Problem-based learning in teaching writing

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PROBLEM BASED LEARNING IN TEACHING WRITING THROUGH LEARNING CYCLE TECHNIQUE

Abstract

Learning Indonesian require teachers’ creativity in managing activities in teaching learning process. The creativity of teachers will make the students to be creative. Learning cycle technique can accommodate students in constructing concepts in a fun and interesting way that performed continuously in a planned manner. Formulation of the problem in this study is whether the cycle technique can improve the students' skills in problem-based writing and how is a profile of problem-based writing by using learning cycle. The method used is a quasi-experimental method. The instruments used are test, observation, questionnaires, and interviews. To answer the problem formulation above, the writer observes the students and teachers who use problem-based writing by using learning cycle, as well as developing teaching learning models. The population is the students of class XI of SMK Negeri 2 Cimahi and the sample are students of the Mechatronics consisting of 2 classes. Data collection and processing results indicate that the students of class XI of SMK Negeri 2 Cimahi Mechatronics before treatment can not do a problem-based writing. But after being given treatment by using the learning cycle, students are able to write. Thus the conclusion is the learning cycle techniques can improve students' skills in problem-based writing.

Keywords : teaching learning model, problem-based writing, learning cycle technique

  1. Introduction

Writing is a productive activity involving thinking skills expressed in written form. In order to make writing an activity that can be used automatically, then, fostering this skill requires many efforts and high motivation. This is in line with what Sobari (2013: 1 ) has stated that an activity carried out continuously is able to produce settled and attached competences; so, when the activity receives stimulus, then, it can be done spontaneously.

Fostering writing skills requires consistent and settled plans. The plans that are already settled will then be produced spontaneously and expressed easily in written form. Therefore, a good writer must have ideas and opinions that have been already arranged consistently in his mind, so that the ideas and opinions can be expressed coherently. Sobari ( 2012:1 ) argues that the ability to express what is in mind will definitely requires regular thoughts and experiences.

Form of writing is resulted from psychic activity that involves thinking and assisted by hand movements as a physical manifestation that helps produce writing. The process of thinking is an activity that involves language as its tool. The coherence of think will also be reflected in the form of coherent writing anyway. Thus, the practice of systematically thinking is a fundamental tool in generating systematic writing.

Writing is the author’s expression originated from the issues. The issues on which the writing is based are the issues close to the experience and daily life. Because the issues on which the writing is based are products resulted from observation and appreciation the writer has done, then, it is necessary to organize the issues coherently so they can be developed into written form.

Ideas and opinions set forth in writing are the result of the development of the problems. They are the forerunner to the topic which are then developed into a full writing by formulating in detail the problems and analyzing them based on the development of the problems to turn them into writing.

It is expected that, through problem-based learning, the students are able to develop their writing independently and creatively. The same statement was also revealed by Aziz (2012 : 66 ) that writing posters and slogans through problem-based learning method is aimed at enabling students to develop thinking skills in identifying problems around them, solve the problems, and then draw a conclusion.

As the support to the implementation of learning, this study used the learning cycle as a technique to manage the problem-based learning in teaching writing. Learning cycle technique is a technique that emphasizes the aspects of learning sustainability done in stages.

This study was aimed at knowing:

  1. The improvement of students’ problem-based writing skills after attending learning cycle techniques.
  2. The profile of problem-based learning to write by using the learning cycle.
  1. Literature Review

Problem-based Writing

The idea of ​​writing appears due to the very urgent inspiration of thinking activity. It is this activity that constitutes a collection of information stored in memory which turns to be the spearhead in expressing ideas as writing materials. Collection of information that has been previously stored then will turn to be writing after given stimulus in the form of problems. It is, therefore, necessary for students to stimulate the activity of thinking based on the real-world problems so that these problems can be expressed in written form.

In this study, the problems to be used as the source of writing are related to the students' area of ​​expertise, the field of mechatronics. The problems that frequently arises are understanding, implementing, and reporting the implementation of the concepts as well. The problems are the basis for arranging argumentative writing, that is, a writing that contains arguments which is also enclosed by reasons and facts as well as data.

According to Rusman ( 2010:232 ), the characteristics of problem-based learning are as follows:

  1. The issues are the starting point in the study;
  2. The issues raised are unstructured issues that exist in the real world;
  3. The problems requires multiple perspectives;
  4. The problems challange the students’ knowledge, attitudes, and competences which then requires the identification of learning needs and new areas of learning;
  5. Self-directed learning becomes priority
  6. The use of diverse knowledge sources;
  7. Learning is collaborative, communicative, and cooperative;
  8. The development of inquiry and problem solving skills are as important as the mastery of content knowledge to find solutions to a problem ;
  9. Transparency in the teaching and learning process includes the synthesis and integration of a learning process, and
  10. The teaching and learning proses involves the evaluation and review of the students’ experiences and the learning process .

