Week 2 of the course focussed on the actions we take after we evaluate, ensuring that it is not a one-step task.
Action following evaluation is important, in order to improve and progress. However, from my perspective, sometimes there needs to be a level of acceptance of what we are unable to change. If we are limited due to funding, policies, management or other circumstances, it’s making the best out of our situation.
Here are my initial thoughts:
What was important for me, was reading through the comments and seeing this as a response to another learner:
I will be separating this post into the following areas of learning: turning evaluation into meaningful actions and the significance of learning communities.
Turning evaluation into meaningful actions
Actions as an outcome of evaluation can be separated into 3 areas of impact, taken from the online course download:
We were then given some really useful examples of gathering feedback. This was my favourite:
One proposal, which I have recently had approved for service desk, is the use of feedback pods to get instant feedback. My proposal included a ‘floating pod’, which departments can hire out and use in a class to gather data on student understanding, satisfaction rates and more. The pods are each connected to online surveys, which can be advertised using QR codes, for those that want to provide more detailed feedback. This is something I have been pushing for for some time, so I am very excited to have these in place on the service desks and I hope to use the pods in my sessions from October.
The online course makes a valid suggestion to follow a reflective cycle, which highlights the importance of action following evaluation. The example used comes from Kolb’s learning cycle:
The cycle seems pretty standard, but I can understand how easy it is for reflection and actions to be made when new to teaching. For experience teachers, I feel this would be easy to keep-in-mind, as it comes so naturally following training.
The significance of learning communities
This is a fantastic idea to be fostered at Coventry University, however looking through the comments in reaction to the above text and a video on FLCs in action, it appears many staff fear for time available to engage. From my perspective the time given to engage in an FLC may be costly at the beginning, but with the opportunity to work collaboratively with other departments leads to improved practice and saved time long-term, then I see no problem. I would suggest that these FLC activities take place strategically in the academic year, during quieter periods that allow deeper reflection and collaboration.
Creating my own FLC may be a little more difficult at Coventry University London as part of the professional services, however:
This week has been a development on the previous week, more than anything reinforcing the fact that teachers need to use their own reflections and evaluations in their own practice. The ongoing cycle we need to take part in, as mentioned in the previous week by Boyer (2015).
I have been discussing recently the need to create a more centralised approach to providing student support services, and I hope to use what I have learnt over the last two weeks in proposing this. When reflecting my future practice, I will take a look at the use of social media and technology available to create methods of gaining feedback that our students would be interested in engaging in.