Sunday, 8 February 2015

Further analysis of the questionnaires

Last week I did some initial data analysis of the quantitative aspect of my questionnaire, so I thought I'd spend some time today looking at the qualitative side of things. Luckily, I didn't set myself too many qualitative responses to go through at this stage, so it wasn't too time consuming. However, I already have spotted some interesting trends that I'll want to explore further.

First of all, I asked students if they could think of a time within the past month where they received feedback. In Year 8, 15 out of the 19 respondents stated that they had, as did 11 out of 14 Year 11s. The next question asked those who responded with 'Yes' to describe what they did with the feedback they received. After analysing all of their responses, I've come up with the following categories:

Year 8
1) they increased their effort;
2) they added to their work;
3) they did nothing; or
4) they recorded their targets, but did not work with them.

Year 11
1) they acted on the target/used it
2) they reviewed their work by recording the target (but didn't necessarily use it);
3) they were given further instruction; or
4) they did nothing or ignored the feedback.

Overall, these seem to be fairly similar responses, with the majority of the students saying that they acted on or used their targets. However, roughly the same amount of students in both year groups also suggested they did nothing with their feedback, which is unfortunate.

Next, I looked at the 'No' students (those who had not received feedback in the past month). Their second question was to state why they thought teachers gave them feedback. Interestingly, all the 'No' students, in both Year 8 and Year 11, stated that feedback was meant to help them improve. No other alternatives or interpretations were given. This may be down to the fact that there were not many 'No' respondents, hence why no other interpretations appear, however I feel that their lack of experience with feedback may be limiting their awareness of its uses. I cannot say with certainty that this is why, but it's my initial reaction.

Interestingly, the 'Yes' students had more ideas about what feedback was for. Their responses tended to fall into the following categories:

Year 8
1) to improve; and
2) to learn from their mistakes

Year 11
1) to improve;
2) to learn from their mistakes;
3) to make you feel bad; and
4) Ofsted

Interestingly, the students who had received feedback felt that not only did it help them to improve, but it also helped them to recognise and learn from their mistakes. This suggests that mistakes are not necessarily seen as a bad thing when feedback is given.

In my last post, I already address the two 'negative' responses re: making you feel bad and Ofsted. I still believe that I would like to include one of these students on one of the interview panels, as I am interested in hearing more about what they think of feedback. I am curious about where their negativity stems from.

I also analysed the results of my Students as Researchers pre-test questionnaire. They had some questions which correspond to the student questionnaire, although I had to make some changes to evaluate the impact of their participation on their own self-awareness and understanding. Overall, their definitions of feedback matched those above (to offer advice and to identify their level of work). One difference was that two of the students (out of 6) stated that feedback could come from anyone, not just the teacher.

All of the student researchers said that they had received feedback in the past month. Their responses to what they did with it fell into two categories, again similar to those given above; they used the feedback or they recorded it (but didn't necessarily use it).

In terms of their understanding of the uses of feedback, they felt that feedback was used to 1) provide them with a grade; 2) help them improve; and 3) help them understand their own ability. Again, many of these themes remain similar across the groups.

Some of the different questions included an opportunity to define what 'research' means. Their responses were either to study something or to gather info (a number of them used the word 'data' in their response, which was nice as it shows a good working knowledge of the language we'll be using throughout the project.

As you can see, there are some interesting points to pursue. I am meeting with the student researchers on Tuesday and Thursday this week to go over the data from the Year 8 and Year 11 questionnaires. I'm not going to share with them my interpretation of the findings at this point, because I'm interested in seeing how they read the results themselves; they might see things that are not clear to me, and I don't want to cloud their judgement with my own.

I will provide an update later. Cheers!