Methodology (how I gathered & analysed data)

The Method

The students participating in this inquiry-based learning activity are from a Grade 2 class at a Catholic Primary School in Brisbane’s South.  This class consists of 24 students and is one of 3 Year 2 classes within the school.  This class is taught as part of a job share situation (I teach 3 days a week).  As a number of students were absent due to illnesses during the completion of this unit, not all students completed the given surveys.  It is for this reason that the class analysis involves only 20 children who have been selected to be part of the coding and analysis. A smaller group of 6 students including a mix of boys and girls, and mixed ability including special needs have also been included for closer analysis, allowing for comparison to the whole class results.

The Instrument.

The tool which was used for data gathering and analysis was The School Library Impact Measure (SLIM) Toolkit.  This kit was designed by Todd, Kuhlthau and Heinstrom in 2005.  The Toolkit was used to administer a qualitative and quantitative survey.  The School Library Impact Measure suggests a survey which is conducted three times, with an additional question in the final survey.  Owing to the fact that this unit was conducted with an early years class, an adapted version of this survey was used this semester.  A copy of these three surveys can be found in Appendix One.  The survey (or reflection sheet) was administered in Week 1, 6 and 11 of this Information Learning activity.

The first three questions within this survey were quantitative.  The first question asks the children to write a list of what they knew about the topic.  These were later categorised into knowledge statements as factual, explanations or conclusions.  For the benefit of younger students, question two and three were adapted using appropriate smiley faces icons, so that younger students would be able to respond to facial expressions appropriate to their experiences.  They were multiple choice questions.  The final two (three in the final survey), questions four and five were qualitative and required students to respond in their own words.  These questions were then coded using the AASL Information Literacy Standards.  In addition to the three surveys, information about student progress was also gathering using a KWL chart, observation, anecdotal records and the final assessment piece.

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