Wiki & TGfU: A collaborative approach to understanding games education
Helena Baert, University of Manitoba , Canada
University of Manitoba . Awarded
Technology is becoming an integral part of teaching and learning in schools. In recognition of the potential contributions of technology toward learning, this thesis explored the use of a wiki, a collaborative webpage where students are free to add, edit, erase or create content (Leuf & Cunningham, 2001), within physical education teacher education. Using interpretive inquiry (Ellis, 1998) as a methodological framework, this qualitative study investigated the perceptions of a cohort of 28 final year physical education teacher candidates regarding the usefulness of wikis as an instructional tool to enhance learning through an online five-week collaborative group project. The objective of the assignment was for teacher candidates to develop deeper understanding of the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) approach, which creates student-centred games education that links tactics and skills in game settings. The study employed several qualitative research activities including: observing the daily entries on the wiki, document analyses of reflective journals, pre- and post writing samples, and focus group interviews. The information collected identified both enabling and constraining factors this wiki brought to a collaborative undergraduate online project. Data analyses confirmed that the wiki facilitated collaboration among group members, improved writing skills and enhanced deeper understanding through scaffolding of one's own ideas as well as those of others. Findings also showed how the teacher candidates interacted with the content to gain a deeper understanding of the TGfU approach through an emergent design of scaffolds. In their efforts to work collaboratively, the students realized that establishing roles and responsibilities and creating more opportunity for communication were necessary ingredients for learning. To encourage knowledge acquisition, the instructional guidance provided by the teacher was a crucial component of the scaffolding design. In sum, this thesis elaborates on how wikis contributed to the development of an understanding of teaching games.
Baert, H. Wiki & TGfU: A collaborative approach to understanding games education. Master's thesis, University of Manitoba.
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