Even though, as I have mentioned in my action research literature review, most college instructors favor the traditional teaching methods, using whole-class instruction teaching American Sign Language (ASL), I want to test a new method. I will study and learn if the outcomes of student learning in blended learning environments integrating face-to-face and online instruction are successful. I, as a laboratory assistant at Baylor University, have privileges to work with my colleagues, ASL instructors, for the action research plan beginning in January 2018 in their 15-week ASL level II courses.
In a few previous courses in the DLL program at Lamar University, my innovative plan was projected to expand interactive and constructivist learning. This plan would create a partially blended learning environment to provide real-world settings, experiences and interactions, and an overview of diversity awareness to increase students’ expressive, receptive, and cultural awareness skills. I want to be able to better look at students’ learning styles, interests, and abilities. As a collaboration-team in professional learning, I am planning to work with the instructors to explore and share findings/ideas of teaching strategies, and supplement resources, starting this August.
In preparation for future data collection, analysis and results, surveys will be provided for the ASL instructors’ students in the Spring 2018. I will use a mixed method approach. Any names of participants in this study will not be published.
In the classroom with the students, the instructors or I will give an explanation regarding the plan. In order to evaluate learning, the students will be asked to sign up on a schedule sheet to take the pre-and post-assessments by participating in the interactive conservation with me in the lab room on January 8 – 10th and April 30th – May 2. This one-on-one interaction will take up to ten minutes. I modified the evaluation checklist along with the questions and image prepared by Baylor University’s ASL program that I will use for both the pre and post assessments to examine and score their expressive, receptive, and cultural awareness skills. The ASL Evaluation Interview Rating Scale guide sheet shows that the scale score range is subdivided into the five-proficiency levels: incompatible, novice, survival, intermediate, and advanced. I will display and share how many students are ranked on these levels on a spreadsheet online with colleagues, the ASL director and instructors. From there, this will answer my colleagues’ and my wonderings, and we will have an opportunity to discuss the learning results whether they are successes or not.
In order to possibly improve the blended course, the survey using rating scales, multiple choice questions, and open-ended questions will be provided for the students to share their perceptions and sensitivities at the end of the course, April 29. The electronic form (Google) will be available and its link information will be sent to the students through email. The University of Central Florida (UCF) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) developed the survey. I will classify and summarize major patterns and trends of the students’ responses on a spreadsheet online. The colleagues and I will have the opportunity to discuss them and share our ideas or views on May 11, 2018.
If you have not, please visit these links in orange above that I have put together containing information and plans.
Mertler, C. A. (2016). Action research: Improving schools and empowering educators. Sage Publications.