a reflection on methodology: tutor interviews

tutors and curriculum areas

tutors and curriculum areas

An unstructured interview was chosen as it allowed for the different approaches each tutor had taken to engaging with the class set of iPads. Depending on each tutor’s response the interview could evolve organically.

Another advantage of the unstructured interview, to be completely honest, was that in March/April when the interviews were scheduled, I was struggling to really get my head around the whole project. It felt quite big & I didn’t have a very clear picture about what I was looking for. I was disappointed that there hadn’t been more opportunities for the whole group to meet as this was something that I had really hoped would drive the project.

Therefore, the interviews were a genuine chance for me to meet with each tutor and discuss their projects and share ideas.

Looking back now, I think the interviews were an important stage of the project & there were several outcomes from them:

  1. The science tutor from the Teacher Ed group was highlighted as someone who was engaged in using mobile technology in their class. Subsequently, I was able to interview this tutor and she became actively engaged in the project and started using the class set with her group.
  2. It was great to have the time to sit and talk with the maths tutor and for us both to recognise the impact each of us has had on each other’s practice through our occasional corridor conversations.
  3. The foundation studies tutor and I had had many meetings booked prior to the interview, that for various reasons had to be rearranged. The interview was the only time that I met with this tutor and it was great to be reminded of her enthusiasm and to hear about the project she had done with her students and the impact having access to the class set of iPads had on it.
  4. At this stage of the project one of the ESOL tutors was still keen to engage with the project, but due to ill health had yet to introduce the iPads to her students. Following the interview she fully engaged with the iPads and she and I learnt a lot from each other in subsequent meetings and through peer observation.
  5. The interview with the Teacher Education tutor reminded me of the reality of BYOD and the variety of devices that students may have access too, and as tutors if we want to encourage students to bring their own device, what is our role in that.
  6. The ESOL tutor had a lot of ideas on how to draw on the core tools on the iPads, such as the voice recorder, the camera and the portability of the devices but at the interview stage these were often still ‘ideas’ that still needed further research and thought into how they could be used in the language classroom. This reminded me very much of how overwhelmed I often felt during this project just by the sheer amount of possibilities the technology offered. I so often felt that I had so many ideas that I couldn’t focus on one to get started with.
  1. […] Having the support of all the tutors in this project has been hugely beneficial, I have learnt something from all of them. I have also learnt a lot from my students. So many times I would go into class […]

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