This study is an investigation in using action research and the VMS (Valuable-MuddiestSuggestion) method to improve the teaching and learning of a new General Education course for Early Childhood Education student-teachers. According to Kemmis and McTaggart (1992), to do action research is to plan, act, observe and reflect in continuous cycles with more careful, more systematic, and more rigorous way. Based on research evidence, self-assessment is asserted by some to be an essential skill for effective learning and lifelong learning, and this skill should be developed in university courses (Black & William, 1998; Boud, 1995; Cowan, 1998). VMS method is used to engender dual self-assessment of students and teachers in the course. Participants were undergraduate students enrolling in a Bachelor programme at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. The VMS method is designed to record students’ responses in each lesson on their “valuable (V) learning experience in the lesson”, “the muddiest (M) point in the lesson” as well as “suggestions (S) for improvement”. Records of their valuable learning (V), their muddiest point (M), and their suggestions (S) can be assessed and analyzed by the students themselves and the teacher to explore the learning experience of the students as well as the content and pedagogy of the lesson. The results of the study is encouraging. The action research cycles with dual self-assessment give valuable hints and insights to the students for self-directed learning to clarify their muddiest point and to the teacher for self-assessment and reflection on content and pedagogy of teaching.
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2015|