I wanted to find an easy way for my pupils to evaluate their learning using free web resources. I also wanted to a mechanism for aggregating the class feedback so that I could see where they felt the need further consolidation. At Learning Curve we built a system for traffic lighting into Picasso. This worked really well, but the program is built around the 5-14 curriculum and is not flexible enough to be used at other levels.
I decided that the best way to set up a simple traffic-lighting system was to use a survey tool. I looked at both PollDaddy and SurveyMonkey, and in the end I opted for the former because their free account has a better reporting system.
I decided to trial the self-evaluation exercise with my bi-level Intermediate 2 / Higher Computing class. They will be on prelim study leave in a week’s time, and I wanted to find out how confident they felt with the Systems unit which they began back in September. I went through the arrangements document, adapting the content statements for each section so that they would be understood by pupils, and then added these to the survey matrix.
I also set up a couple of PrimaryPad documents to allow the class to collaboratively highlight any terms which were of concern to them.
At the start of the lesson, I used Edmodo to send the class a link to (a) the survey and (b) the PrimaryPad. I explained to pupils that they should traffic light each content statement in the survey. In addition, any statement which was given a red traffic light was to be added to the PrimaryPad document, along with any unfamiliar technical terms.
The exercise took around half an hour to complete, and offered the following benefits:
- Pupils gained a clearer picture of what they should have learned during the Computer Systems unit
- Pupils were encouraged to self-evaluate their knowledge of the course, and identify any gaps in their learning
- The results gave me an indication of the strengths and weaknesses of individuals, as well as the class as a whole, allowing me to adapt revision lessons accordingly
Once the survey and PrimaryPads were complete, I was able to analyse, and share the results with the class in 2 ways:
The PollDaddy free account provides some fairly basic but useful tools which can help to build a picture of the overall strengths and weaknesses of the class’s learning.
Pasting the text from the PrimaryPad documents into Wordle gives a more visual representation of the areas of the course in which the class were not confident. These Wordles can be printed out and displayed on the wall of the classroom to help learners work towards improving their learning in these particular areas.
I will be setting up similar surveys for other courses and units which we teach in the department. Once a survey has been carried out, and result analysed, the data can be reset so that the same survey can be used with a different class.
Images attributed to Wordle http://www.wordle.net/. Images of Wordles are licensed .