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  1. page home edited ... This guide is based on the Wikispaces help site, adapted to suit the UNSW templates and conten…
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  2. page files edited Uploading files You can upload a range of other file types to a wikispaces wiki in the same way…

    Uploading files
    You can upload a range of other file types to a wikispaces wiki in the same way as an image, although they will not embed like an image on the page.Instead they show as a file link they can be clicked on to open or download.
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  10. page files edited Strategy Information Sheet: List A: Classroom Discussions [Constance Hui, 3288140 & Dana Towns…
    Strategy Information Sheet: List A: Classroom Discussions [Constance Hui, 3288140 & Dana Townsend, 3252019]
    1) Explanation of the strategy:
    Classroom discussions are interactive modes of learning, where students examine the considerations for and against an issue by conversation (Larson, 2000). In such manner, they are learning collaboratively, driven by intrinsic motivation in both cognitive and social domains (Del Favero, Boscolo, Vidotto, & Vicentini, 2007). Discussions can generally be defined by the qualities of “creativity, variety, openness and flexibility, inventiveness, capacity for discovery, eloquence, potential for empathy and affective expression” (Barber, 1989, p. 355).
    There are two functions to discussions, in forms of whole-class discussions and small-group discussions. The first serves as a method of instruction by providing learners with the understanding and value of the discipline, while the latter helps students understand a specific area of the topic, as they collaborate in smaller groups (Brophy, 1999; Engle & Conant, 2002).
    Consequently, students develop the ability to interpret, analyse and manipulate information as active participants. They generate ideas, explain the construction of their understanding, and support their thoughts with evidence (Larson, 2000).
    2) Theoretical rationale:
    Research has shown that participation in discussions stimulate situational interest by providing the subject’s novelty, significance and stimulation (Krapp, Hidi, & Renninger, 1992, as cited in Del Favero et al., 2007). Repeated exposure to such experiences leads to the development of individual interest, encompassing positive affect and value towards self and learning (Wigfield & Eccles, 2002, as cited in _GoBackDel Favero et al., 2007).
    Discussions also amplify cognitive motivation which, if this desire for knowledge is satisfied, produces a sense of self-competence and positive learning attitudes (Del Favero, Boscolo, Vidotto, & Vicentini, 2007), commonly referred to as Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy.
    When one engages in discussions, they are opening themselves up to social interaction. Interpersonal communications should extend beyond the circle of peers into adult conversations, whereby generating social motivation (Deci, 1992, 1998; Hidi & Renninger, 2006; Isaac, Sansone, & Smith, 1999, as cited in Del Favero et al., 2007).
    3) When it should be used:
    Discussions serve as a shift from recitation towards adult conversation (Cazden, 1988, as cited in Larson, 2000), hence it can be inferred that discussions are most beneficial to learners who have reached Piaget’s formal operational stage, which involves the use of adult logical thought and deductive reasoning (Cherry, 2010). Discussions should follow the analysis of the source, to show thoughts and understanding, as well as the synthesis between topics and concepts (Larson, 2000). Hence classroom discussion should be used after the theory is taught.
    4) Procedures and recommendations:
    Discussions should cater to the preference of students. Open-ended discussions are most favoured (47%), then debate discussions (36%) and lastly, case-based discussions (17%). (Larson, 2000). Those who favoured open-ended discussions had the rationale that it allowed for the freedom of creative expression, with no regulations of right and wrong. Debate discussions were preferred also with freedom being a motivating learning factor (Larson, 2000). In line with Larson’s study, students should have the autonomy to decide what and when to speak, hence discussions require a shift from recitation into intellectual adult conversations (Larson, 2000).
    For academic improvement, it is recommended that teachers ask more authentic questions to challenge students beyond their prior knowledge. More time should be provided for open-ended questions, as the teacher builds on the student’s previous comments (Applebee et al., 2003).
    · Discussions generate situational and individual interest (Del Favero, Boscolo, Vidotto, & Vicentini, 2007).
    · Learners are empowered with a sense of autonomy and competence (Deci, 1992, 1998, cited from Del Favero et al., 2007).
    · Students are given free expression of ideas with little hindrance (Richardson & Ice, 2010).
    · Students can attain intellectual skills and attitudes (Larson, 2000). Academic performance is thus enhanced through higher-order learning (Applebee et al., 2003).
