Tag Archives: visualisation

Inquiry Visualisation

As mentioned in my previous post, the same time I sketched up the eportfolio graphs to visualise my thinking, I also played around with seeing what inquiry learning may look like.

The first graph tries to recognise the change of the inquiry process ownership over time. The younger the student the more teacher directed, transitioning into a guided approach where the teacher closely supports and guides the inquiry. Finishing the process off is the the ultimate goal of students being in complete control of their inquiry and the teacher monitoring and facilitating the process.

inquiry

The graph doesn’t really cut the mustard for me. Too many what ifs and open to interpretation from teachers and or models of inquiry. So I decided to take a different tack with the next graph looking more at an individual student and what the process may look like from start to finish:

journey1

In a purist form of inquiry the initiation or purpose of the inquiry comes from the student. A question, a curiosity, something that interests, engages and motivates the students to learn. The teacher then questions, listens, provides support and feedback directing and encouraging the student as they investigate, research and experiment. The student then takes control as they continue through their inquiry.

Again the visualisation here does not really work. It suggest that the teacher only conferences or has a checkpoint once with a student in their learning process which would be a bit of a worry. So onto the the next version:

journey2

I am quite happy with this representation. Again the inquiry is initiated by the student, and ongoing interaction with the teacher is shown as the progress dips into the “Zone of Co-construction” as the student and teacher check in with each other for further guidance, feedback, questioning. The end of the inquiry finishes with a bit of a flourish, some kind of action by the student as a result of their new knowledge.

This represents a reasonably capable student and also a teacher willing to let go and not be in control, acting as a guide for the student’s learning. Every student is different of course and even different inquiry contexts can alter what the process looks like. The graph above is also not exclusive to inquiry. It could just as easily be a literacy based project, art or virtually any other learning scenario.

Thoughts? How would you visualise the process of inquiry? The process of facilitating learning?

Interestingly, the term “Zone of Co-construction” seems to be unique, googling it returns zero hits. Maybe I should trademark it?

Portfolio Visualisation

I was digging around in some of my research notes for my efellow research and came across some graphs I had sketched in order to visualise my thinking on the topic. I never actually used these in my research report but thought I would tidy them up and share them here anyway with the possibility they may help others to conceptualise some of the thinking required around eportfolios.

ePortfolio Ownership

eport-ownership

This graph is pretty self explanatory really. Essentially it suggests that the younger the student, the more teacher directed the portfolio will be. Generally, the teacher will dictate/suggest learning to share in the eportfolio, direct reflections and self assessment and more than likely do significant uploading and formatting of content. As the student matures and takes control of their learning, their ability to independently select, upload, reflect and set new goals for learning becomes less guided and increasingly integral to the way they learn. The process is facilitated by the teacher who supports the learning through providing rich learning experiences, opportunities for reflection and by giving feedback.

ePortfolio Purpose

eport-purpose

Closely related to the first graph, this one illustrates the changing nature of the portfolio’s purpose. My thinking at the time was that the portfolio for young students is essentially a vehicle for showcasing what the have done, finished examples of learning that show what they have done. As the student gets older the portfolio transforms into a much richer space that becomes part off and includes evidence of the process of learning such as goal setting, reflections, finished and unfinished work and feedback. As the student moves on to secondary and higher education the portfolio can also be used for accountability and assessment of achievement. I am not a big fan of this purpose but don’t have a problem with it as long as the formative/process benefits of the portfolio are not lost in its use for accountability.

Hopefully that is helpful.  At the same time I drew these I also sketched some graphs to do with inquiry. I will share those in my next post.

Research plan on Wordle

Wordle has been blogged about on almost every educational technology/elearning blog site you can think of. I wont go into describing what it is and how it works because that has already been done. Go here, here, here, here or here, to link just a few, if you are not familiar with this tag cloud tool.

Just out of interest I pasted in my eFellowship research plan with the following result. My purpose was to find out whether or not my core concepts would indeed be the words that were enlarged as their frequency assumes more importance.

Let’s look at the largest seven words:

feedback, eportfolios, learning, students, formative, assessment, teachers

With my research question being, What are the formative benefits of eportfolios? I think that these seven key words do highlight this and more specifically, the teacher‘s role and the impact on students.

All interesting stuff. It will be interesting to see what my literature review turns up when it is also pasted into Wordle. Will it compliment those key words above or contrast?

SearchCloud

SearchCloud.net is a Internet searching tool based on changing the size of your key words to show how important they are.

As you type in each key word, you give it a size to show its relative importance in your search results.

I can immediately see the benefit of using this with students because of the visual nature of seeing the relationship between the importance of words due to their size.

I am sure that like me, you have spent many classroom minutes going over Internet searching techniques and skills, following processes like this one (pictured below) and more, only to still see you students typing in a full question with all the and’s, to’s, the’s and 5w’s. Arrrggghhh!

SearchCloud to me immediately reinforces, by the nature of the cloud, the representation of a lot of the ideas about successfully searching the net, especially that initial entering of the search words phase.

The question is though, does it give better results as the developers claim?

From my initial use of this tool, it certainly gives different results from Google, and they do seem weighted towards the larger, more important key words.

However there seems to be a tendency to go more with blogs or less ‘official’ sources of information. I am not sure how the CloudNet searching engine actually works, it seems to be driven by a site’s (or blog post’s) attached tags. But that is just my guesswork.

What I can say is that I really love the visual approach to the search and the ability to give more weight to a search term is brilliant for younger users to really understand the importance of key wording and therefore contributing to their information literacy skills. This is not enough though by itself though and the skills of skimming scanning, synthesizing, analyzing, comparing… are still vitally important.

More info in this YouTube clip.