that don’t earn 3 escapes have to continue playing until escapes are earned. This means that teams will be split and the number of teammates will diminish and in some cases, the teams will become individual teams-hence the individual becomes solely responsible for success and failure.
  • Technically three escapes ends the game for a team; however, the role playing game may end, but the ideas and objectives in the game continue on in a new game on Minecraft where teams create a new world on our classroom server for Minecraft.  Teams create obstacles, challenges, and journals to parallel the ideas and possibilities that Ayn Rand opens in Anthem.
  • In this sense, the game doesn’t end-it continues as long as the students choose to keep challenging ideas and events in Minecraft.  Students create quests, obstacles, and rewards that parallel the author’s purpose in the novel.

8. Assessment:  What are the built in assessments to your game?

  • The built in assessments are the trials of explanations and rationalizations that must be provided to society and the Councils.  Each team will play each role at some point in the game; consequently, the teams will be able judge and participate in the art of analysis and feedback.  When earning reward and escape, the teams are being assessed in their abilities to critically think, create rationalizations, evaluate problems and solutions, and generate connections.
  • Built in assessments are based on the rubrics:  RISE, Three Levels of Analysis, and Lincoln Douglas Debate. The teams and students determine success and failure based on the guidelines established in these rubrics.  There will be a winning team and there will be losing teams.  Assessment is also built into the losing teams because the losing team (and winning team, for that matter) must re-evaluate their choices for reliability.  Were their thoughts coherent? Did they justify with appropriate evidence? Did the create connections? How well were their connections? Were they communicated in a manner that revealed what they meant?  How did they reflect, inquire, suggest, and elevate ideas?
  • Judges in the Transgressor position and Society are also providing assessment and having to discuss collaboratively to assess their own point scoring rubrics. Each team member in each group is providing questioning and assessments throughout play.
  • Another assessment that is utilized is quick thoughts and effective executions.  When a team can quickly score and earn the escapes, they earn more playing time in Minecraft, this assess how prompt and quick students are in generating connections, themes, purpose, and feedback.

9. Timing:  What is the overall time you have to play this game and how do you adjust to make the game go slower or faster? 

  • Each round of play is approximately 25 minutes.
  • There are eight rounds, so the entire game could last up to 3 and a half hours, but it depends on the success of teams.
  • Game play would take place over several class periods.
  • To adjust the game, one would only need to change the complexity of the problems and challenges teams are given.
  • Another way to speed up the game is to shorten the amount of collaboration and debate time.  Since this is a role playing game, the time parameters can be shifted as needed.

10. Fun and Motivation: Why is the game fun and why would your learners like this game?  What motivation theory does your lesson address?  What operant conditions are in place?

  • This game is fun for the kids because it allows them to pit their intelligence against each other.  Middle School and High School kids tend like to out “do” each other.  In my classes, they love, love, love to prove each other wrong.  They enjoy debating and de-throwning each other. The also love theater and Minecraft.  Since this game allows them to role play and become the characters, it appeals to their theatrical connections.  Since they all are absolute fanatics about Minecraft, it allows them the opportunity to earn rewards that can be utilized in Minecraft, and it allows them the opportunity to play Minecraft when three escapes are achieved.
  • The motivation theories that this lesson addresses are Achievement, Affiliation, and Power.
    • Students with a high needs for achievement are motivated quickly in this game, but students with a low needs for achievement are not left out because they are in teams, and the more excited and energized a high achievement student is the more quickly a students that may have not realized that achievement was a need will be pulled into play.  The engagement and interactivity of this game appeals to the needs of individuals-they need to achieve success to win the escape.  This escape leads them to Minecraft, so if they are not driven internally by achievement, the majority of students are driven to achieve time in Minecraft.
    • Affiliation is embedded in this lesson because the students are in teams, and since this is Middle School most like to belong and don’t want to be singled out; consequently, the affiliation component of this game allows each team member to contribute to the game play whether they are questioning, providing feedback, or evaluating other teams they are in constant affiliation with each other.
    • Power is imbedded in a couple of fashions.  The learner that needs to have personal power will have the ability to delegate and direct others as Collective 0-0009 and as team members of Transgressor, but the majority of play will be as institutional power.  They will be acquiring the power for the good of the group and these elements will earn them the rewards for Minecraft and the escapes to be able to play Minecraft.
    • Operant conditioning is incorporated by the opportunity to earn rewards for winning rounds.  The more logical the approach a team takes to influencing society and the Councils means a larger reward.  The rewards condition the player to think logically, provide relevant and valid data, and explain the justification for their proposals and decisions.  This practice creates permanency policy will help students embed the power of choice and resulting rewards and consequences in the novel and in his/her own life.
    • Operant conditioning is further utilized when no reward is received and when a team is sent to detention or burned.  This helps condition students to understand that assertions made and choices made must be based on reliable and relevant data.  The connections that are generated must be viable and believable.  Not earning rewards for ideas that are not based on legitimate and valid details helps condition the player to think critically and make connections.
    • The RISE feedback process embedded in the game also provides operant conditioning.  Players that can reflect, inquire, suggest, and elevate earn rewards when these ideas are based on relevancy, data, and critical thought.  This assists in conditioning students to apply effective discourse when analyzing situations and events.  Students are also being conditioned to work collaboratively, judge quality of responses, and evaluate the effectiveness of connections.

