In this lesson, students learned how to import music as a soundtrack into Adobe’s video editing software, Premiere Elements, and they also began to comprehend the difference between good and bad video footage. I used Marzano’s strategies of “Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback” and “Cooperative Learning”.
The scaffolding approach that I used worked very well. While I presented the information verbally and visually through words in Powerpoint, students followed along in their “Editing Your Music Video” handouts. Students were then able to practice their newfound knowledge by using their notes on the handouts to complete the learning objective through their collaborative learning groups. Marzano’s strategy of “Setting Objectives” laid a strong foundation for the students to follow. Marzano’s strategy was not only helpful for students to be continually reminded of the goals that they were trying to reach, but also because the “Objective” required specific actions that they could easily comprehend. Consequently, I found that the act of setting goals in this lesson created a certain feeling of accomplishment when the goals had actually been met. By the end of class, when each group successfully imported music into their timeline, the students felt like they had each achieved something. There was a sense of pride and ownership in the air.
I realize that Marzano encourages readers to keep goals flexible, but I found this to be particularly difficult in the everyday goals of a technology class where students rely on step-by-step detailed instruction in order to find success with the software. Even still, I maintained flexible goals on a more heuristic scale for an entire project rather than for a single lesson. I was able to follow Marzano’s (2001) advice in my second goal when he states, “…students should be encouraged to adapt them (goals) to their personal needs and desires” (p. 95). When I introduced the section on “Good vs. Bad Shots” in the handout, students were excited to hear that they were meant to complete it by applying their own experience. In the discussion, students were able to express what their best shots were, and they were also able to articulate why.
Marzano’s strategy of providing “Feedback” to students was probably what went the best in this lesson. The check-ins that I had with each group proved to an important time to ensure that students were on the right track. Certain groups asked clarifying questions which enabled them to accomplish the class’s objectives. I also used Marzano’s (2001) strategy of “Student-Led Feedback” (101) through the “Clear vs. Unclear” section of the handout. This was very helpful because students were able to tell me what went well in the lesson, and also what they are still having trouble grasping. From reading the students’ feedback, I found that almost every student wrote that they understood how to import music into their timeline. The reoccurring clarity that students were asking for in the “Unclear” section was primarily how to edit their project once the music was in. The assessment also showed that while most students very much understood the step-by-step process that they needed to go through, they still comprehended larger technological concepts. The next lesson involved going over what students said was still unclear. Through this lesson, students were able to relearn the information and continue with their projects. I further applied Marzano’s strategy by giving written feedback on the students’ “Editing Your Music Video” handouts. This proved to be quite useful when I saw students’ responses as they used the feedback to improve the “Music Video Project” summative assessment. My written feedback encouraged students to better understand the content. Incorrect answers were not only marked incorrect, but students were also given written feedback to better explain to why the answer was incorrect and how they could continue to grow in this area. Students were redirected to the learning targets and encouraged to better utilize the “Clear and Unclear” feedback sections to express misunderstandings.
I applied Marzano’s strategy of “Cooperative Learning” which greatly enhanced my lesson because students were able to encourage each other towards achieving the learning targets. For the summative assessment, students were placed in “Formal” groups and I divided the tasks into the following videography positions: cinematographer, director, and editor. In previous lessons, we had already established the expectation that each member will continue to rotate each position. To build up to this showcase lesson, previous lessons included components of Marzano’s cooperative learning: “Positive interdependence, group processing, appropriate use of social skills, face-to-face promotive interaction and individual and group accountability” (p. 90). I used these guidelines to teach students what cooperative learning looks like, and was able to remind them of these standards in this showcase lesson. The main challenge of the group learning was that students had a difficulty staying on task. This is in large part because only one student can use the computer’s mouse and keyboard at a time. Through this experience, I learned that students collaborate well but get distracted very easily when working in groups with technology. To try to counteract this challenge, I had groups continue to rotate positions, so that everyone had a chance to be in charge of editing while the other members gave instructions. I firmly agree with Marzano’s (2001) suggestion concerning groups, “Cooperative groups should be kept rather small in size” (p. 88, 91). At this point, we do not have enough available computers to have smaller groups, but I now have reason to ask for more resources. The challenges of working with technology are definitely worth the outcome because it is so rewarding to see students use their gifts and creativity to make original works of digital art. This lesson displayed the student’s growing knowledge in videography and video editing, and was also a space for students to utilize their creativity while collaborating with other students.
Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom Instruction That Works. Alexandria, VA: Association For Supervision and Curriculum Development.