Practice-Based Inquiry

Practice-Based Inquiry

How do teachers apply the chosen media technologies to improve students’ performances in writing classes in colleges in England?

Table of Contents

TOC o “1-3” h z u 1. Introduction PAGEREF _Toc40186666 h 12. Area of Focus PAGEREF _Toc40186667 h 52.1 Objectives of the Research PAGEREF _Toc40186668 h 62.2 Research Question PAGEREF _Toc40186669 h 72.3 Rationale PAGEREF _Toc40186670 h 74.Planning the Inquiry PAGEREF _Toc40186671 h 115.Research Approach PAGEREF _Toc40186672 h 146.The Research Process PAGEREF _Toc40186673 h 156.1. Pre-interview preparation PAGEREF _Toc40186674 h 156.2.Results PAGEREF _Toc40186675 h 176.2.1.Effect on Teacher PAGEREF _Toc40186676 h 186.2.2.Effect on students PAGEREF _Toc40186677 h 186.2.3.Effect on student perception and performance PAGEREF _Toc40186678 h 196.3.Drawbacks of media technology PAGEREF _Toc40186679 h 206.4.Post-interview PAGEREF _Toc40186680 h 217.Reflection PAGEREF _Toc40186681 h 218.Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc40186682 h 23References PAGEREF _Toc40186683 h 25Appendix 1- First Respondent PAGEREF _Toc40186684 h 30Appendix II- Second respondent PAGEREF _Toc40186685 h 33

Introduction The development of technology and ICT is gradually replacing the traditional strategies of operations in istitutions, including learning institutions (Suryani,2010). Also, technological methods have been embraced by teachers in learning institutions. As a student majoring in education, I am expecting to apply the same methods of technological learning such as using projections in class, and online platforms in teaching after graduation. Therefore, I found it worthy to investigate on the impact of using media technology in the classroom on students’ adacemic performance in writing. Teachers are not simply standing in front of the class and giving the required information to students by telling them what to do, instead, they guiding the students to understand and apply learning contents. In this way, students can get on with what they were doing hence improving their academic performance (Wakefield, 2015). The use of technological methods such as media technology is an improved way of learning expected to improve the performance of students. Inquiry-based learning requires students to discover or construct knowledge by involving themselves in activities and personal investigations (Johnson & Cuevas, 2016). By doing so, their learning outcomes would be improved since the students are much engaged in activities, which increases their motivation, and improve perception of learning hence improved performance. Practice-based inquiry encourages involvement, unlike the traditional methods of learning where the instructor provides all the information with no involvement of students. Teachers evaluate their teaching practices and students’ learning processes to assess the effectiveness of learning in classrooms. Teacher inquiry takes into account the important expertise and experience of students (Briscoe & Wells, 2002). Practice-based inquiry allows teachers to learn more from the research they conduct on students hence develop ways to improve learning and performance (Darling-Hammond et al., 2019). The more they explore their experiences and use them to solve problems, they empower themselves to be more confident in teaching and encouraging students to improve learning perception (Briscoe & Wells, 2002). When teachers become researchers, they combine students current knowledge with the developed expertise gained from conducted research support teaching and assessment methods. Just as it enhances my growth, an individual learner can develop own understanding in the learning process hence develop cognitive skills that help in solving problems and handling tasks in the classroom (Cairns, 2019). It also promotes the act of questioning concepts and knowledge, which promotes knowledge in educational aspects and also enhances confidence in handling social skills and having intellectual growth. Therefore, practice-based inquiry in learning is two way beneficial; that is, it benefits the teachers researching on their learning experiences and the students who acquire knowledge.

The traditional based teaching is dominated by direct and unilateral direction and instruction, which do not involve the learners to give suggestions or learn from it. It assumes that there is a fixed source of knowledge, and the students need to listen and accept everything they are taught without asking any questions (Abdi, 2014). The practice-based inquiry developed to improve learning by encouraging involvement. It is supported by knowledge about the learning process, that has resulted in forming the research conducted within an environment, in this case, the classroom. It prepares students to be adaptable in thinking and operate in greater autonomy with developed skills to solve problems and find new ideas for improvement (Ramnarain & Hlatswayo, 2018). Through the process, teachers find new ways of teaching and improve learning through researching their classroom. At the same time, the students experience skills growth to tackle problems experienced in class, hence enhancing their understanding. Consequently, both the teacher and the learner benefit from the method. The traditional method fails to provide the exposure needed for growth.