The Concept of Learning Cylce Technique

Learning cycle is a model of student-centered learning. It is an instructional model that follows certain patterns so that students can achieve competence as learning objectives. This is in line with what Karli (2003 : 82 ) has stated that learning cycle is a learning technique by following certain patterns.

Based on the above understanding explained by many experts, the authors concluded that the learning cycle is the student-centered instructional activity based on specific stages to achieve the established objectives and competencies.

Throwbridge ( Sobari, 2012:42 ) divides the stages in the learning cycle, known as 5E namely: (1) engagement (attracting the attention/interest ), (2) exploration (investigation), (3) explanation (introduction), (4) elaboration (extension), (5) evaluation. Here is the explanation of each stage.

Stage 1 : engagement (attracting the students’ attention)

In this stage, teacher tries to make students interested in study.

Stage 2 : exploration (investigation)

Teacher looks for ideas to attract students’ attention so that they are able to think of how to explore the ideas.

Stage 3 : explanation

This means action or process in the concepts, the process or skills that have been established clearly, comprehensively and openly. In this stage, teacher directs students to the more specific aspects in the form of experiences that have been done in the stage of engagement and exploration.

Stage 4 : elaboration (applying concepts/extension)

Once students know the explanation of learning tasks, it is hoped that they are able to to develop experiences or elaborate concepts, processes or skills.

Stage 5 : evaluation (evaluasi)

The purpose of evaluation is to measure the learning experiences that have been achieved by students and as a reflection of how to do the next cycles in the next concepts.

  1. Research Method

The method used in this study was a quasi experimental, which is a study that tests the application of learning cycle technique in teaching problem-based writing. The design of this study was pretest posttest with control group design that compared the research object of control class and that of experimental class with different treatments.

The aspect of assessment for problem-based writing skills used in this study refers to the assessment model of ELS Composition Profile by Jacobs, Holly L., et al. ( 1981) as well as the modification of researchers and it is described as followed:

Table 1

The Aspect of Assessment for Problem-Based Writing Skills

No

The Assessed Aspects

The Score Scales

1

Content of Writing

4 – 1

2

Writing Organization Structure

4 – 1

3

Vocabularies

4 – 1

4

Language Use

4 – 1

5

Writing Rules

4 – 1

6

Facts, data, or Examples of Writing Supporter

4 – 1

Total

24

  1. Findings and Discussion

Data collection and processing results indicate that, before treatment, the students of class XI of SMK Negeri 2 Cimahi Mechatronics can not do a problem-based writing. But after being given treatment by using the learning cycle, students are able to write. Thus, the conclusion is the learning cycle techniques can improve students' skills in problem-based writing.

Table 2

The Comparison of Test Result of Problem-based Writing

Using Learning Cycle Techniques

Test of Writing the Scientific Report

Average

Pretest

10,45

Posttest

18,18

Based on the results of the analysis of the implementation of problem-based learning in teaching writing by using the learning cycle technique could run in accordance with the principles of the learning cycles. All components of learning were developed and implemented according to the plans so that the students can follow those learning components.

  1. Conclusions and Recommendations

The data showed that the learning cycle technique could improve the students’ writing ability. In general, the profile of students’ writing ability based on the data at the beginning of learning showed that the they did not understand yet the technique of how to write. However, after attending the learning cycle techniques, they finally demonstrated the ability to write better.

The implementation of teaching problem-based writing that used the learning cycle could run in accordance with the principles of learning and steps in learning cycle technique. The main purpose of learning cycle techniques was to enable students to learn actively, participatoric, creatively, and cooperatively.

Bibliography

Aziz, Abdul. 2012. Menulis Poster dan Slogan melalui Penerapan Metode Pembelajaran Berbasis Masalah (Problem Based Learning). Jurnal Semantik Vol 1 No. 1 Februari 2012 ISSN 2252-4657 STKIP Siliwangi Hal. 65-74

Jacobs, H.L. dkk. 1981. Testing ISL Composition: A Practical Approach. London: Newbury House Publishers, Inc Hardle and Simar. 2004. Applied Multivariate Atatistical Analysis, Second Edition. Springer

Karli, H 2005. 3 H dalam Kurikulum Berbasis Kompetensi. Bandung: Generasi Info Media

Merrill, M.D. 2002.“A Pebble in the Pond Model for Instruction Design” dalam Performance Improvement (7) :39-44.Tersedia: http://www.ispi.org/pdf/Merrill.pdf//

Rusman. 2010. Model-Model Pembelajaran. Edisi kedua. Jakarta: Raja Grafindo Persada

Sobari, Teti. 2012. Penerapan Teknik Siklus Belajar dalam Pembelajaran Menulis Laporan Ilmiah Berbasis Vokasional di SMK. Jurnal Semantik. Volume 1, No.1 Februari 2012. Bandung: STKIP Siliwangi

Sobari, Teti. 2013. Model Pembelajaran Kooperatif Tipe Jigsaw dalam Pembelajaran Menulis Karangan Argumentasi. Jurnal Semantik. Volume 2, No. 1 Januari 2013

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