Annual syllabus writing month is here in Japan, when we all start preparing for the next school year in April. With some first year skills classes, and lower skilled classes, I will be able to see if my workshop-based approach will work with any but the highest level content classes. Comment below if you want to know more about this approach, which combines autonomous learning with gamification to fit in university classroom parameters for topic-based curriculum.
With 3 sections of the same class, on the same week day (for 15 weeks), I will get tracked groups 1, 4 and 6 (out of 8 levels). I am still trying to figure out how to work some kind of research design to test the efficacy of my approach. There are so many variables that I need to control for, such as time of day and number of meetings, so as to measure the different group level reactions to this approach.
To operationalize the reaction of the students, and their linguistic accomplishment before and after will be a challenge.
Because this workshop based approach contains many different working parts, with 4 possible in-class activities at any one time, and 6 different homework options each week, I am about to give up because there are too many variables for an N size of about 80 (about 27 in each group).
How does one test an approach? By breaking it down. But the only other option I can see is do a descriptive research paper, which is a lot less appetizing. Something quasi experimental? Suggestions welcome.