(Research and Development in Early Childhood Education Students of Universitas Terbuka)
Sri Tatminingsih (email@example.com)
Denny Setiawan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This study aims to enhance students' understanding of the Kindergarten Curriculum and Learning Materials subject by using games at face to face tutorials as well as to make tutors find and adopt the effective game-based tutorials in the tutorial activities generally conducted for UT students especially the students of S1 program of early childhood education. This research was conducted in two tutorial classes at one of the student study groups at UPBJJ Serang. Each class was given a different treatment or a different game. This research used action research methods and methods of research and development. The subjects of the action research was the fourth semester students of early childhood education programs who were taking Kindergarten Curriculum and Instructional Materials course. In this study, researchers acted as instruments that play a role in monitoring and recording any behaviors occurred during the research process. Tutors’ reflection was another instrument used in this research and together with together with field notes were used as input for next cycle. Other instruments used in this research were pre-test and post-test as means of measuring the success of learning. Two cycles actions were performed t in each class. From the field notes and the reflections can be figured out that there was an increasing understanding of students to the learning materials. This was confirmed by the comparison between the results of pre-test and post-test that was significant. Field notes and reflection showed that in addition to the improved understanding, there was also enjoyment and enthusiasm of the students in following the lectures. This was caused by the game as a substitute for the usual method of tutorial such as lectures, discussions, etc. The cycles were terminated when tutors and researchers felt that the students had increased understanding of the learning material, and also the collaboration between tutors and researchers had found a type of game that most effective to apply in face-to-face tutorials.
Open University (UT) is a college that conducted Distance Learning System. With this system, interaction between students and lecturers are characterized by physical separation and bridged by media such as print and non-printed materials. Therefore, students require high self-reliance for learning. It means that the initiative to study is determined entirely by students themselves so they determine the time and the way of their own learning. Independent study can be done individually or in groups with printed or non printed teaching materials as learning resources. Success in learning is totally determined by students' ability to effectively learn (Team UT, 2005). Effective learning can only be achieved if the students have self-discipline, strong initiative and enough motivation to learn.
UT provides teaching materials created to be learned independently. In addition to the use of instructional print materials, students can also use multimedia, such as Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) and audio / video programs. UT also provides learning support services such as tutorials, namely face to face tutorial, online tutorial, and distance tutorial via radio and television.
Face to face tutorial is the most widely provided and utilized tutorial, especially utilized by students of Basic Education Program. The students of Basic Education Program, including they who are studying in Early Childhood Education S1 Program are grouped based on learning groups and within one semester each group has three courses. One of them is Kindergarten Curriculum and Learning Materials Course (PAUD4207).
In a course that has face to face tutorials, students have opportunities to meet their tutor eight times for one semester. During the tutorial activities a tutor mostly uses lecture method in which the tutor explains and conveys learning materials taken from modules while students just listen to the tutor, and jot down what they think important. The style of this tutorial frequently happens because of several factors, including a tendency of students’ reading interests is relatively low, especially for they who are learning while working. Most of their times are spent for working and doing household chores so that they do not have time to read the learning materials. These types of tutorials potentially can make the students feel bored and may feel difficult to understand the learning materials.
Basically every human, both kid and adult, loves to play or does a game. Adults usually do a game to refresh body and mind after working. Adult games, for example fishing, sports or recreation, perform certain regions. The game is a recreational activity with the aim of having fun, leisure, or mild exercise. Games are usually done alone or together (http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Games)
According to the Great Dictionary of Indonesian Language (Dictionary Drafting Team, 2001), tutorial is: (1) a coached class done by a teacher (tutor) for a student or a small group of students or (2) additional instruction through tutoring. Meanwhile the definition of tutor is: (1) people who give lessons to someone or a small number of students (at home, not at school) or (2) lecturer who guide a number of students in a lesson. Based on these constraints, a tutorial means to teach others or to provide learning assistance to someone. Learning aid can be given by older people or the same age (Wardani, 2005).