    · Students are open to diversity, where respect, courtesy and trust are built (Barber, 1984; Larson, 1997; Mathews, 1994; Parker, 1996, as cited in Larson, 2000). Hence students are provided with an equitable educational experience within a diverse environment (Bennett & Walsh, 1997).
    · Discussions may not be practical if there is a large number in the class. This can lead to an imbalance in participation (Instructional Methods, 2010).
    · Diversity may lead to difficulty in creating a cooperative learning situation (Bennett & Walsh, 1997), with the presence of disagreement and conflict.
    · Time constraints may hinder progress (Instructional Methods, 2010).
    Applebee, A. N., Langer, J. A., Nystrand, M., & Gamoran, A. (2003). Discussion-Based Approaches to Developing Understanding: Classroom Instruction and Student Performance in Middle and High School English. American Educational Research Journal, 40(3), 685-730.
    Bennett, M. & Walsh, K. (1997). Desperately Seeking Diversity: Going Online to Achieve a
    Racially Balanced Classroom. Computers and Composition,14, 217-227.
    Brophy, J. (1999). Toward a model of the value aspects of motivation in education: developing appreciation for particular learning domains and activities. Educational Psychologist, 34, 75-85.
    Cherry, K. (2010). Formal Operational Stage of Cognitive Development. Retrieved September 12, 2010, from
    Del Favero, L., Boscolo, P., Vidotto, G., & Vicentini, M. (2007). Classroom discussion and individual problem-solving in the teaching of history: Do different instructional approaches affect interest in different ways?, Learning and Instruction, 17, 635-657.
    Engle, R. A., & Conant, F. R. (2002). Guiding principles for fostering productive disciplinary engagement: explaining an emergent argument in a community of learners classroom. Cognition and Instruction, 20, 399-483.
    Larson, B. E. (2000). Classroom discussion: a method of instruction and a curriculum outcome, Teacher and Teacher Education, 16, 661-677.
    Richardson, J. C. & Ice, P. (2010). Investigating students' level of critical thinking across instructional strategies in online discussions. Internet and Higher Education, 13, 52-59.
    Instructional Methods – Advantages and Disadvantages. (2010). Retrieved September 9, 2010, from
    Word count [excluding references and headings] = 549
    [By Constance Hui, 3288140 & Dana Townsend, 3252019]
    Strategy Information Sheet: List B: Homework [Dana Townsend, 3252019 & Constance Hui, 3288140]
    1. Explanation of the Strategy
    Homework is the work set by a teacher that a student is required to complete outside of normal class time (Cooper, Robinson, & Patall, 2006). It has several underlying purposes, some which are more justifiable than others. Homework may be assigned as revision of work taught, or preparation for future lessons (Brock, C. H., Lapp, D., Flood, J., Fisher, D., & Han, K, T. 2007). Its purpose may be to engage students in a particular topic, or to assist student’s development of responsibility, time management skills, and perseverance (Brock et al., 2007). Homework may be given to show parents what the students learn at school, to fulfil policy requirements, or as punishment (Brock et al., 2007). Furthermore, homework purposes to establish good study habits, and provide challenging opportunities for gifted and talented students (NSW DET, 2000).
    In NSW Public Schools, there are three types of homework: practice exercises, preparatory homework, and extension assignments (NSW DET, 2000). Homework tasks may be in varied forms, involving research, completing work, or other creative activities (Whitton, D, n.d.). Amounts of homework vary depending on frequency and how much is set (Cooper et al., 2006).
    2. Theoretical Rationale for the Strategy
    Homework largely involves independent practice of skills or investigating new ideas (Mangione, 2008). These activities may develop self-efficacy; an important aspect of Bandura’s social cognitive theory (Barnett, 2010). Depending on feedback teachers provide, students may be encouraged to develop an incremental view of learning, which is from Dweck’s beliefs about ability theory (Learning Theories Knowledgebase, 2010). If students with this view are struggling with an aspect of class-work, homework provides an opportunity of improving their weakness by the effort they put in (Bempechat, 2004). Research has proven that students can compensate in this way (Forster, 2000).
