This thesis describes the project Better exam results where the software OneNote was introduced into School X with the view to better students’ exam results. Through observations, a survey and interviews we investigate how students use and collaborate with the help of OneNote.
The thesis questions are twofold. They have their basis in the project “better exam results” which we were a part of. We were interested in seeing how students interact and learn with technology and we wanted to see what reflections the leadership group had upon the process of introducing a new digital tool. Our thesis questions thus became:1) How do students see their learning situation with the use of OneNote at School X?2) How does the leadership group at School X reflect upon the process of introducing OneNote?
We have used a socio-cultural approach when it comes to analysing student data, with Vygotsky’s term Zone of Proximal Development as a starting point. We have further used the terms mediated action and cultural tools when it comes to carrying out the analysis of the student data.
When analysing the leadership group reflections we have used the theory of distributed leadership as presented by Spillane. We also use Hargreaves to understand the dynamics within the leadership group.
OneNote is software which is used to take notes. It belongs to the MicroSoft family but has not had massive use. We saw the software as a good tool for our students. OneNote is searchable, easy to understand and use and has the possibility to be used by students in collaboration. Hence, it seemed a good idea to give our students the opportunity to use it.
When it comes to method we have decided on a cross sectional study design where we have carried out four classroom observations, a survey among our 1st year students, two group interviews with students, all with the view of finding out how students reflect upon their own learning situation with the help of the tool OneNote. To understand the reflections the leadership group expresses we have studied a transcript of a leadership conversation evaluating the introduction of the project. Both analyses is carried out to see where the participants stand at one point in time.
Our main findings are that the students find the tool useful and that well over 80% use the tool daily or several times a week, but that many students are mainly unaware of the level of their own cooperation. The leadership perspective shows that projects like this needs to be firmly based within the leadership group.