Saturday, October 1st 2011.
The data analysis table has been expanded to 5 columns. The main point of the table is to show whether each data source is a single or multiple uses within the analysis. So far, it appears that only the prior knowledge videos have a single use. I've also introduced the notion of moments in time versus evolution of thought. Only the videos which are prior knowledge videos and the debriefing session are moments in time. The rest of the data evolved and so there are multiple, date-based examples available for comparison.
Sunday, October 2nd 2011.
I'm now wondering whether it would appropriate to fit the whole data analysis within a table which has the 12 data sources (rows) against the 8 participants (columns).
Monday, October 3rd 2011.
Rather than try to squeeze the whole data analysis into a table, I've now set up a separate analysis page for each participant. These are actually tables too but there is much more room having one for each child. I've called them "reviews."
How does hair grow?
Molecular naming conventions
Solar cell efficiency
Tuesday, October 4th 2011.
I've started devising interview questions and discussion points for the debriefing session. So far they just relate to the self assessment and how they felt about animation as a medium.
Wednesday, October 5th 2011.
I'll save any further work on the interview questions until later so it is up to date with relevant issues at that time. I might even personalise the questions for each participant.
Thursday, October 6th 2011.
Working with a hard copy Word document thesis and the digital version is difficult because they aren't exactly the same and there is a lot of double handling. On the eve of my first meeting with both University supervisors, the web site is now more up to date than the Word document. I'll revisit this issue again.
Friday, October 7th 2011.
Today was my first meeting with both supervisors. Overall it was very encouraging. We revisited the possibility of a digital thesis. I suggested that I proceed with the digital version for now because I'm working with the children's digital data each week. It can also be reformatted and printed later. Hopefully this won't be necessary as the screen is the best context for the data. Maybe we should be placing the ball in the other court where the University has the onus to show why the thesis isn't suitable the way it is as an enriched thesis. I'm not seeking a discount on the word count so there is no reason that it can't meet scholarly requirements as a multimodal text.
Saturday, October 8th 2011.
I've borrow an interesting book called the "International Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change" (2008). What I've noticed immediately is that much of the research on conceptual change starts with the assumption that classification is the primary process for dealing with concepts. This is quite different from my "system with at least one variable" definition. I see this as good news because it gives the Storyboard project a different position within the literature.
Sunday, October 9th 2011.
I've been attempting some initial direction for answers to my research question: "In what ways can storyboarding and explanatory animation creation enable primary school students to articulate and consolidate their conceptual understanding?"
Articulate: Voice-over script.
Speculate: Director's commentary.
Consolidate: Paraphrase discussing topic from various perspectives.
Monday, October 10th 2011.
Today I created a Table of contents page in addition to the Main menu circle. Of course the Table of contents has hyperlinks directly to the various chapters of the thesis.
Tuesday, October 11th 2011.
It occurred to me that the "...at least one variable" part of my system definition is probably redundant as all systems would have to have variables because all systems have component parts. I'll leave the definition as "a system containing at least one variable" because it's succinct enough and the mention of variables is useful to orientate the reader.
Wednesday, October 12th 2011.
My supervisor Susan has suggested that I read: Sullivan, G. (2006). Research acts in arts practice. Studies in Art Education, 48(1), 19-35. This was recommended to help inform my theoretical framework. I have found a phrase from an earlier work by the same author which resonates with me which is “create to critique.” (Sullivan, 2005) One of the features of digital data is that it can be continually edited and refined until the author is finished. In this sense it's like a sculpture having special clay that only hardens when the sculptor wants it to.
Thursday, October 13th 2011.
In addition to my vector based graphics analogy for learning, schematic diagrams are also relevant. A subway map is a good example where the only important information is the order of the stops and which line they're on. Slight variations in distance or direction are not relevant. I'm encouraging the children to see their animations like dynamic schematic diagrams where they make executive decisions about what qualifies as essential information.
Friday, October 14th 2011 (Storyboard session 9).
Today was a Friday session instead of our regular Thursday due to "Planning week." It was nice to be able to write these my reflections immediately after the Storyboard session instead of having to transition to leading a rehearsal with our school Orchestra which is what normally happens on a Thursday.
Saturday, October 15th 2011.
Epistemology often talks about ways of knowing but my recent speculation about schematic diagrams and vector-based graphics would be better likened to ways of looking. As soon as we start thinking about ways of knowing we are presented with limitations. Ways of looking offers multiple perspectives.
Sunday, October 16th 2011.
Further reflection on ways of looking led me to think about the Grade 6 girl who is studying "Stringed instruments." She is not looking for the answer but is looking at the answer and then from multiple perspectives as she decides how to best present her frequency formula.
Monday, October 17th 2011.