    3. When it should be used
    Research suggests that homework is most beneficial for high-school students (Cooper et. al, 2006). However, many policies follow unqualified suggestions of introducing homework at a younger age (Kohn, 2007). Therefore many primary schools set homework. In NSW, students in Kindergarten should not receive formal homework, although reading is encouraged, and in years 1-2 students may receive limited amounts of formal homework (NSW DET, 2000). Students in years 3-6 should receive a greater amount of homework, focusing on English, Mathematics, and Human Society and its Environment (NSW DET, 2000). High-school students will receive homework regularly for most subjects, and are warned that homework will enlarge for senior years (NSW DET, 2000).
    4. Procedures and recommendations
    NSW state homework policy specifies the school’s policy must be created “after consultation with parents/caregivers and teachers” (NSW DET, 2000, Homework). Hopper (1999) suggests a procedure that begins with creating goals, then discussing the goals with school staff. Next, parents should be informed of the program, and students must be given clear explanations of their responsibilities (Hopper, 1999). The homework program may then be implemented, with ongoing evaluations (Hopper, 1999).
    Recommendations for length of homework vary in America, the United Kingdom, and Australia (The State of Queensland Department of Education and the Arts, 2004). Overall recommendations suggest amounts should not be excessive (Cooper, et al., 2006) but should correspond to the developmental stage of students (Queensland Parliamentary Library, 2007). In addition, homework should be appropriately challenging, relevant to the curriculum, and purposeful for both students and teachers (Grootenboer, 2009). Once completed, teachers should provide adequate, positive and swift feedback (Forster, 2000); an idea supported by behaviourism (Barnett, 2010).
    5. Advantages and Disadvantages
    Three Advantages
    Three Disadvantages
    · High-school students who complete their homework perform better than 75% of students who have no homework (Forster, 2000).
    · Homework provides the opportunity for parents to monitor their child’s learning (Grootenboer, 2009).
    · If designed creatively, homework allows students to apply learning to real-life situations, broadening their knowledge and understanding of subject matter (Grootenboer, 2009).
    · Homework can be overwhelming, producing negative attitudes towards school (Forster, 2000).
    · Teachers often assign homework without careful planning, resulting in tasks of little relevance or meaning (Forster, 2000).
    · Homework may reinforce misconceptions as students practice their skills without teacher supervision (Grootenboer, 2009).
    Barnett, K. (2010) EDST2045 W3b/4a [lecture slides]. Retrieved August 9, 2010, from
    Bempechat, J. (2004). The motivational benefits of homework: A social-cognitive perspective. [Electronic version]. Theory into practice, 43(3), 189-196.
    Brock, C. H., Lapp, D., Flood, J., Fisher, D., & Han, K, T. (2007). Does homework matter? An investigation of teacher perceptions about homework practices for children from nondominant backgrounds. Urban Education, 42(4), 349-372. Doi: 10.1177/0042085907304277
    Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006, Spring). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987-2003. [Electronic version]. Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 1-62.
    Forster, K. (2000). Homework: A bridge too far? [Electronic version]. Issues in educational research, 10(1), 21-37.
    Grootenboer, P. (2009) Homework and learning mathematics. [Electronic version]. APMC, 14(4), 11-15.
    Hopper, N. (1999). Homework horror: there is another way. [Electronic version]. Classroom magazine, 99(3), 18-20. Melbourne, VIC: Scholastic Australia
    Kohn, A. (2007). Digging themselves in deeper: more misleading claims about the value of homework. [Electronic version]. The Phi Delta Kappan, 88(7), 514-517.
    Learning Theories Knowledgebase. (2010, September). Self-Theories (Dweck) at Retrieved September 9th, 2010 from
    Mangione, L. (2008). Is homework working? [Electronic version]. The Phi Delta Kappan, 89(8), 614-615.
    NSW DET. (2000). Implementation document: information about homework. Retrieved September 7, 2010, from
    Queensland Parliamentary Library. (2007). Homework for the 21st century (Research Brief No 2007/01). Brisbane, QLD: Author
    The State of Queensland Department of Education and the Arts. (2004, November). Homework literature review: summary of key research findings. QLD: Author
    Whitton, D. (n.d). Homework: horror or heaven?. [Electronic version] Classroom magazine, 11-12. Melbourne, VIC: Scholastic Australia
    Word count = 545 (excluding references and headings)
    [By Dana Townsend, 3252019 & Constance Hui, 3288140]

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