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Report for  VCE Biology Advanced Internet Searching Techniques

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Report for VCE Biology Advanced Internet Searching Techniques VCE Biology Unit 2
Aims     Complete the sequence of research skills to be taught throughout the year. To identify the skill level students had in searching the Internet. To produce research assignments that align with the skills and needs of varying students. To better prepare students for Unit 3 (Year 12) Biology.

Library     To identify if there were gaps in the skills students employed when using the internet To easily identify and filter out students who did not require skills training by Library staff. To identify and provide specific skills training to those who required it. Post test all students to see if the skills training made a difference.

Setting     4 classes involving approximately 80 students. Varying abilities. 4 teachers with varying experience of the school and the course. 3 teacher librarians with varying experience.

Our aim was to make the collection and collation of data as easy as possible for the teacher and Library staff so we developed an online pretest activity to assess skill level. There were 5 skills we believed students should possess when searching the Internet. Students identified as lacking the complete skill set would be given specific teaching of those skills. The Library staff used the topics being studied as a contextual based method to demonstrate the skill set required to students. Students who were identified as having the required skills were sent off to commence independent research. Internet research skills were to only be taught to those who required it. Method Students completed an electronic pre-test. It involved writing short answers about keywords and a multiple choice quiz to test skills. This was completed during class time for the 4 classes. Students who did not score 80% on the pre-test worked during one lesson with a Teacher-Librarian to improve the specific areas identified. All students were the given a paper based post-test covering the same skills but using different key terms and a jumbled order to the questions unannounced 2 weeks later.

Class

Pre-test All correct

Pre-test 1 incorrect

Pre-test More than 1 incorrect

Total submitted online

Post-test All correct

Post-test 1 incorrect

Post-test More than 1 incorrect

Total completed in class

A B C D Total

1 2 1 3 7

1 5 4 5 15

16 12 14 10 52

18 19 19 18 74

15 14 6 5 40

4 4 7 4 19

2 2 10 9 23

21 20 23 18 82

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Results Classes A & B made significant improvement in their scores from pre-test to post test. This can be attributed to several factors. 1. Teachers’ experience with the course materials 2. Teachers’ influence on students trusting that they required the skills to be more successful at their studies of Biology. 3. Teacher Librarians’ expertise and experience in applying the search skills to using the Internet. 4. Teacher Librarians’ method of demonstration to the students how the application of the skills worked in real searches related to their current area of study. Application to whole school The test was designed to use generic question structure that can be easily adapted to any subject by changing the keywords within the test. It has a role playing scenario where the student is applying for a job as a research assistant in that subject. The test becomes their online job interview. The test is all multiple choice for ease of scoring. Library  Electronic pre-test suited Biology as it used the medium that students were required to use for that piece of research.  It identified clearly that there is a need for this type of skills testing amongst students  It identified that teachers and teacher-librarian’s were lacking in skills and perhaps confidence in their personal use of some advanced Internet search techniques.  Students accessed a broader range of resources  Students felt comfortable in this setting to ask questions as everyone was being asked to assess their skills and learn new ones  Stronger interactions between teachers, students and teacher librarians took place rather than any one group sitting back and expecting the other to have all the answers Teachers  In comparison to previous years, students were much more focussed on the task.  Students gathered resources more independently and were back on task more quickly.  Smaller numbers of students required intensive one to one assistance.  Less class time was required to complete the research as students were less dependent.  Teachers could devote more class time to course work.  More help was sought via email  Students were more confident in submitting work electronically as each individual was accountable for learning ICT skills


				
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