Transforming Practice: Designing for Liminal Transitions Along Trajectories of Participation

Transforming Practice: Designing for Liminal Transitions Along Trajectories of Participation

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Schooling is grounded in the notion of transfer---the idea that classroom activities serve students beyond mastering the intended curriculum---but theorizing general consequences of learning and ways curricula can support them remain open questions. Building on qsituativeq perspectives, this dissertation enlists video game technologies and methodologies to simultaneously design for and theorize about transitional, or liminal, forms of participation as an alternative conceptualization of the general consequences of learning. Liminal transitions are activities along the pathway through a gaming curriculum that engage learners with ways of doing science and being scientific that are different from but complementary to curricular experiences. A video game-based ecology curriculum in a multi-user virtual environment called Quest Atlantis served as the primary curriculum, but incorporated liminal transitions for the purposes of this dissertation. Enactments in a fourth and a sixth grade classroom were analyzed to understand ways that these embedded activities both support learning and make knowing visible. Corresponding design strategies were also examined in order to understand and refine learners' opportunities to transform scientific practices and evolve scientific roles. These interpretive analyses focused on learners' trajectories of participation with the curriculum and the transformations arranged by liminal transitions. Findings consider cases that illuminate how students leveraged liminal transitions to make meaning with and across the curriculum and other cases that explore design tensions encountered in arranging these activities. A multi-level assessment framework also generated a quantitative profile of individual learning in terms of formal scientific concepts and learning standards. Assessment across these levels framed concepts and standards with increasingly general relation to the curriculum that provides broader perspective on learning and its general consequences. In order to better understand the impact of liminal transitions, a quasi-experimental comparison contrasted these assessment outcomes with a classroom that enacted the primary curriculum with unembedded formative assessments and feedback. Effect sizes were consistently around 0.2 larger when the curriculum was paired with liminal transitions, but differences were statistically unlikely. Conclusions discuss participation in terms of the reciprocity between game player roles and practices for productive transitions across and beyond curricula and designing for situative generalizations.... Proximal Distal Performance Multiple Choice Multiple Choice Assessment Assessment Level aamp; Type Figure 6.2 Comparison of multi-level assessment effect sizes for sixth grade study conditions 6th Grade Learning Outcomes Paired sampleanbsp;...

Title:Transforming Practice: Designing for Liminal Transitions Along Trajectories of Participation
Publisher:ProQuest - 2007


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