Action Research Month 9

  1. Cycle 1 has been completed. Describe in detail the methods used to report Cycle 1 data. Did you use quantitative, qualitative or a mixed approach for Cycle 1 data collection?

I utilized a mixed approach for data collection.  The majority has been through qualitative methods.  I interviewed, provided qualitative questions in pre and post assessments, I generated rubrics to evaluate the levels of responses.  I provided students with open-ended questions in order to evaluate the levels of responses.  Upon completion of the questions, I then analyzed the responses with the rubric.  Each level of response was assigned a number.  For example, if a student’s response stayed in the literal level the student received a 1.  If a student’s response demonstrated inference based on the rubric’s guidelines, the student received a score of 2, and if the response provided a universal connection, then the student received a score of 3.  For this section, students could earn up to 6 points.  I applied this same quantitative approach to the RISE rubric.  Student critiques in the discussion forum that only provided a reflective statement earned a 1. Students that inquired received a 2; students that suggested another perspective earned a 3, and students that elevated a response to higher level earned a 4.  Student RISE processes could earn a maximum of 10 points.  This data was then analyzed by demographics and for each week or trial.


2. Describe, synthesize, and compare the data found for Cycle 1 and

Cycle 2. If Cycle 2 is not complete, please talk about what your

predictions will be!

Cycle 2 has been completed; however, the data has not been analyzed.  Based on the data analysis for Cycle 1, I expect for the scores to increase in regards to student responses.  I predict that there will be an increase in Cycle 2 associated with critical feedback; however, based on the interest of the students, I feel that the data may not be as productive and as insightful as Cycle 1. 

3.  As a master’s student, you are expected to utilize the tools given in sync sessions, readings, and other source materials and apply them to your Action Research. Describe or reflect the ways that GSM could contribute to your Action Research.

Understanding the elements of gaming could be a huge asset for my Action Research Project because my overall goal is to increase critical thinking that involves analysis and connections.  Determining which games would enhance life long skills could be a huge benefit.  Students are engaged and immersed in technology and gaming is on the rise. Finding an avenue that would continue enhancing and challenging students to make connections and understand the implications of actions and events could only increase a student’s potential to apply these lessons within their own lives and within academic classrooms.

Reflection and FPE

Reflect upon your capstone project and respond to the prompts below in the form of a blog entry on your capstone web site.What changed in your set up from Cycle 1 to Cycle 2?

For Cycle 2, I incorporated the RISE song created last month to help students remember the process.  Students created their own symbolic representations of the RISE process which is something Cycle 1 participants were not required to complete.  I have also removed the Pre-Assessment because of the confusing regarding what RISE meant.  The feedback from Cycle 1 students indicated conflicting responses.

Besides continuing with Cycle 2, I am going to continue gathering data from my Cycle 1 group.  I would like to evaluate if the growth continues as the school year continues.  It is my hope to rise all students to reach a 90 percent or higher in all areas of critical thought.

What’s happening that you did not expect?

The inconsistency related to the Pre-Assessment is one part that I was not expecting. I was also not expecting to see variations in responses between subpopulations.  This is an area that I am continuing to gather data in order to ascertain the reason behind the fluctuating responses and evaluations.

How are you tracking data differently?

I am tracking data utilizing the same process, but I am incorporating more student interviews to assist with evaluating levels of responses.

How have the concepts and techniques presented in FPE contributed to your capstone project?

The story telling process and film capture is one area that has been enhanced. In order for students to understand the RISE process and for me to evaluate the data and responses, I have learned that the process is a question.  Participants and myself are the audience, and if we cannot connect or understand the questions that the project is answering, then the results will not be clear.  This is perhaps the most important contribution that I have gained from the FPE course. 

Month 7 MTA

I am currently on target to complete Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 of my Action Research project by the end of month 8; however, there were a few hurdles that could have pushed back completion of Cycle 2. One potential hurdle is TELPAS.  TELPAS requires students to take assessments and write essays to demonstrate growth regarding language proficiency.  Since the assessments and writing samples do not occur on one specified day, I believe that this will not be a hindrance, and if there is a delay, it will only be a couple of days.  In addition, I have discovered that our district has my students taking two six-week exams each grading period. My final hurdle, which I had initially overlooked, is the STAAR Writing. This exam requires two days of testing; however, it is timed and limited to just four hours each day.  To plan for these additional assessments, I will utilize creative scheduling to allow me to still have my students in the afternoon on the days of testing.  To combat the issue of the plethora of six weeks exams, I am adjusting course schedules, and I am working with our elective teachers to ensure that all of the testing does not create a delay in implementation of Cycle 1 and Cycle 2. One more potential hurdle is Spring Break; however, I have discussed this potential delay with the parents of my target audience for Cycle 2, and together we have developed a plan of action that will still permit students to respond to discussion posts over Spring Break.

