Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Pilot Interview - After

Wow! I am buzzing! That was such an amazing experience, and it was only my first one. I know I made a few mistakes, but as soon as I made them I knew what I'd done wrong. I will learn from this initial session immensely, in terms of how I ask my questions. I may have led some of their responses, but I think I did it in a fairly accidental way in my quest to find clarity. That is an area I will work on.

Some brief things I found:

- students don't always like having the two stars - some find it pointless
- students weren't always able to work immediately with their feedback to improve, although the ones that did found it very helpful
- some students felt that longer targets would be helpful, especially if they were constructive
- individual targets are better than ones set for the whole class
- students would like to have specific examples or prompts to help them
- students would sometimes prefer more wishes than stars
- students need more clear signposts for what the teacher is looking for when marking - all three felt that teachers only mark for spelling, punctuation and grammar
- they'd like a checklist or grid which suggested up to 5 specific things teachers are looking for on each assessment, as well as having each specific learning goal broken down into 'at level four this looks like', 'at level 5 this looks like'
- not all students felt that peer and self assessment was useful
- all students felt that the two star and a wish policy was an improvement on their previous feedback in English

Obviously these are just my initial thoughts after the interview. I will need to transcribe and then code their actual responses to draw out more specific details. I will then need to interview other students and see what comes up across the different groups.

So far, a lot of what they said has matched the literature, which is interesting. Not many actually mentioned specific levels either, which might be something worth exploring. I wonder if I should include a specific question on what they prefer: constructive feedback or levels. Although perhaps that would be too leading - the questions at the minute allow them to mention levels if they'd like, and they sometimes did, but they never specifically mentioned levels when describing what elements helped them most.

All in all, it was a great first experience and I look forward to learning more in my next interview.