Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Transcribing and coding number two

Well, as you may already recall, I had previously admitted to cocking things up a bit with my second interview; the camera died about half way through. I have ten questions which I ask each group of students and, unbeknownst to me, the camera died after question six. I was gutted when the interview ended and I noticed that I didn't need to turn the camera off; it had decided to do so itself. I had checked the battery prior to beginning (it said it had over an hour of battery life), so I'm going to ensure that I don't use that camera again. Perhaps it shuts itself off after six or so minutes of 'inaction', or maybe it's just a dud. Whatever the reason, I've noted which camera it was and it shall be retired from my collection.

I spent about an hour and a half transcribing the seven-odd minutes of interview I did manage to record, and another half an hour coding it. It was interesting because many of the themes remain the same across both interviews.

The students seem to like constructive feedback which is clearly individualised and shows that the teacher has engaged with their work. In fact, the two students I interviewed went so far as to say that they appreciate the time some teachers take to read their work thoroughly, providing them with targets that can 'stretch' them.

It's the implications of this comment that are troubling; it implies that not all teachers take the time to thoroughly read through a students work, providing them with impersonal targets that are of little relevance; when this happens, it is clear that the students notice it. Both of the interview sessions I've conducted have seen students share their distaste for whole class targets. This is interesting because it implies that students DO engage with their targets, and even share them with their peers, checking to see whether the comments are the same.

Both groups have also suggested that more time is needed to work with targets, and that clear examples, as well as verbal clarification, would be useful. Having clear boundaries and expectations are also of use, according to the students.

That being said, some new themes emerged as well:

* the students suggested that better training is needed to make self and peer-assessment more useful - the students interviewed felt that this type of feedback wasn't useful because they found it hard to mark the work they've just completed, but suggested that more practice doing this type of work would help them become more comfortable doing it
* cues and guidance, in the form of annotations, would be helpful alongside the two stars and a wish
* annotations should be used more often

Anyways, these are my initial impressions so far. Remember, this blog is meant to serve as my 'field log', so a lot of what I write here is more of a 'train of thought' type thing that I'm doing to help me later in the data analysis process. A lot of the literature that I've read so far has suggested keeping a diary or field journal, and the best way for me to do this is digitally.

The point I'm trying to make is that you shouldn't draw too many conclusions from what I've said. I'm  just giving some 'fuzzy generalisations' based on the work I've done so far.

Still enjoying the process though, and liking where the journey is taking me.

Next week I'm hoping to have a few student-conducted interviews under my belt. Until then...