Sharing the project

The following is the presentation I have prepared in order to present the findings of the research project developed:


After the long process, of this Action Research project, I have come up with the following conclusion,

Online video-making tasks increased fourth graders motivation for the following autonomous learning behaviors: Choosing different aspects of the learning process, cooperating with the learning process of peers, self-assessing the progress of learning, defining clear learning goals, and organizing the student’s own learning process. Along the side of the online video-making tasks the following motivational strategies were used: allowing learners real choices about their learning process, handing over functions to the learners for cooperative work, and the teacher adopting the role of a facilitator.


Animoto, Xtranormal and MashFace


MashFace is an interesting tool that gives entertainment for students while learning. It is a website that enables the user to add video segments into a photograph. This means that the learners can add their voice and mouth to a picture of any character. In order to use this web program the user requires a web-cam and a microphone. Finally, it interacts with YouTube in order to share the mashes with people that not necessarily have an account in MashFace.


Xtranormal is an online program allows making animated videos by typing a script and choosing character and scenario options. It is basically used for monologues or conversations. It guides in a clear way the manner that the user is supposed to create the movies. Also, it gives many options that allow learners to be creative; they can create characters and settings, change the position of the cameras, and change the voices. This program allows you to upload videos to YouTube. There is information from different blogs that have spoken about the utilities of this website in the classroom, such as Peachey (2008). He states that this site can offer many possibilities for students to exercise different activities of language use. The researcher has also used this website for small scale projects and has found that Xtranormal motivates students to do written tasks.


Animoto is an online video-making site that allows learners to create picture and sound videos. The purpose of this program is to create presentations that mix pictures with sound. It can be used to create stories or presentations about different topics. This is a friendly using site and very secure, because it only allows the user to see its videos, however you can also share the videos you create with YouTube. One of the great aspects of Animoto is that it has a special site for animations. In this website: http://education.animoto.com/ there are examples on how teachers have been using this online program in and outside the classroom. Swiatek (2008) remarks the use of this site for children; he states that it is a great way for our “digital age” students to produce and share knowledge.


The ideas behind this project

The following constructs were the basis of this project:

Autonomy in the field of language learning

Wu (2008) states that teachers should cultivate a kind of learner that can continue a Life Long Learning process independently.

Brown (2007, p. 377) states that autonomy is the “individual effort and action through which learners initiate learning, strategic action, problem solving, and the generation of linguistic input”.

Autonomous learning behaviors

Different authors have drawn a set of behaviors that define an autonomous learner (Benson, 2001; Brown, 2007; Dörnyei, 2006; Harmer, 2007):

· An autonomous learner chooses different aspects of the learning process (materials, activities, topics, assignments, etc.).

· An autonomous learner cooperates with the learning process of peers.

· An autonomous learner self-assesses the progress of learning.

· An autonomous learner defines clear learning goals.

· An autonomous learner organizes his/her learning process.

From Dörnyei’s (2006) point of view there are certain strategies that the teacher can adopt to motivate autonomous learning behavior:

  • Allow learners real choices about as many aspects of the learning process as possible.
  • Hand over functions to the learners for cooperative work.
  • Adopt the role of a facilitator.

Online video-making tasks

For the present study, I have decided to use online video-making tasks to motivate young learners for autonomous behavior. The reason for choosing this tool is because learners need opportunities to use technology as a part of their personal development. According to Beatty (2003) children are able to handle technology in ways that amaze their teachers; following Beatty’s view, teachers must allow technology to be a part of the classroom and use it as a way to motivate children towards autonomy.


Reminder of the Research Question

To analyze the data I had to take into account the following research question:

How will the Design of online video-making tasks increase fourth graders’ motivation for autonomous learning behaviour?

I kept in mind the following objectives:

General objective.

To increase fourth grader motivation for an autonomous learning behavior by using online video-making tasks.

Specific objectives.

· To teach students how to create online videos.

· To foster students’ autonomous learning behavior by applying motivational strategies.