The development of human self and education is maximized when the teacher’s intellectual emotional and spiritual paths are intertwined with the students to enable dependency on one another hence creating wholeness in the classroom. Building a safe and caring learning environment through the evaluation of the learning activities research allows the co-creation of the modules alongside the students (Brown, 2004). This involvement with the students encourages them to have the courage to give suggestions in class, which enhances understanding. For the success of a practice-based inquiry activity, strategic action is required by the instructors, consisting of the necessary resources to develop the best actions that are helpful to both students and the teacher. The actions are based on the research done in the classroom. Strategic action develops personal knowledge, which develops after an analysis of the environment. Sustainable changes only occur when the teachers’ beliefs, prior knowledge, and attitudes are involved in the change process (Eilks & Markic, 2011). Findings to be implemented should have considered the existing methods of learning and effects on students’ perception and performance.

My approach to this enquiry will use practitioner research methodology using qualitative method. This will involve teacher interviews, research reflection and evaluation of collected data. Practitioner research is beneficial to teachers as it allows them to apply knowledge gained to improve practice and provide evidence based research. My practitioner research wil involve gathering information from teachers applying various media technologies in teaching. After conducting the research of knowledge transfer, the developed suggestions are tested , and when convincing to work, it is transformed into practice by being implemented in the learning environment. After implementation, the strategies are expected to work since they have been tested and proven to work efficiently. Action research has the effect of encouraging learners to be skillful, be creative, and think critically.

However, the practices-based inquiry also has some limitations. First, it may pose challenges of judgment since teachers have to make decisions on what is best for their students. They must make priorities, design strategies of learning, implement them in class, and assess its impact on the students being taught (Anthony, 2018). The teacher’s priority may be biased or fails to consider an important aspect, which leads to a negative effect on the performance of the students. As (Gravett 2001) states, guiding the teachers to implement a teaching process that diverges their usual norm may be challenging. Since it is a democratic process of the teacher identifying own challenges, finding solutions to them, and implementing in class, some teachers and earners may fail to be ready for the changes hence convincing them that it works may be a challenge. Also, in cases of lack of confidence among the students and learners, implementation of the strategies developed after conducting research will be minimal or fail to work as expected.

In the development of researches, some studies show that the use of qualitative and quantitative analysis enables the development of educational research and provides an effective conclusion (Ågerfalk, 2013). However, Hartas supports the use of multiple methods provides a wide view of contest and debates, which encourages a willingness to embrace uncertainty and develop actionable results (Hartas, 2015). Various methods of research allow for extensive data acquisition and analysis, which provides effective solutions that lead to effective strategies. Mils mode processes involve a four-step process, which includes identifying the focus area, collecting data, analyzing and interpreting the data, and lastly, developing an action plan (Nasrollahi et al., 2012). Therefore, using the mill’s mode of research development, Iam going to examine the use of media technology in class, along with its impact on the perception of students. I will also identify the best ways of using media technology in class to support knowledge transfer, enhance teacher and student growth, as well as improve performances.

Area of FocusPractitioner inquiry involves teachers having to evaluate and analyze their practices and being committed to brainstorming on possible solutions to improve learning experiences in the future (Lytle, 2020). One of the ways to improve learning and understanding in students is by simplifying the work of both students and teachers through the use of media technology. Through this method, the teachers get more time to interact with students and facilitate their learning. With the emergence and development of technology, a certain application may help to improve the experiences in the classroom. Being a student majoring in education, I am interested in how this technology, specifically media technology, could be applied in class and help in changing students’ perceptions in writing. Since technology is developing, more tools keep emerging, which may improve teacher-student relations in understanding the concepts by making it easier to present and apply. However, the tools will only be helpful if used in the right way. The process occurs when I have a plan and develop strategies that can help to induce learning professionally.

In April 2019, the Department for Education in England developed a strategy to incorporate technology into its education system. The department believes that technology is an effective tool to reduce workload, increase efficiencies, engage students, support effective teaching, and improve student attainment (Hinds, 2019). With government support, many learning institutions embrace the use of media technology in class without consideration of the effectiveness. Therefore, I found it appropriate to determine how teachers apply the chosen media technologies to improve students’ performances in writing class, especially in higher learning institutions such as colleges. Hence I developed the research question and objectives from the study. I felt that since technology use reduces workload, it is also expected to improve student engagement, which leads to better performance. Therefore, my focus is to explore the application of media technology in class and to find ways on how to improve learning.

2.1 Objectives of the ResearchTo find out how media technology approaches implemented by the teachers have influenced students’ perception of learning.

