Feedback and evolution

The intent is that this section will provide access to the feedback on the course provided by students as part of the institutions formal course evaluation process. It will also provide access to my reflection on those comments.

For now, the course has only been offered in this format once before, meaning only one set of feedback.

2014 Student Feedback

A PDF file of the 2014 student feedback is available.

From my perspective, the biggest flaws in the course reported by students included

  1. Expectations weren’t clear enough.
  2. Learning wasn’t assisted by the way the course was structured.
  3. Some concern about the assessment workload.

That said, feedback suggested that students were overall very happy with the course. Overall satisfaction (87.5% positive) with the course was an average of 4.39. The school average is 3.79.

Particular problems mentioned in comments

  • The need for more scaffolding at the start of the course when people are setting up the tools.
  • The assessment is seen as demanding, in particular the number of blog posts.

The positives mentioned

  • The course is “real world”. i.e. what’s learnt here can be/is directly applicable to practice.

My reflections on that

Late offering and uncertainty

Two of the three biggest flaws in the course (the first two in the list above) were due to the late decision to run the course and the late decision to completely revise how the course was structured and run. This is not a problem in 2015 as we are building on what was done in 2014.

That said, the decision whether or not the course was to run in 2015 has only just been made a couple of weeks out from the start of semester.

Plan: For 2015, there will be no major changes to the course from 2014. The activities and structure outlined on this site will largely be what is used in 2015. There will be some minor enhancements, but no major change. This is so that expectations are set from the start.

However, due to the late start in 2015, there will still be sections of the site that will need updating.

Getting tools set up

The course does require the use of some tools that are likely to be new to many people. Getting these tools set up and becoming familiar with them takes some time. I do wonder whether this was made more difficult in 2014 because of the uncertainty mentioned above.

Plan: To address this in 2015, at the very least I should

  1. Email all the students once the Study Desk is open and encourage them to get started setting up their tools. Hopefully this can be done before semester starts.
  2. Be more involved during this time to provide assistance as necessary.
  3. Revisit the EDC3100 learning materials (they use many of the same tools) to see if that can help.
  4. Revise the week 1 materials to reduce the number of tools required to be used.

Assessment workload

Perhaps the main concern here was the number of blog posts required for Assignment 1. There may be something to this concern.

Plan: Revisit assignment 1 and see if the number of blog posts needs to be reduced/modified in someway.

However, I also wonder how much of this was due to the fact that the purpose of these blog posts weren’t clear enough. I wonder if students saw these blog posts more as traditional assignments, rather than as tools to make learning visible, to enable connections. That the blog posts weren’t meant to be “formal works of beauty” but more like public diary entries showing all of the difficulties associated with learning. Can students in a Masters of Education – who are likely professional educators – accept that it’s okay to be wrong and incomplete in a public space whilst learning?

Plan: Revisit the early weekly material to raise this question and challenge the students.

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