At the Department of Basic Education (PGSD, Pendor and PAUD) the implementation of the tutorial is based on the following provisions: (Pendas Program Catalog, 2007) 1) there are 8 meetings for each course; 2) duration one meeting is 120 minutes; 3) the presence and activity of students in a tutorial has a contribution to tutorial grades or scores; 4) there are three tasks to do by student in a tutorial, these are on the third, the fifth and seventh meeting. Tutorial task is one form of evaluation to measure students' ability, after attending some tutorial activities. The form can be essay tests, performance test or other tasks;
Brain based learning (Asep Sapa'at, 2008) offers a concept to create a learning-oriented that can empower brain potentials. Three main strategies can be developed in the implementation of brain based learning. Firstly, create a learning environment that challenge students' thinking abilities. For example, through puzzles, simulation games, and so forth. Secondly, create a fun learning environment. For example learning activities conducted by a group discussion with interesting games. Howard Gardner (in De Porter, 1999) states that a person will learn with all of his abilities, if he like what he learn then he will be happy to involve in it. Third, create a situation of active and meaningful learning for students (active learning). Theory of Transactional Analysis from Eric Berne (Christian Leadership Network, 2008), states that basically human personality has three elements, namely elements of the children (play, adventurous, experimental - anything considered to be fun), adult elements (realistic, full consideration), and elements of a parent (protective, advise). The third element should be balanced so that someone can be psychologically healthy. Based on these theories, it is clear that every human being basically has an element of personality as a child. It means, human beings also have a childlike nature, where they also like to play or to do a game.
Playing is not only among children. Adult needs also to play. However, if some adult play, then a lot of people will consider them as childish. Playing is necessary and very important for adults. If an adult plays a game (computers, sports, puzzles, etc.) it means that he knows how to make himself fun in a positive way. A desire to play should be used by everyone for their own health, both physically and psychically.
Here are some theories about the play (Janet Moyles, 1995)
1. Play refers to a voluntary, intrinsically motivated activity that is normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment. Play may consist of fun, pretense, and fantasy, among friends or in private or interplay. Playing is natural for humans and animals particularly in cognitive and social emotional development of children activities. Playing often uses equipment, animals, or toys in the context of learning and creativity. Some games have been clearly set objectives and rules of the game while others have no structure at all.
2. The concept of play cannot be defined as a single concept. Play is a series of activities. In general, the word play is used as an opponent to parts of human life like sleeping, eating, working, washing, worship and so forth.
3. Several different experts define play as different definitions. Some of them are as follows.
a. David Reisman believes that play is a quality (different with an activity).
b. Mark Twain claims that play and work are words used to describe the same activity in different environments.
c. James Findlay, (a social educator) defines play as a meta intelligence . He said that play is a background, together with, and change some multiple intelligents.
d. Bryan Sutton Smith states that play can also be seen as an exercise activity in life. For example: child's play to fight. According to him, playing, sometimes, can be dangerous. For example: extreme sports.
e. Johan Huizinga, define play as follows.
1) Play is an activity undertaken consciously outside the common habits of human life because it is not serious. But play also involves an intensive and tiring.
2) Play is also an activity associated with non-material interests. Play has no meaning when the material benefits gained.
3) Play is also conducted within the limits of space and time, according to the rules.
4) Playing also encourages the composition of position in a social group, for example, there are a chairperson, members and other components.
5) According to him playing, that is in an atmosphere of human behavior, is arranged in several different roles.
f. Stephen Nachmanovitsch, states that play is a root and foundation of creativities in art and science in everyday life. Improvisation, composition, writing, drawing, theater, discovery- all single behavior is a form of creative play and as the beginning of the growth cycle of human creativities and it is a major life function.
Instructions for Activities Before Playing The Game
1. Divide students into several groups. Each group consists of 10 persons.
2. At the first meeting, conduct an orientation to intorduce the lesson and the game to students. Between the first and second meetings the students are asked to read module 1 and 2 and create some questions and answers from those modules (independent tasks). Each student must create 2 questions for module 1, and 2 questions for module 2. Later, the questions and answers created in one group should include all modules so that every student will not create the same questions and answers. Questions and answers are posted on cards (20X10 cm2 sized) in the same color with lottery card. This questions and answers will be played at second meeting.
3. At the second meeting the students are asked to read module 3 and 4 and create questions and answers from those modules. Like at the first meeting, each student must create 2 questions for module 3 and 2 questions for module 4. Questions and answers are posted on cards as in previous meetings. Furthermore, at third meeting, students will undertake the games that have been played before that is using module 1 to 4. This activity wil be done until module 12 and every game prepared one week before the game is played.
1. Lottery cards, colored and laminated, with the size of 5 x 5 cm,
2. Question and answer cards with the size of 20X10 cm2 and have the same color with the lottery cards.
3. Message cards, consists of important/foreign words that can be found in the modules for example, "instructional design". These words are written on HVS paper with the size of proximity 5 cm width and length according to the length of the words or sentences.