Survey Data Analysis

In order to organize this data, Norton (2009) presents a strategy called Thematic Analysis. This strategy is used to analyze qualitative information through a set of five steps. The surveys of this project present a different type of information because its analysis must be done using a quantitative perspective. In order to interpret this information Norton (2009) presents a strategy called Frequency Counts, which is a simple method of descriptive statistics useful to display results in a summarized form. The Data analysis of the surveys (pre and Post) were done using only the answers that demonstrated a drastic change of opinion. The following were the answers that demonstrated this:

1. I look for materials to learn in better way things that I consider difficult.

5. I learn better when I choose the topics of my tasks.

7. I learn better when my classmates help me.

8. I give suggestions to my classmates about how they can improve a task.

9. I enjoy learning from my classmates.

12. After I finish a task I do not correct it unless my teacher tells me to.

13. After I finish a task I think about how to improve it.

14. I check my tasks before I hand them in.

16. When I start a task I know what my learning goal is.

17. I know what the goals of this school period are for my subjects.

18. I usually achieve my goals.

20. I understand the goals that my teachers set for me.

25. I set specific goals before I look for information.
· Motivation for decision making in tasks.

With this information and the other data analysis I got the following Themes that guided the findings of this research project:

· Cooperation among peers.

· Self-assessment of the learning process.

· Recognizing and achieving learning goals.

· Organizing the learning process.


Sharing the projects with the class

In order to do share the project we did with the community, we created a space where the students showed the videos, they were very excited to do this. I talked to a teacher from the school, and she agreed to invite her students to see this presentation. The students were very pleased with the results, and the development of the videos was enjoyed by everyone. Here are some pictures of this experience.


Compilation of work

In order to do the final compilation of the work, the students were asked to put in a CD all of their work for this Project. In the CD they made a folder for each of the tasks and in each tasks they put what they did based on the following checklist:

Top ten interest list. (Word Document)
The Photographs used for Animoto. (Jpg files)
Link where the video is located on the Web, The feed back you received from your classmate, saying how was it helpful to you. (Word Document)

The script of animation. (Word Document)
Link where the video is located on the Web, The feed back you received from your classmate, saying how was it helpful to you. (Word Document)

The script of the character answering the question of task 2. (Word Document)
The photograph used to create the video. (Jpg file)
Link where the video is located on the Web, The feed back you received from your classmate, saying how was it helpful to you. (Word Document)

All of the students handed in their CDs on time, the only problem I found, was that many of the students created one word document with all the files. However, in this documents many of them responded positively about the use of feedback given by their classmates.


Checklist and Sample for for Mashface

As I expected many of the students did not have a webcam in their computers at home, however, they took time from their recess to develop their task. I ask them if they were not happy about being recording this in recess, but they responded that they did not feel like it was homework, and for them they were just playing. The following checklist helped them develop their task and give feedback to their classmates:

Mashface Checklist



The video addresses what you wanted to know about your interest.

The picture you used is logical with your topic.

The voice recorded is understandable. (For this you need to check pronunciation and grammar)

The mouth recorded does not move too much.

The video uses different tools given by Mashface.

I sent the video to my teacher and to my peer corrector on time.

The following video is a sample of their work with Mashface


Assigning Task 3 and Sample from Xtranormal

The work of the students with Xtranormal was great! They did not need extra-tools to create it, all they needed was their computers with Internet connection and their prewritten scripts. Even though there are still some punctuation mistakes they seem to know that they have them, but I must remind myself that this project is not for improving language skills, but for motivating an autonomous learning behavior. However, this does not mean that I am to forget my role as a language teacher. The following is an example of the students' work:

After talking with the students about their experiences developing task two, I gave them task 3, the last task of this project. This project was carried out using Mashface, for this task they'll need a webcam and a microfone, depending on the students availability to this I will lend them my computer ONLY during recess. I'll do this in order to test their autonomy and responsibility.

The following video is an example of what they are required to do.