To develop strategies and plans to improve the earning experiences through the use of media technology in the future.

2.2 Research QuestionThe development of research questions gives shape and direction to a study in inappropriate ways. First, I identified the media technologies to use and its effect on teacher activities. Second, I determine how the application of the media technologies has influenced writing class and third, I connected the application and used it into the reflection of students’ performance. Through the aims, I will identify the appropriate forms of media technology, consider how they are applied in class, as well as find ways to improve the methods at which the tools are used to maximize the operation and improve performance. As teachers and students are both engaged in the learning process, there is the maximization of time, resources, and ideas, which help in knowledge transfer and easy understanding of concepts in class. Therefore, the determination of the media technologies that are appropriate for writing students would either give them a positive perception of writing hence achieve desired goals or negate the perception and worsen the actual performance of students.

2.3 RationaleWhen information technology emerged, there was an expectation that it would change the methods of instructions in classrooms to improve student engagement. Educational technology used in the learning process provides skills that are important in the careers of students, especially in writing (Clarke et al., 2001). It starts with an excellent performance to achieve these careers in the future, which may be enhanced by the use of media technologies. I found it appropriate to identify the media technologies that will help improve performance in writing in the education faculty while preparing the students for the future. As I expect it to instill courage, appropriate media technologies are effective and efficient to instill the right skills required even after school. A good performance does not necessarily lead to a successful career, but rather the acquired skills also help to tackle issues with confidence, communicate effectively and also be able to express themselves bot in writing and speaking.

A research conducted on the educational technology media method in the teaching and learning process concluded that the application of educational technology media in teaching and learning ensures that students and teachers communicate information of interest to any other parties (Sakat et al., 2012). However, the influence is dependent on the senses since each sense contributes a certain percentage to the process of learning. Due to this fact, many teachers choose visual media technologies to include the sight sense in the process of learning. Learning occurs for just a few minutes when the teacher only speaks in class without engaging in other activities (Coombs, 1999). In the one-way method of learning, communication easily fails, leading to frustrated learners who gain minimal or no knowledge at all. With such research, the types of media that are appropriate for such engagement is not identified. With democracy, we, teachers, have, we tend to choose from our perspective and use them. Therefore, I developed an interest in research on the effects it has on students. The interest helped to identify the appropriate media technologies and how it influences the senses to reflect in the performance of the students.

Another research on media technology use in the classroom revealed that before teachers use technology for instruction, they must individually be sure of the benefits it has on students and should see the importance of using the particular chosen technology ((Lam, 2000). The impact of student learning outcome must be known through observation and close attention to the learners. As a teacher, my main objective is to ensure that students perform well. This aim brought out an interest in media technology involvement in teaching and its influence on the students’ perception and performance. My research would also lead to identification of the appropriate media tools to be applied in the processes of learning. Learners are different in their way of thinking; therefore, not all the media tools will work best for each of the learners. Studying this impact helps me to identify ways to involve students and make them better by improving their performance.

Through the study and analysis of some previous researches, I found the need to study the use of media technology in learning and the development of the question. Learning has embraced technology, which affects the learners if the appropriate methods are not used. As a teacher, I should identify the best media technologies that may be used in class and have a positive influence on students’ perceptions. Also, the strategies put in place, in the use of the media contribute a lot towards the outcome received by the students.

Researches have also been conducted to give a guideline on the action research process. (Gravett, 2001) states that since the method aims at achieving both action and research outcomes, it is appropriate to follow the five phases. The first phase involves defining the problem to identify the issue being solved. Secondly, developing a plan to solve the problem identified, which leads to the third phase of taking action by implementing the plan. The fourth phase is an observation that involves checking the actions and taking information to help in the research. Reflection is the last phase, which involves analyzing and evaluating outcomes and finding ways to improve my practice (Gravett, 2004). In action research in nursing education, the authors identify the need for systematic research involving data collection and analysis to identify the outcomes. Afterward, a reflection is demonstrated to consider important factors that affect the outcome. It also involves the collaboration between the partners to affect change or implement the suggestions from the findings developed (Moch et al., 2016).

Education and TechonologyAdoption of technological methods in the learning process increase the students understanding of concepts in the learning environment (McCartan & Hare, 2011). In the environment with digital developments, most millenial individuals have a positive percepion of the digital methods hence making it easier to implement.