4. Boxes or containers to place cards, different card is placed in diferent box or container
1. Tutor act as a leader and referee / judge.
2. All students are divided into two groups, each group leaded by a student.
3. Each group stay in a line with squat position from front to back and every player faces backwards while holding the shoulders of a player who is in front of her. The distance between the two groups is more and less 3 m.
4. The leader delivers messages that is confidential to the first player in each group,
5. After the first players understand their own the message, the leaders give a sign to begin, for example, by a count of "one, two, three ... go!", Then the two players directly and immediately whisper the message to second players.
6. If the second players understand the message they must say "Hup!" So that the third players hear them and immediately turn in the same manner as the second players and the second players whisper the message to the third players and so on until the last players. If the last players have understood the message, they must immediately ran to the front with a zigzag way to the location of lottery card.
7. The fastest player from one of the group will take one lottery card that facing backwards (confidential).
8. The player shows his lottary card to the leader.
9. The leader take a card with the same color and number with the lottary card drawn by the player then read the questions contained in the question and answer cards.
10. Group which a player who have the question and answer card must have a negotiation among the group members to appoint one of them to answer.
11. If the answer is correct then the group gets 1 point.
12. The game is repeated again until a certain time. Player who have a position behind, should be at the first turn on next round.
13. The winning group is the group that received the highest point.
This study uses Research and Development (R and D) method. Subjects or participants in this study are:
1. a researcher that act as a planner and implementer of the research,
2. a tutor of the Kindergarten Curriculum and Learning Materials subject at Serpong.
3. twenty two students who are studying at semester 2009.2 who are taking the curriculum and learning materials course. Main data is collected in the form of words and actions or behavior of the students and the tutor during the course (learning activities) using the game in tutorial classes. Data is collected by observation techniques. Other data sources such as documents, books, students’ score records, are treated as additional data.
Results of analysis and reflection at the end of the study can be described into the following descriptions.
1. All students working on their respective duties properly.
2. Message cards that contain difficult/strange words or phrases make the students better understand the difficult words or sentences in English, especially after the tutor explain the meaning of the words / phrases. They are also easier to remember.
3. Students feel very happy in the tutorial of this semester because it is very interesting and they do not feel bored or sleepy.
4. They feel that they gradually have more control to the content of the modules. They can also learn from their fellow about the content of the modules, especially when discussing the answer to the questions.
5. Tutor explanations about the answers to the questions have strengthen student understanding of the content of the modules and they are easier to remember.
6. Questions compiled by the artificial tutor students increasingly make the student enthusiasm for learning to deal with UAS.
In addition to the results of such reflection, qualitative data showed that the mastery of respondents to the Kindergarten Curriculum and Learning subject material has increased significantly. The increase was varied from 0 to 38 points.
Based on these results, it was considered that the research have completed the preliminary stage because all students have achieved significant improvement in the mastery of course material. Thus, this study is considered to have successfully achieved the expected goals in tutorial activities or in other words the application of game-based tutorials can help improve students’ mastery of Kindergarten Curriculum and Learning subject materials.
After trying to apply game-based tutorials in Preliminary research, the following results were obtained.
1. There is an increasing student understanding of content / material of Kindergarten Curriculum and Learning subject (PAUD4207) materials.
2. Students stated that the game-based tutorial is very fun activity that is not boring. In addition, they can better master the content of the modules with an easier way.
3. The tutor stated that the game-based tutorial model makes tutorial more have varied activities. The tutor tends to not too much explaining the content of the modules. Although the preparation of the tutor and the students should be better and a bit complicated, but the achievements and results in accordance with the expectations of students' understanding of subject matter is more in depth.
SUGGESTIONS / RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on these conclusions, the suggestion conveyed is that the study of Game-Based Tutorial should be continued to the next research phases (second and third phase of the study). The game-based tutorial use in the tutorial activities can be a model for face to face tutorials in broadly scope of distance learning at the Open University.
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Disajikan dalam Seminar International "Integrating Technology Into Education" pada tanggal 18 May 2010 di UTCC- Universitas Terbuka.
Seminar berlangsung 2 hari 18-18 May 2010 di Auditorium Dikti dan UTCC-Universitas Terbuka dengan penyelenggara IPTPI yang bekerjasama dengan OUM (Open University of Malaysia, Binus University, Widyatama University (Bandung), Pustekkom, Seamolec, Universitas Terbuka dan Direktorat Pendidikan Tinggi- Kementrian Pendidikan Nasional.