At the end of last year I invited my students to complete a questionnaire on their time with me and their learning. The university has a questionnaire but the results of it don’t really give me anything I can use to develop my planning or teaching for the next year. This questionnaire I sent was designed to give me some honest, specific and useful feedback. Of the 66 students, 12 gave me some feedback. Although this is a low percentage, the comments they shared have been integral as I shape and Plan for 2018. In this post, I’d like to share how I’m planning to respond to this feedback.
The first question I asked them was “What did you expect to get out of the ICT part of this course?”. I asked this because often students expect this course to be weeks of playing with apps and learning specific tools. I would never run the course like that. It goes against my belief that technology should only be used when it’s solving a problem in the classroom somehow. There are much more interesting things to study. Instead, the course concentrates on the whys and hows of technology use and attempts to give students the ability to critically evaluate any tool they find and make sure it’s worth using.
As expected, a lot of the students commented that they expected to be looking at tools like IWBs and LMSs. Comments such as “To be honest I was expecting to see a very technocentric focus in which things like whiteboards and apps were discussed.” Show that, by the end of the topic, some had understood why this wasn’t the best approach. One students shared a longer than average comment here that made me smile.
I honestly thought it would give practical tips on ways to use ICT in the classroom and show us lots of apps and tools to use. I actually found it much more valuable than that as is gave the pedagogical understanding of how to use ICT as a tool to overcome a learning barrier/s. This course broadened my understanding in a way I really didn’t know existed as sadly I had never considered ICT more than an add-on before. Now I feel equipped to search for an evaluate tools and apps I would like to use in my classroom as I can critically evaluate them against my learning outcome or purpose.
This reassured me that the overarching themes of the course are correct. The students said that they either got what they expected (including knowledge of tools) or they got something better.
However, it did lead me to wonder whether the balance between theory and tool sets might have gone too far the other way. I had very little time with these students in the grand scheme of things. I want to have at least one workshop where students are able to present different tools to each other, using TPACK to frame the conversation. I didn’t have time to do this last year but it has worked really well in previous years.
What did you get out of it?
Some wonderful responses there and nothing that I wouldn’t hope to see. Click to read them in a slideshow
What do you wish I’d done more of?
I learnt about this question (along with the next two) from Markeeta. These are questions she uses with her students each term. I like the open ended nature of them and it was a great way to get honest feedback that is informing my planning now…
“I sort of still want a huge list of different ICT tools and examples of how to use them in the classroom… but perhaps future PD sessions are a better place to learn that sort of thing.”
A lot of the comments here were about time and the need for more of it and, as I suspected, the desire to have more time, hands on with tools.
“More explicit teaching of TPACK and especially SAMR? Perhaps discussed additional examples of “good” uses of technology/ teaching versus less “good” examples. ”
“Time for group discussion and sharing ideas in class. Short presentations on a variety of ways to use different, unfamiliar ICT might have been helpful.”
I completely agree with these statements. As this topic contains two assessments for ICT and only one for Numeracy it felt as though the workshop content wasn’t weighted quite right. I’ve spoken to the topic co-coordinator and in 2018 ICT will have 8 workshops and Numeracy 5. This has given me an extra two workshops to play with. We’ve also discussed workload and how we can better spread that across the topic. Travelling to deliver one workshop effectively removes 4 hours out of my working day It’s also hard when all the marking comes in at once. As such, we’re splitting the course up this year and some students will study numeracy whilst others complete ICT. This should mean that I regain one or two uninterrupted days to mark, plan and work on Edufolios. I am keen to see what impact this will have in terms of students sharing knowledge between these two streams. It should be interesting.