Cycle 1 will take one month.  I began implementation on January 27, 2013, and will finish with implementation on February 28, 2013.  Cycle 2 will also take one month.  I plan on beginning this phase on February 28, 2013, and I believe that (based on the anticipated hurdles) I will complete Cycle 2 no later than March 31st, 2013.  Based on the analysis of expected hurdles and time necessary to complete both cycles, I will finish implementation prior to the end of Month 8.


Action Research Month 6 Post

Action Research Blog Entry

How did the ADDIE process help you to refine your implementation process and your data collection process?

The instructional design process, ADDIE, helped me refine my implementation process by providing specificity and connectivity between my goal and process.  Analyzing the learners and considering what they need, how they learn, and what problem could be addressed that would have the largest impact was significant in the final design of my implementation and objective.  After analyzing the problem and the goal, breaking down the specifics needed in the learning objectives allowed me to align them to the student needs and the potential outcomes this project will have on the learners.  Besides analyzing and designing analysis, the development phase really required that I stop and determine how I will facilitate students acquiring the skills necessary to guide students to succeed.  In addition, this step really aligned what specific resources, tools, rubrics, questions, and materials I will need, and it made me stop and reflect about what could create interference with successful implementation.  The step-by-step guide and specificity provided within ADDIE has assisted me in creating a more definitive plan that should generate more growth and measurability during my Action Research implementation.

Given the specificity and alignment that ADDIE mandates, it has clarified and required that I re-evaluate what forms of data collection and how I will collect and verify that learning has occurred.  Initially, I had elected to utilize pre and post surveys; however, after truly evaluating how to gather the data necessary to provide valid and reliable data, I have added to my evaluation process.  I will not only gather the data obtained through pre and post surveys, but I will also interview, evaluate responses based on rubrics, and analyze the depth of responses students provide during the interviews, on the surveys, and in the discussion forum.

How are you planning to track your data?

I plan on tracking the data through the surveys mentioned above, recording the focus group interviews and then transcribing the responses so that I can use a constant comparative method to determine which of the four impact variables has generated the most growth for the learners.

Combining this data with the surveys and rubric analysis should provide valid and relevant results in regards to what process, if any, raised the rigor and relevance in student discussions.  In addition, I plan on saving all rubrics and responses in order to analyze the level of responses prior to implementation of my Action Research Plan and after implementation.  This will provide another means to create comparable data.

How are your measurable outcomes connected to your Inquiry Questions?

I have several rubrics to determine the level of responses students create and provide to peers in order to successfully connect to my three inquiry questions.   My inquiry questions focus on three specific processes that could elevate student responses:  critical thought explanations developed through blogging, insightful analysis independent of teacher, and increased analytical responses in peer critiques following the RISE Feedback process.  The measurable outcomes and the assessment tools provide an avenue to gather data and determine growth for each specific process listed in my inquiry questions.  The focus group interviews will provide an avenue to compare data in the interviews and the analysis of the rubrics will also provide reliable comparisons to determine which impact variable generated an increase in critical thought when analyzing text.  The measurable outcomes were designed based on the specificity stated in each inquiry question.

October Training and Motivational Development (TMD) Timeline

Critical Friends

My critical friends for my Action Research Project are:
Wesley Hancock
Stuart Greaves
Linda Eiler
Karen Daniel
Eric Paul
Melissa Senseney

I anticipate that my critical friends will closely analyze my implementation plan, my results, my writing, and my evaluations.  These peers will be essential in keeping me on track, and they will be my sounding board when I have questions or enter into areas that create stress or are unfamiliar.


  1. Will my 7th grade target students be able to create explanations that reflect critical though while blogging?
  2. Will my 7th grade target students increase the level of analysis and though independent of the teacher?
  3. Will my 7th grade target students utilization of the RISE model of discourse increase the level of questioning among themselves during peer critiques and evaluations?

Action Research Timeline



Implementation will occur after returning from Christmas/Winter Break during the second semester of school.   Based on scheduled holidays, the action research should begin Monday, January 14th.  If any obstacles occur, I will move the implementation back to the first week in February, or if the hurdle or issue is a one or two day problem such as technical difficulties, I will just extend the time associated with implementation.  Other than the typical school breaks established by our district, I do not see any obstacle with implementation as long as I begin by February of 2013.