Critical Incident Questionnaire

As part of this “reflective process”, I chose to introduce podcast lectures in to my classroom. I am only covering one chapter per test via podcast and the rest are delivered traditionally in class. I need to also clarify that the “podcast” is really a SCREENR.com videocast. The students will watch the powerpoints while I lecture over them. After the podacst is posted, the next two classes ( 90 minutes each) are highly interactive. Students are expected to come to class having already read the chapter and listened to the lecture. This is technically called a “flipped classroom”, and is supposed to promote learning on a more interactive level. ( see more about this topic here: http://www.knewton.com/flipped-classroom/)

I wanted to get their feedback of the class as a whole & specifically the podcast lecture at midterm. The feedback I received was mostly helpful. I was able to understand the perception of students, and I was also able to clarify some of the misconceptions about the class. In summary, I feel like this was a good exercise. It helped me understand my student’s behavior, and I am more aware of their preferences. I believe clarifying the misconceptions of the class will really help moving forward.

I have categorized the feedback in to three different categories; Don’t like but can’t change, Things I can change, but I need your help; Things they like & don’t need to change.

  1. Don’t Like But Can’t Change
Student Feedback My Reaction & Reflection
Did not have time to listen to 30 min podcast The podcast is 30 minutes and lecture is generally 90 minutes. Find time to listen to lecture just like you would for any other homework assignment.
This is an undergraduate course not a graduate one. This is a misconception I corrected. I had mentioned that we use the same book in undergraduate & graduate. However, the graduate course covers twice the material on a much deeper level. I reassured them I am teaching on a undergraduate level.
Don’t like that attendance as a grade. I grade attendance to prepare you to be a professional. You must show up to work on time and your “absences” matter on the job. You don’t come to work, you don’t get paid.
A) How quiet everyone is and unwilling to talk.b) Don’t like having to tell personal stories or give examples about the topics we are learning.c) Talking one by one when we are assigned questions to answer in front of the group.d) Some students give answers that are not on topic I noticed that several students expressed a discomfort with the interactive part of class. I told the students that I will continue to call on students for answers and interaction. I explained that part of being a professional is being able to express one’s self in a group of people.  I also mentioned that it devalues the group learning experience when classmates do not talk on topic, or have not read before coming to class so they can’t talk on topic.

 

 

2. Things I can change, but I need your help

Student Feedback My Reaction & Reflection
Sometimes questions in class are confusing. Raise your hand if it is confusing & ask for clarification. I could type up questions and post them on the overhead or on blackboard ahead of time.
Discussion Board assignments not preparing me for the test. This is a misconception I was able to clarify. The purpose of discussion board assignments are for you to find articles about the topic we are discussing in the textbook and link it to a practical application. If you are not linking it to a practical application or topics on the test, then you are doing the assignment incorrectly.
In-class group discussion about discussion board topics. No one really contributes to the discussion. It is almost like they didn’t do it or they won’t talk. When I break the groups up, I was breaking them up into groups of 4-5. I now will break them up into groups of 2-3. This will encourage more one-on-one conversations. However, I need the students to be able to contribute in meaningful conversation.
A) Felt less engaged when I lecture over the slides.B) Slides talked about too fast I told the students to raise their hand or ask a question if they feel I am moving too fast. Also, when I am lecturing I will call on students to give me examples or answer questions about the topic. If the students are not liking to be called on individually or talking in-front of the group, I am not sure how I can engage them more during lecture. I told them I need their help on this, because I can only make lecture so exciting without interaction from the students.

