1. Summarize chapter 4
This week I chose to do an alternative assessment, and made my first infographic.
2. Update on evaluation report
Here is my update on the project…
I have used online grading tools for several years with my students. All students have a sign on, and are able to see individual scores and their average. The online grading has evolved into a class website that I have used for about three years. The website that I used last year included content. Last year, my students told me (in a survey and also during formative assessments-conversations) that what they are looking for in a website is: access to grades, weekly agenda, and assignments. They emphatically told me that they did not use the website to learn content because they were able to get that information from the class activities and other websites that we use.
From that feedback, this school year I began using the school provided Aspen X2 by Follett to provide both grades and a class website that includes weekly agenda (in class & homework), links needed for assignments, links to worksheets and class notes.
The goals that I developed are:
- increase student ownership for their work,
- increase student interaction with the course content,
- give students the ability to prepare for class,
- give students the ability to review the material from prior lessons,
- give students access to information when absent from class.
The weekly ET505 assignments & my Evaluation Project
Each week I gain some new insight into where I am going with the evaluation. Last week looking at the Program Cycle in the text (chapter 3) I found very helpful. It made me realize that the program (website) was started based on a student survey (a very basic needs assessment) that asked students what they wanted in a class website. From the results, the current website was created. Doing last week’s assignment made me realize that MY goals for website are what I would like my students to do, the needs assessment did not reflect the goals at all. The needs assessment asked something completely different. IN retrospect, I should have been trying to find out not only what information they want in a class website, but how could a class website increase their ownership, interaction w/ content, etc.
This week’s reading I found helpful as I try to discern the goals from the activities, and lastly measurement tools. Another item from chapter four that I found very helpful was turning the goals into questions as a starting point for the evaluation. For example, the goal is to increase student ownership for their work. The Evaluation question is; Has the website increased the students’ ownership for their work. Another example: goal give students access to information when absent from class. The evaluation question would be: Do students who are absent from class access the information?
In this week’s discussion, a classmate (Nora) suggested that the first two goals need to be more specific. Rather than the goal being students will take ownership for their work, the goal should further clarified such as what is meant by increased ownership, and what is meant by increased interaction with content. For me, increased ownership means checking grades to make sure all assignments are complete (rather than my reminding students), checking the website to know what is happening each day in class, etc. Increased interaction with course content means checking the website to know what we are doing in class, reviewing what we did that day to see if they still have questions, etc.
Current Evaluation Plan
The current plan is to develop a series of questions (Likert 1-5 scale) to survey students.
I can also see how often students sign on to website, so I plan to collect that data as well.
I still need to develop the questions and administer the survey.
My biggest concern is that the goals are goals that I created based on my vision for the class rather than what the survey revealed. Nora’s comments helped, but I am unsure if I should change the goals to be more specific, OR do I leave the goals as is, and develop questions to evaluate the specifics of the goals. The other option is update the goals to reflect the original survey. I am unsure how to proceed. I am interested to see if any of the information provided is helping students achieve the goals or will it point me in other directions? Will I find some other unintended outcomes? (One I know for sure is that the website is helping to keep me more organized!) Will it reveal that the website isn’t enough to achieve those goals, but rather it is a combination of website & course design? Another thing that I am interested in finding out is do the students like having the website, what do they like about it, what don’t they like about it, how can the content and layout be improved to help students.
Still lots of questions as I proceed, but I think it is starting to make a little more sense.