Elizabeta Dzonova

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Action Research 2.0 Project Planning for Elizabeta Dzonova[muokkaa]

Title: Using wikis to improve collaborative work

Overall aim: Improving the quality of collaborative skills of pupil’s at age 12-14

Key words: wikis, collaborative work, primary school, projects of informatics

Key developmental goals of the project: (3-5 ideally)

  • Developing pupil’s consciousness about the contribution in wiki spaces
  • Developing responsibilities for team work roles
  • Improving pupil’s critical capabilities
  • Adopting the basics of computer culture and ethics
  • Encouraging pupils to use discussions for planning activities

Key research questions of the study: (3-5 ideally)

  • How can I help my pupils to improve the quality of their learning?
  • How to increase their responsibilities?
  • How can I know whether my assessment reflects pupil’s engagement and stimulates learning?
  • How to reach pupils that have lost their interest in learning?
  • How e-tools (wikis) affect pupil’s learning?

Research methodology and methods: (outline of approach to research and main methods with reference to key literature)

My primary goal with this action research is not to teach some new facts or introduce novel topics.

Analyzing the practical work of the pupils concluded that the problems with my current way of working are:

- I’m working with whole class (30 pupils) at time;

- pupils are working in couples on each computer, so both of them can’t work at the same time, or one is active and the other is passive. There was one incident recently - one of the pupils simply didn’t want to work with someone else on the same computer;

- there was situations when some projects, previously saved locally, was lost;

- the level of cooperation is not so high.

Using wikis I expect to solve some of this problems.

I will use the examples and observations about this subject found in the literature listed, as well as suggestions and advice I received during consultation sessions with my colleagues. The pupil’s interest for the new media will be examined using questionnaires. Pre and post questionnaires will be used for quantitative evaluation of the positive (and negative) effects of wiki media on pupils work and their satisfaction with it. Discussions will be used for pupil’s activity planning and for giving critiques for other team works. Feedback obtained will be used in qualitative instruments for evaluation.

Analysis and qualitative and quantitative evaluation of pupil’s work will include:

- participation in assignment activities – organizational skills;

- participation in discussions – collaborative effort;

- responsibility and ethic behaviour;

- product quality and design;

- feedback from discussions – how other pupils evaluate that work.

All this will form the final marking criteria. Results will be compared with the other marks from this subject.

Research ethics: (Include a short statement outlining potential ethical issues that you may face and in particular how you will ensure informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality, beneficence i.e. positive good and non-malfeasance i.e. no harm).

All pupils will be informed about the planned activities and only volunteers will be included in this AR, so I think that formal consent from the parents won’t be necessary. I’ll ask for permission from principle of my school.

Pupils works will be safe from unauthorized changes, but public for viewing – according to the main function of the wikis.

All information about children’s names and marks will be removed from the AR report (only summarised data will be presented), so their private information stays confidential.

Review of relevant literature (~1500 words plus list of references)

1. Wikispaces for educators, (December 2008) - http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers

2. Action research for teacher, (December 2008) - http://www.nefstem.org/teacher_guide/intro/index.htm; http://www.nefstem.org/teacher_guide/materials/videos.htm

3. Melanie Walker, school of Education, University of Sheffield (11 October 2001)- Higher education, critical professionalism and educational action research, (January 2009), http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cishe/seminars/dhe_papers/MWpaper.doc

4. Heather Kanuka and Terry Anderson - Ethical Issues in Qualitative E-Learning Research; (January 2009), http://www.ualberta.ca/~iiqm/backissues/6_2/kanuka.htm

5. Jean McNiff - Action Research for professional development; (January 2009), http://www.jeanmcniff.com/booklet1.html

6. Victoria A. Davis - The Web 2.0 Classroom, (January 2009), http://k12online.wm.edu/Web20classroom.pdf

7. Project for Enhancing Effective Learning (PEEL) - Principles of Teaching for Quality Learning, (January 2009), http://educ.queensu.ca/~ar/t4ql/

8. N. Falchnikov and K. Thompson, Journal of University Teaching & Learning practise (2008)– What drives innovation?

9. H. A. Scherp, ICSEI 2008 in Auckland, New Zeland – The impact of network on sustainable school development 10. S. Kemmis , Education Policy Analysis Archives (January 19, 1993) - Action Research and Social Movement: A Challenge for Policy Research

11. An Introductory Guide for Teacher Candidates at Queen's University - ACTION RESEARCH: Who? Why? How? So What?, (January 2009), http://educ.queensu.ca/~ar/guide.htm

12. ICT in Education, Primary Education Project - Improving the Use of ICT in Schools, (January 2009), http://www.pep.org.mk/en/ict/ict.html

13. J Rick, M Guzdial, K Carroll, L Holloway-Attaway and B. Walker, Proceedings of CSCL, cc.gatech.edu (2002) - Collaborative learning at low cost: CoWeb use in English composition, (January 2009), http://home.cc.gatech.edu/je77/uploads/3/CoWeb-English-CSCL2002.pdf

14. N Augar, R Raitman, W Zhou, Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE, ascilite.org.au (2004) - Teaching and learning online with wikis, (January 2009), http://ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/augar.html

15. M Notari, Proceedings of the 2006 international symposium on Wikis, portal.acm.org (2006) - How to use a Wiki in education:'Wiki based effective constructive learning', (January 2009), http://www.wikisym.org/ws2006/proceedings/p131.pdf

16. A Bruns, S Humphreys, Proceedings of the 2005 international symposium on Wikis, portal.acm.org, (2005) - Wikis in teaching and assessment: the M/Cyclopedia project, (January 2009), http://www.wikisym.org/ws2005/proceedings/paper-03.pdf

Activity plan: (a programme of work with particular tasks to be done)

One of the reasons for my decision to use wikis like media for pupil’s assignments is their idea and willingness to make some contribution in the world of wikis. They are using wikipedia like a source of information and they are familiar with its importance, but we’ll start with other wiki space, wikispaces for K-12 educators (http://www.wikispaces.com/site/privatelabel/k-12).

This is media easy for use, but it contains all the possibilities I need – managing options, tab for discussions, and other options. The level of protection I intend to choose is: wiki safe from unauthorized changes, but public for viewing.

First, pupils of VII_th and VIII_th grade (12-14 years old) will be informed about the upcoming action research and teams (2-5 members) of volunteers will be formed – maximum 30 pupils will be involved. Main criteria for their dividing in teams will be the age, capabilities, previous cooperation and of course, their own will.

Pupils will have the lesson for introduction of the chosen wiki space and the available opportunities – printed (or electronic) learning materials with all necessary links will be delivered to them. The table with activity plan shows all other activities. All daily activities will be evidenced in a diary.

Planed time for pupil’s involvement in AR realization is 4 weeks.


Considering interventions from the colleagues from work and from this course.


Informing pupils with planed AR activities

Completing the pre-questionnaires

Forming working teams


Introduction of the opportunities of wikispaces

Distribution of assignments

Explaining of the assignment tasks and activities

Presenting the evaluating (marking) criteria

Developing project plans (inside pupil’s teams)


Working on assignment activities


Producing wiki articles

Completing the post-questionnaires


Analyzing product quality – according to previously adopted criteria

Summing feedbacks from discussions

Analyzing and summarizing collected data

Producing and announcing (to the pupils) the final marks


Analyzing and comparing this marks with the previous

Summarizing data from questionnaires

Writing the final AR report