a reflection on methodology: student feedback

I was always aware that I needed to get student feedback and the importance of gathering data from the tutors’ students in terms of triangulation. But for a long time I really struggled with how to go about this.

First I wrote a questionnaire to try to get feedback from the Teacher Education trainee teachers, but on reflection I don’t think it was a very good questionnaire. I wasn’t too sure what it was I was trying to find out from them or how it fit within my project. I only got about four responses and I’m not sure what it tells me.

I also talked to the maths tutor about how she could get feedback from her students and whether a questionnaire would be appropriate, but I didn’t really pursue this so maybe on some level I was aware that this was not the best tool for data collection from students.

It was when I had my first 1-2-1 with my fabulous #emCETT mentor that I started to gain some clarity on the situation. We talked about some of the activities I had done with my ESOL students and how I had engaged them in the research process. She knew I was aware of the Reflect Approach to ESOL and she recommended that I consider using this kind of tool to get some data from the ESOL students.

It was this conversation that reminded me of a phD student I knew who used a participatory approach to getting data on tutor and students digital literacy uses. Through the power of Twitter I was able to contact him and he gave me some great advice on how to get feedback from my students.

These two conversations led me to arrange the interviews for the maths and science students (although this didn’t happen as it was so late in the year that students were in revision week) as well as plan to ask the ESOL tutor if she were able to come and do a peer observation on my session.

In my own defense, I have since come to realise that the reason I was struggling to engage with getting feedback from the tutors’ students is that in my mind the tutors engaged in the project were the students. We were all learning about how we could use a class set of iPads & we were all thinking about how to engage the students with that. What I now need to consider is how to ensure the students are more central to future project from the beginning.


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