I am considering whether Molly might be better changing to a completely different topic such as the musical rhythms of swing and straight. She is the only Storyboard 2011 participant who was also part of the 2010 pilot study and her topic then was the musical convention of "Sharps and flats". Not only would a new topic be easier, but I read a statement in the "International Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change" that made me question my ability to be of real assistance to her. "Instructional approaches compound the problem when they present the tenants of the atomic molecular theory as a set of facts rather than as an explanatory model" (Wiser & Smith, 2008, p. 220).
Tuesday, October 18th 2011.
I spoke to Molly (the Grade 6 girl doing "Chemical bonds") outside of a Storyboard session as I hadn't had the opportunity for over a month. She wanted to keep a chemistry focus so we are looking at "Chemical bond naming conventions."
Wednesday, October 19th 2011.
The Oxford English Dictionary definition of "System" is "Complex whole, set of connected things or parts, organised body of material or immaterial things." This makes me wonder "Are concepts our attempts to explain systems?"
Thursday, October 20th 2011 (Storyboard session 10).
After today's session I was further examining my role in this whole process, particularly with assisting the recording of the student reflections. Sometimes the children don't know what to say because they're not sure where their research is heading. This is part of the "you don't know what you don't know" dilemma. In such cases, I'm more like a coach where I provide encouragement and guidance. For some topics like "Solar panels" I am equally mystified.
Friday, October 21st 2011.
I've included a timeline from Wikipedia that I saw today while looking up a band I've been interested in. This timeline is so much more informative than the several paragraphs which preceded it trying to explain the same information and thus is a great example of how useful diagrams are.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karnivool (accessed 21/10/2011)
Saturday, October 22nd 2011.
Keil and Newman (2008) state that "Conceptual change is not always synonymous with cognitive development" (p, 83). I probably realised this already but it is helpful to be able to make a clear distinction.
Sunday, October 23rd 2011.
My researcher's reflection for Molly ("Molecular naming conventions") was the most insightful part of my research today:
Molly's reflection about how she is going to "write the atoms instead of drawing them" is actually quite profound. Far from language being the ultimate form of expression, Molly chose words as an easier option than the more difficult task of representing atoms by drawing their structure.
Monday, October 24th 2011.
As a Performing Arts teacher, I am usually trying to convey concepts. These concepts are able to be fully understood because they are conventions which were made by people. For the Storyboard project I hadn't really thought about my Arts background because most of the children's topics are not musical. Of course my background in all areas informs the tacit knowledge which I bring to this project. I am starting to give more consideration to my creative role in this project, particularly how it leads me to pursue the idea of a digital thesis. Artists are always pushing the boundaries, especially with new technology.
Tuesday, October 25th 2011.
I'm wondering how much I need to say about Semiotics? Maybe I should cover perception in the Research Methodology contrasting Symbolic Interactionism and Semiotics.
Wednesday, October 26th 2011.
The vector graphics and schematic diagrams analogies need to find their place within this thesis. I've now referenced them in the overview as "Analogies for learning" and detailed them in:
Thursday, October 27th 2011 (Storyboard session 11).
After today's session I have concluded that 3 or 4 is the optimal class size.
Friday, October 28th 2011.
I've borrowed Holyoak, K.J. & Morrison, R.G. (Eds.) (2005). The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning. New York: Cambridge University Press. My first impression skimming through the chapters is that most research is interested in human memory. As I've said in the Duration guidelines of the Explanatory Animation Framework; "The limits of working (short-term) memory are circumvented by the Storyboard methodology because children are not receivers of information but authors of their own animations. As they are reflecting on and representing their ideas by creating images, the demands on their working memories are not excessive. The tangibility of their ideas develops outside their short-term memories."
Saturday, October 29th 2011.
The Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning, (2005) uses a "fishing list" (i.e. list of things to take on a fishing trip) as an example of a concept. That is not what I consider a concept to be. Fishing is a concept. Fish is not. A fishing list might fit my definition of being "a system with at least one variable" but it is also transitory in nature which is another dimension which I had not considered.
Sunday, October 30th 2011.
I'm developing the idea of presenting each participant in the Storyboard project in a new context to show how they are illustrate the various sections of the entire thesis due to the various issues which they evoked. This fits in with the QUAL-qual multiple methods approach that I'm using. I'm developing a table for this which will go into the data analysis as "Tangents from across the data set."
Monday, October 31st 2011.
I'm also considering whether the QUAL-qual multiple methods approach should be expanded to have 3 different versions of the Storyboard thesis.
1/ Researchers (complete).
2/ Teachers (not going down any dead ends because most teachers are time poor and thus pragmatic).
3/ Children (based on the teacher version but simplifying some of the terminology).