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Summer Learning Journey 2015/16

Summer Learning Journey 2015/16

The video below is an explanation of the Summer Learning Journey blogging project undertaken by Rachel Williams

This graph shows the difference in Writing achievement between the cohort who blogged during the Summer holidays and a matched group who did not.

 Examples below of blog posts by learners who participated in the Summer Learning Journey.
To explore all their posts over the Summer, look in the 'Blog Archives' section in the sidebar of their blog and locate the January 2016 posts. Note the threaded conversations below the posts as well as the actual post.

The following is taken from the executive summary of the report about the Summer Learning Journey research project undertaken in the Summer holidays between 2015 and 2016 by Rachel Williams. The complete report is attached at the bottom of this page.

Kia ora!

Hello, my name is Rachel Williams and I am teacher and researcher from the Woolf Fisher Centre at the University of Auckland. Last summer I created a digital blogging programme for students at three Manaiakalani cluster schools. The purpose of the programme was to provide our young people with an opportunity to practice their reading and writing over the holiday period. All too often our students leave school at the end of the year and don’t practice their reading or writing very much over the summer holiday. When they return to school they struggle to remember what they learned the year before. To avoid this ‘summer slide’ or ‘slump’ in learning, I designed a fun and educational digital blogging programme called a Summer Learning Journey. The theme of the programme was travel and adventure. Students from Pt England, Tamaki Primary and Panmure Bridge schools logged onto the Summer Learning Journey site, learned about the people, customs and cultures in other countries, created learning outputs and then shared them on their blogs.

A total of 50 students registered for the holiday blogging programme and 23 actively posted their learning on their blogs. I monitored every blog and wrote comments in response to every post. I also recruited students from five countries around the world (Canada, England, Chile, Malaysia and Germany) to read the student’s posts and comment on them. At the end of the summer our students had completed 261 posts and provided 43 comments on one another’s blogs. I contributed a further 261 comments while the overseas bloggers provided 128 comments for a total of 693 posts and comments. Wow!

At the end of the summer holiday, I evaluated the quality and accuracy of all of the posts provided by our students. I also explored the impact that participating in the Summer Learning Journey programme had on the writing ability of our students. The results were really exciting! Not only did our students produce posts that had a high degree of fluency and accuracy (i.e. correct spelling, punctuation and grammar) but they also reported significantly higher scores on their standardised (e-asTTle) writing tests in Term I of this year, 2016, (after completing the programme) than they did in Term I of 2015. This is a distinct improvement in performance and suggests that participation in the Summer Learning Journey programme had a significant, positive effect on the writing ability of the students! 

If you would like more information about the programme or have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Rachel, on 09 623 8899 ext. 46437 or email at rachel.williamson@auckland.ac.nz.
Dorothy Burt,
5 Jul 2016, 18:39
Dorothy Burt,
5 Jul 2016, 18:38