According to a research conducted on the negative impact of technology in education, technology application in the process of education has led to deterioration of student competencies in reading, writing and arithmetic and distances students from social interactions (Alhumaid, 2019).  The introduction of innovative technology also provoke conservative practices in teachers with a view that adopt new roles. The embracement of the new technologies is ashift of the learning process, which nrgatively affect the students perception of learning (Montrieux et al., 2015). Therefore, the adoption of media technology in class requires proper research to determine its effectiveness.

Planning the InquiryPreparation of the inquiry first involved a review of the literature in getting knowledge of the application of media technology in learning processes by the teachers. Literature and theories provided by academic theorists provide resources for reflection and development of practice in action research (Tripp, 2005). I applied the knowledge of the literature to design the inquiry questions, knowing how to coordinate conversations, and ensuring thorough research. After a background information knowledge on the media in learning processes, the target population is identified. These are the teachers and students who engage in the learning process in classrooms. I chose to use an interview to get the relevant information from the population. I found it appropriate as it allows recording; hence information could be achieved, challenged, and reinforced (Jamshed, 2014). When the interview questions are well organized and exhaustive, more relevant information is received from the respondents hence standard and developed action research. The data I received from the interview needed analysis and evaluation to provide information on teacher-student engagement, relation, and effect on performance.

The main data source for the research is the interview, which will involve two teachers of college schools based in England. With the governmental support of technological tools use in classrooms, many of the higher education institutions are now practicing it. Therefore, the two teachers, based on the experience they have had in class, provide information through the interview that leas to the conclusion. I developed an interview with semi-structured questions, which ensure the respondent is open to answering the questions and not to restrict the interviewees to certain information and withhold some. Before selection, I made calls to each participant to assess their willingness to participate in the research. Each interview took 30 minutes. The development of the interview questions is also part of the inquiry plan, which is based on the information expected from the research. The questions allow the respondents to provide all the relevant information on the experiences they have had, which includes their perception of the use, the effect on their students’ engagement, and also changes in students’ performance.

The research questions included:

With the development of technology, do you apply any media technology tool or method in your writing learning process? If Yes, how?

What influenced your choice of the named media technology tool in your class?

How has the tool influenced you as a teacher based on the workload and accomplishment of goals?

How do your students perceive the changes in classroom learning?

How has the application of media tools influence students’ performance compared to previous methods?

Does the applied media technology tool serve and benefit all the students considering their different needs and personalities?

Apart from the chosen media technology you apply in class, which other technology do you think might limit the challenges faced currently?

What factors could be incorporated or changed to make the technological experience much better for your writing students?

Generally, has the media technology satisfied your needs and expectations of better performance for the students? How?

Which preferred media technology methods can be incorporated and applied in writing classes in the future to ensure learners understand and perform better?

The questions provide a guide on the concepts of the conversation. However, I did not limit the thirty minutes interview to the ten questions but instead included some inquiries from the responses provided by the interviewees. I collected data for the interview by taking notes, audio-recording the conversation, and transcription of the conversation. I applied the methods after receiving the respondents’ consent to allow the recording of the conversation and to take notes to develop a conclusion for the study. The demographics of the interviewees will include a college or university writing teacher, should be using one of the media technologies in class for at least three months. The period of use ensures that the teacher has observed her students and seen the influence the media has caused. Also, the influence should at least reflect on the performance of the students by comparing before and after the implementation of the technological method in the class. The specific characteristics of the respondents helped me to achieve the objective of the research as it aims to know the influence that the media technology has had on the performance of students and how it has changed their perception in writing.

In conducting action research, there are challenges involved, such as time constraint that prevents teachers from engaging in action research (de Toledo & Giatti, 2014). In this research, faced some anticipated issues that may occur during the action research process. First, some respondents may not be willing to participate in the research. In such a case, since it is not ethical to coerce a participant, more other teachers will be considered and contacted to assess their willingness. Second, the time plan anticipated may not be convenient for the respondents; hence will have to perform the interviews based on the chosen time by the participant. Third, the research may fail to provide accurate information when the respondents only rely on positive responses and withhold the negative truth that is affecting the teachers and students. I addressed these challenges through informing the participants about the interview, arranging for convenient time, assessing willingness, and informing them on the objective of the research. I intended to make them provide true information on the experience they have had with the use of media technology.

Research Approach

Many pieces of research conducted support action research for teachers and learners to improve performance. (Connor et al., 2006) defines action research as a tool that helps students and teachers to uncover strategies that improve teaching and learning. It is considered as a professional development opportunity since teachers research, analyze, get findings, and test the strategies, hence developing new programs that benefit learning in classrooms. Action learning also mobilizes individuals in learning to develop strategies that can both be tested and transformed into practice (Vince, 2008).

