Saturday, February 7, 2009

Student Feedback Survey Results

Recently, all students were given the opportunity to provide each of their teachers with feedback about their learning experiences in that course. The survey was composed of two parts:

1) Students were asked to rank their teachers on a scale of "Consistently", "Usually", "Sometimes", "Rarely" or "I don't know" as to whether they are perceived as:
a. Helpful
b. Pleasant and Positive
c. Fair
d. Aware of Cultural Differences
e. Knowledgeable in the Subject
f. Professional.

2) Students were asked to provide anecdotal feedback on the following:
a. Describe one of the class activities that you liked.
b. Describe one of the class activities that you disliked.
c. Describe an assessment (test, assignment, project) that you enjoyed.
d. Describe an assessment (test, assignment, project) that you did not enjoy.
e. Describe one way the teacher used technology in the class that you enjoyed.
f. Describe one way that the teacher addressed internationalism in the classroom.
g. Please feel free to enter any additional comments.

I will give you a brief summary of the results here:

1) Teacher Attributes - I felt that any one receiving a ranking of "Consistently" or "Usually" in any of the above categories would be pleased so I grouped those two rankings together for the following results. The percentage of students at CIS who felt that our teachers on the whole were "consistently" or "usually":
a. Helpful – 87%
b. Pleasant and Positive – 86%
c. Fair – 84%
d. Aware of Cultural Differences – 88%
e. Knowledgeable in the Subject – 90%
f. Professional – 88%

2) a. b. c. d. Activities and Assessments
The activities and assessments the students liked/disliked varied widely and quite often overlapped. This reinforces with us as educators that we need to keep activities diverse to address the needs of all of our learners. Another aspect that stood out was that students enjoyed any type of “hands on” learning. This again supports the well researched fact that learning occurs best when it is in context. The entire range of our programmes allow for that flexibility in the delivery of the content required by MYP, OSSD and the IB-DP.

e. Technology
It was clear that most teachers are encouraging the students to use technology in a variety of ways. Technology is being used for presentations (powerpoint, videos, creating websites), exploring relationships through various software (Geometer’s Sketchpad, Maze Master, Band in a Box, Sibelius, Global Information Systems, etc…) and as tool for teacher lessons (displaying artwork, videos from and, Moodle, Powerpoints, Internet research and email).

f. Internationalism
As you can imagine, internationalism is easier to address in some courses over others. However, the feedback indicated two things to me. First, it is being addressed in all classes but again to varying degrees. The most frequent comments came from Humanities and Language classes. Sports from many countries in PE and international business examples were also mentioned. Second, a number of students did not answer the question or did not understand the question, which tells me that there is an opportunity to address this concept more directly and effectively with our students.

g. Additional Comments
As I read through the responses there were numerous positive comments, many which focused on the teacher’s sense of humour and how that was positive in the classroom. There were also some very thoughtful constructive criticisms. I would like to share two inspirational quotes from the survey with you.

My teacher is quite possibly the greatest teacher of all time. The teacher knows every nook and cranny of every topic we studied in class and has years of experience teaching them as well as learning about them. I have a lot of respect for this teacher as I know this teacher really lives and breathes the topics we discuss in class. We are also pushed academically and challenged to succeed to the best of our abilities. I am now really confident that I'm prepared for university thanks to this guidance.” – Grade 12 student

“I haven't been the nicest student to you, and I wish I could start from the start with a new clean slate. Thanks for a fabulous year and coping with my attitude and rudeness.” – Grade 9 student

These two comments stand out for me. The first one illustrates the student’s thoughtfulness that has gone into this process, both reflecting on the course and the next stage of the student’s educational journey. The second one shows the student’s reflection of their behaviour throughout the semester, again illustrating the learning that has resulted from the survey and taken place on a personal level.

I am very pleased with the results of the survey. The general results have been covered in a full staff meeting and for the students at the last assembly. Specific results and comments were also given to each staff member. These results will lead discussions as I meet with each teacher during their end-of-year Annual Learning Plan Meeting. I welcome any feedback from parents about this particular survey and look forward to hearing from you in the structured feedback opportunity that will be provided before the end of the school year.

Kindest regards,
Ted Cowan
High School Principal

1 comment:

Annie Sarnblad said...

Very impressed that you are demonstrating your own willingness to be a risk taker!

It is both difficult and brave to be willing to face criticism in the hopes of improving your performance and impact.

Cheers, Annie Sarnblad (CIS elementary school parent of 3)