Thursday, 12 March 2015

Devising Interview Questions

This is a bit delayed, of which I am a bit sorry to admit; usually I like to type up my thoughts immediately after a sessions. However, last week was a little hectic, so I haven't been able to reflect on my most recent meeting with the student researchers. In our last meeting, we looked at the questions I used during my pilot (adapted from Gamlem & Smith, 2013) and adapted them to suit our own purpose. I was quite struck by a number of the students suggestions, and will briefly outline my thoughts below:

Question 1: When was the last time you got feedback? What was the feedback? Can you give examples? How useful was it?

The SaRs felt that this question was far too long, and suggested that we trim it down and simplify it. They suggested that we leave the first part of the question, but simply ask students to describe the feedback, if they could recall a specific example.

Question 2: What do you find useful when getting feedback from your teacher? Why?

Again, the students suggested that we change this question slightly. They felt that by including the phrase 'from the teacher' was too leading; their argument was that feedback doesn't always come from the teacher, and that by leaving it as simply 'when getting feedback' it left the options of peer and self-assessment there, while not necessarily bringing it up (which would be left specifically for later).

Question 3: What don't you like when getting feedback from your teacher? Why?

We removed the 'from the teacher' part again, for the same reasons as above.

Question 4: What do you usually do with the teacher feedback? How often do you get the opportunity to work with your targets?

This question was changed dramatically. Again, the students felt that the question was too 'leading'. First of all, it implied again that the only type of feedback was teacher feedback. Secondly, they felt that it implied that students DID get the opportunity to work with their targets, which might influence their answers. Instead, we changed the question to 'How do you respond to feedback?'

Question 5: What usually happens when you get feedback? How is feedback followed up?

This question was completely deleted; students felt that it was too similar to the previous question AND suggest that it was (again!) too leading.

Question 6: How do you do peer assessment?

Once again, they identified this was a 'leading' question; it implied that they DID do peer assessment. Instead, we changed the question to be 'Do you ever use peer assessment? If so, how?'

Question 7: Do you self-assess your own work in lessons? How do you do this?

We left this one the same.

Question 8: Are there times when you don't get feedback but you'd like to?

We left this one the same.

Question 9: How are you told about moving from one level to the next?

We changed this one as well, eliminating the 'how' at the beginning and changing 'one level to the next' to simply 'Are you told how to improve your work? If so, how?' The students felt that this left the question more open ended.

Question 10: Do you know what your teacher looks for when assessing your work?

In this question, 'assessing' was changed to 'marking' in order to be less formal.

Finally, we decided to add a question at the very beginning and start with 'What is the main purpose of feedback?'