Action research is time-consuming and loaded with ethical issues that may threaten the objective of the research. Failure to address the issues may lead to the respondent’s hesitance to participate in the research or to provide accurate information. Ethical issues were addressed to enhance confidence in the research participants. These include researching with integrity and transparency. Also, the confidentiality of information is essential; hence concealing of the identity of participants may be needed to make them confident and open to address their challenges and experience. Also, the ethical issues ensure independence is clear, and there is no conflict of interest. The participants of the research are the primary source of data in action research and to identify the influence of media technology in learning. Collaboration and participation should be voluntary in research, and they should be free to withdraw at any time without any consequence (Banegas & Villacañas-de-Castro, 2015). Therefore, ensuring that they are informative in the sessions by instilling confidence and independence is appropriate and works best to provide data required for the success of the research.

The Research Process 6.1. Pre-interview preparation

Before interviewing to get data on the subject, a critical friend was resourceful. Through a meeting with the critical friend, we went through the questions, addressed the focus of the inquiry, and selected issues to be considered to guide in the questioning process. Having a defined area of interest, the critical friend helped me brainstorm, suggest ideas, and react to some of the concepts presented. After the development of the idea of interest and laying down the process of questioning, along with the questions, the participant needed to be selected. The selection started by identifying various teachers of writing in various institutions in England. After identification, it was important to know if they use any media technology and for how long they have, they used the selected technology in learning, all the sampled teachers were contacted to get the information, through a phone call where they gave their responses on the methods of learning practiced in their institutions and in specific writing classes. From the information received, the selection was narrowed down to five teachers who had used media technology in their writing class for more than three months. Using the time frame available, I consulted on their availability and willingness to participate in the research. The process of selection led to the choice of two willing individuals who continued with the research process.

The selection and consultations led to the choice of the day for the interviews. Since the respondents were full-time teachers, the design of the research had to fit with the circumstances and schedule of the school. On a set day, I informed the respondents on the objectives of the research being for academic purposes and to fulfill the completion of a course. It aims to identify the influences of media technology on the perception of students of writing and also in the teachers’ work to transfer knowledge to learners. Since they are the instructors in class, they have the experience of the changes that technology has brought in class and the impact on the performance of the writing students. The research question was, how do teachers apply the chosen media technologies to improve students’ performances in writing class in college? With this information, the teachers knew the kind of data to provide in the interview. After the knowledge of the aim of the research, I assured the teachers of the protection of their confidentiality. Therefore, through the consent form agreement, I made the respondents aware of the confidential nature of the interview, freedom to withdraw for any reasons and protection of their identity. I also explained to them that if there is a need for identity revelation, their consent will first be requested.

ResultsWith the government support of the use of media technology in class, it was important to apply one in the class learning process by integrating the use of social media into the classroom. One of the teachers uses social media as a means of learning where students and teachers interact, access notes, give their suggestions, and also make inquiries for any challenges that have been experienced in the classroom. For example, the use of a Facebook class group allows the flow of communication. The teacher consolidates this by providing digital content through videos and eBooks, which are projected in the classrooms to enable the students to display their creative ways of thinking and enhance understanding. The two ways of media technology in the class had been exercised for five months.

The second respondent uses a shared online classroom calendar, where assignments are posted, with due dates are posted. Also, students can access class notes, interact with the instructor, and provide guidance through assignments. As the teacher goes for classes, the students are usually ready and aware of the subject and topics of the day. Knowledge of the topic ensures the learners are interactive since, through the online calendar, they get the chance to interact with one another hence brainstorm on issues affecting them. The platform also encourages peer support through reviews where students review the writings of fellow students and help to provide suggestions on how to improve the writings. The methods have been applied in class for four months and have influenced students’ perception of writing as well as the teachers.

Effect on Teacher

Giving instructions in class and expecting them to follow without listening to their suggestions make learners feel neglected and subjected to a lot of pressure. Therefore, this leads to a lot of effort to convince the learners that the instructions and learning are for their benefit and not to stress them out. With the development in technology and application in class, the students can easily understand, could communicate to instructors individually hence easier work for the teachers. Also, instead of dictating notes in class, and making them go through to understand, the platform makes it easier by just posting notes on the online platforms, and the students get them. The classes are also made interactive through video projected, which is a benefit to the teacher as their work is simply to approve ideas and direct on the next measures to take.

Effect on stud