3. Things they like & don’t need to change

Student’s Feedback My reflection
Acting out the topics with a partner& teaching to other classmates I think this is a great way for the student to apply and learn the material. However, it does somewhat conflict with the other feedback about students feeling uncomfortable talking in front of the class.
Podcast was easy to learn from. I think the podcast should supplement them when they learn and when they study.
Office hours & extra help is available. I have a few students that have come in and received extra help. I would like for more students to know this is a valuable option.
Study Guide are useful. I provide a study guide with about 80% of the material that will be on the test. I believe in the 80/20 rule. I give them 80% of the material to study and the other 20% they have to study on their own. I believe most students who do the study guide will pass the test, but if you want a ‘B’ or an ‘A’… you have to study on your own.
Examples & stories help me learn. I feel that examples help, but I tend to give these examples verbally instead of something written out or on the power points. I could give more structured case study assignments.

 

Learning and teaching from an Expectancy Value Theory Viewpoint

The Expectancy Value Theory states that people’s behavior is directly related to their perception or belief in a given objective, and the value they attach to achieving said objective. Basically, people guesstimate the amount/type of work needed to achieve an outcome, and that they have preconceived ideas of how they will feel or what they will accomplish with the effort they provided.

Although this is a Consumer Behavior/ Marketing theory, I will attempt to describe my understanding of learning and teaching from this perspective.

Learners Assumptions: College students are paying customers. Students pay the university for the opportunity to expand their education, and for the opportunity to earn a college diploma. The university has developed curriculum to guide the student through the journey of intellectual maturity as they approach graduation. However, generally speaking, no refund or rebate is given if these objectives are not met. The consumer (college student) may discontinue college all together if the product (college) does not meet their expectations or may take their business elsewhere (go to another college).

It is safe for us to assume that college students have expectations of college. Based on these expectations, students exert the perceived effort to achieve those expectations.

So this got me thinking…..Is this the real difference between a student that reads before coming to class, and those that don’t? Is this the difference between students that come to my office to ask clarification about a test question or ask me to read their rough draft prior to the due date?

IF WE HELP CHANGE student’s perception of how they can be successful in my class or college, can I create an environment that allows them to have greater achievements? (change expectations = change behavior = change outcomes)

Teaching Assumptions: Teachers provide an instructional service that facilitates the educational experience.  Just like the service industry or any company you prefer over another…some are better than others (even if they deliver the same results).  As teachers get to know their student’s learning styles, they adapt their teaching materials and instructional delivery method to serve the students better. In an ideal world, teachers will know exactly how to successfully facilitate learning, and it could be done is a systematic way. However, this is not that simple.

In “Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher” , Stephen Brookfield highlights that teachers do not always know what helps or hurts the learning process in their classrooms. He also suggest that Teachers must simply ask questions about the learning process in order to understand what is REALLY going on from the students perspective. For example, Brookfield explains that group activities do not always facilitate learning. Sometimes students are embarrassed to talk amongst their peers, or one peer dominates the conversation. So, just because group activities and discussion are generally good, they may not always facilitate learning.

In the next couple of weeks, I will be using a “critical incident questionnaire” to evaluate how teaching and learning is interacting in my classrooms. I hope to discover what I am doing that helps students learn, and what I am doing that prevents them from engaging like they want to. The end goal is to improve desired behavioral outcomes towards learning, and increase the total value assumption of my class.

Conclusion: Learning and teaching is an interactive process. I believe students think they know what they need to do to be successful in my class. Some demonstrate that well, and it takes very little effort on my part to get them to actively participate in the learning process. I self-identify with this type of learner, and I understand that it is easier for me to teach 20-30 students that are always prepared and contribute to class. However, I see few students that fit into this ideal learner category.

I am confused when I find students unprepared for in-class discussion, a quiz, or are simply playing on their phone during my class. I ask myself… Do they do these things because they think this behavior will make them successful? Did I not tell them my expectations ahead of time? Do they not see value in my class? Do they not feel like they can be successful? Do they know what being a good student means?

These are hard questions to ask… And an even harder question is … Can I change their perceived belief or value that they have of my class? Should I take this responsibility or is this the responsibility of the learner? How do I create an environment that increases the student’s perceived value of my class?

AND.. if I do find a way to increase the learning experience this semester…. Will it work if I do it again next semester?