For this task they are required to answer the question that they propose for their last task. What would they like to know about their interest? Then, they are to look for a representative character of their interest, E.g. if they chose music, they choose an important singer, or band. Then they will have to find a picture of this representative person of their interest, and add their voice answering the question they had.


Check list for Xtranormal

For this tasks the students, trusted much more the guidance of their classmates, they looked for my help only when they could not find the solution to their problem. They demonstrated organization of their work by assigning a time to develop their videos. The following is the checklist they used to self correct and peer correct their task:

Xtranormal Checklist



The video addresses the four questions given for the task.

The video uses more than 4 cameras shots.

The video has logical pauses.

The video is understandable. (For this you need to check punctuation, spelling, and grammar)

The video uses different tools given by Xtranormal.

I sent the video to my teacher and to my peer corrector on time.


Assigning the Xtranormal Task and example of Animoto Task

The following is an example of the first task, Where the students used Animoto. The example shown demonstrates that the students are able to work independently in order to achieve their tasks.

The students were very motivated to create this task, they showed a great ability using the tools provided by Animoto. After doing this I presented the next task. We worked creating a script for Xtranormal. The script contained 4 questions: What is your number one interest? Why is this interest important to you? What would you like to learn/find out about your interest? and Invite your classmates to get involve with your interest. The task is explained in the following Xtranormal video I created:


Check list for Animoto

Today I gave my students their checklist for analyzing their Animoto videos. The learners understood the intention of self assessing their tasks, and giving feedback to a classmates. In order to do this, I asked them to review the video of a classmate based on the check list, and then answer the following questions: What did you like about the video? How can the video be improved? According to the checklist what aspects are missing?

The following is the checklist I gave to the students for checking their Animoto videos.



I used original pictures for my Animoto presentation.

My video is organized in a way that is easy to understand.

I have no grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes.

I sent the video to my teacher and to my peer corrector on time.

The feedback the students gave demonstrated help for their classmates, they commented that the feedback helped them improve their work. They are demonstrating motivation for Cooperation, an autonomous learning behavior basis of this project. They were motivated because they wanted to see the video of their classmate.


Teaching Animoto

Today I taught my students how to use Animoto. First, I showed them a video I created and they were very motivated into doing their own videos. Here is the video I showed them:

Then I gave them each an access login and password, this is because animoto does not allow underage users, so I am like a supervisor. They were very motivated to create their video but there were some problems that I did not take into account.

The biggest problem is that they cannot create different videos at the same time with the same login. In this case there are two solutions that I thought of, the first one which is a bit difficult is to direct them to create their own Animoto account. And the second one is to precreate 5 videos for each account which might allow them to manipulate the videos without interferring with the others.


Tomorrow I am starting to apply my instruments

Tomorrow I am starting to apply my data collection instruments with my students. I decided to use the Computers class I teach to my fourth graders to show them how the first online video-making tool works: ANIMOTO. We will use Animoto as an introduction to the topic that I want them to be encourage with, their Interests. After the computer class of tomorrow I will apply the survey that was planned for the previous week but it was not possible to do because of extracurricular activities. On Wednesday we will start talking about the video they have to bring for Friday and discuss with a partner.


Previous video Activities

In this entrance I want to show you the activities that I have done with my students while creating videos with them. Doing these Activities I was motivated to encourage my learners to be motivated to an autonomous learning behavior through video activities.

The first set of videos were created based on stories thought by my students. After they thought of a story, we started to create a script for the video. These were the videos that came up:

The following video was done as a way to prove that language awareness is possible with elementary school students. Even though they don't sound natural, after a year of doing the video, they still remember this class and correct eachother using this video as a reference.

The folowing videos were done based on a website called Xtranormal. The students were asked to think about their crazy twins and describe them different from what they were. Here are a couple of examples of what they did.

These videos have proved that in an elementary classroom students not only prefer to watch and analyze videos, they also love to create them, this is why I believe that the creation of videos is a great way to promote learner autonomy at an early age.