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Ege University 2016 Ppt Chris Banister


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Ege University 2016 Ppt Chris Banister

  1. 1. Obtaining meaningful student feedback and evaluations of the learning experience in a business English context Chris Banister English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Lecturer Regent’s University London Contact:
  2. 2. Agenda  The Regent’s Language Teacher Research Project (2014-16)  Puzzle and teaching and learning context  Considerations in learner feedback and evaluations  Research tools and potentially exploitable pedagogic activities (PEPAs)  PEPAs in action: Review Collage and Research Discussion activity  Understanding  Conclusions
  3. 3. Regent’s University London  independent and international, diverse student population,  140 student nationalities  50 staff nationalities (Regent’s University London 2016)
  4. 4. Language Teacher Research Project 2014-16 Regent’s Institute of Languages and Culture (RILC) Language Teacher Research Project 2014-16: Lecturers/Teachers of English, Italian, French and Spanish Exploratory Practice  teacher research  the exploration of a teaching and learning ‘puzzle’  core principles: enhanced understanding, mutual development, quality of life, sustainability (Allwright 2005). Project leader: Dr. Assia Rolls
  5. 5. Business English modules and the puzzle  Learners: Undergraduate exchange students, Upper Int (ENG5A1), Advanced (6A1)  Module: 3 hrs p/w, student-led components, blended aspects.  Puzzle: Why don't I get sufficient, meaningful feedback and evaluation of the learning experience from students?  Puzzle origins: modular format, limited contact hours, stuffed syllabus + limitations of formal instruments = reduce opportunity for informal feedback and evaluations = disconnect  To shed light on: materials, activities, methodology, pacing, interaction and feedback=the totality of the learners’ experience (Mortiboys 2010)  Aim: delve deeper beyond the official surveys, obtain feedback for the teacher but not necessarily about the teacher
  6. 6. Considerations:  Clarity of purpose (Williams and Brennan 2004)  Survey fatigue,duplication,ritualisation (Williams and Brennan 2004)  Psychological: power assymetry (Richardson 2005; cf. Clayson and Haley 2011  Interpretation: tendency to “filter information” (Mortiboys 2010:125) anonymity v actionability trade-off  Importance of feedback to learners (Williams and Brennan 2004)
  7. 7. Approaching the puzzle Research tools  Lesson videos  Peer observations  Discussions with other LTR members/project leader
  8. 8. PEPAs PEPAs = Potentially Exploitable Pedagogic Activities  Familiar, everyday classroom activities (surveys, group discussions, etc.) to explore puzzle (Allwright and Hanks 2009; Hanks 2015)  Determining the research/CPD journey (Slimani-Rolls and Kiely 2014)  Minimal disruption to classroom learning and teaching (Dar 2015)
  9. 9. Potentially Exploitable Pedagogic Activities Needs Analysis and Tutorials: importance of dialogue (Mortiboys 2010) and maximising the potential of existing activities/tools.
  10. 10. PEPAs Mid-module: post-it activity, traffic light survey (Espinosa 2014),
  11. 11. Focus on two PEPAs 1. Review Collage activity 2. Discussion activity focusing on research findings related to learner evaluations and feedback
  12. 12. PEPA 1:Review Collage
  13. 13. Setting up the activity • Explain learners are going to reflect upon, evaluate and review aspects of the module. • Show learners the handout as a class and ask if they recall most of the activities.
  14. 14. Review Collage and Questions Discussion Questions Handout • Which language skills were you developing when you did this and how? • Do you think that this activity helped you or not? Why/not? • How do you think you performed when working on this activity? • Did you enjoy this activity? • Would you rather have done it differently? If so, how and why?
  15. 15. Review Collage: Procedure Report back to the class on the one which provoked most discussion/interest. Tell students to choose two activities each and to write their reflections and evaluations.
  16. 16. Why use the Review Collage?  Multi-faceted: review, revise, reflect, evaluate.  Locally relevant  In-class and blended components  Adaptable: mid-module or end of module  Minimal preparation (digital/paper materials)  Obtain learner perspectives in their own words, could resonate for future cohorts.
  17. 17. Further details For the full procedure and more details about this see my upcoming piece “Review Collage” in English Teaching Professional (Issue 105 to be published in July 2016).
  18. 18. Learner feedback and evaluations Transferable skills/knowledge Peer participation The topics and materials … which benefit me in listening [to] lectures given by the lecturer of Financial Risk Management…the skills of presentations and report helped me in giving another two presentations” (ENG 6A1 student, autumn 2014) “Discussion Board: My focus was to increase my speed in writing English… This activity could be improved if participants were more motivated.” (ENG 6A1 student Spring 2015)
  19. 19. Learner feedback and evaluations Difficulty Ambiguity If we don’t have the final time limited writing, I’ll like this course more.” (ENG 5A1 student, autumn 2014) “It is not a criticism it is just a suggest is give to the students more technical argument.”(ENG 6A1 student, spring 2015)
  20. 20. Learner feedback and evaluations • Areas for development “Maybe you could have included more practical examples of how to do a report or an essay.” (ENG 6A1 student, autumn 2014) My personal expectations the first day were more focusing on vocabulary such as: merger, asset, liability…etc. (ENG 6A1 student, autumn 2014)
  21. 21. Enhanced understanding  Mismatch between some learners’ expectations of the modules and the stated aim of the modules  Clarification of module aims  Desire for greater clarity re: written assessment requirements  Introduction of exemplars  Need for a boost in the vocabulary component  Incorporation of explicit vocabulary learning strategies (e.g. vocab cards) with business vocabulary highlighted in language feedback slots  Contagious nature of lack of engagement  Stricter guidelines for contributions to online discussion boards
  22. 22. Improvements to quality of life in the classroom “I have learnt many new and useful business words.” “The vocabulary card quiz’s. It makes you be ready and updated.” (end of module student feedback Dec 2015) Reconnecting to and in dialogue with my learners
  23. 23. Phase 2 focus  Involving the learner as partner  Refocus on the process of obtaining learner feedback and evaluations  Engage with research findings  Compare our experiences and feelings with what the experts say  Potential value of “learner agency (and) perspectives” (Rowland 2011:261)  Doubts: my students not teachers, language=very much a tool  A challenging new landscape (Hanks 2015)
  24. 24. PEPA 2: Discussion of research (Adapted from Williams and Brennan 2004)
  25. 25. Questions  Which of the above points do you agree with? Why/not? (explanation, knowledge, personal experience, etc.)  Can you think of any other potential advantages and disadvantages of these ways of collecting student feedback?  Do you like being asked your opinion? Why/not?  Which mechanisms do you personally prefer? Why?  Do you always tell the truth when asked for feedback/evaluations by teachers or institutions? Why/not?  B Discuss your ideas with a partner and be ready to summarise part of your discussion to the class.
  26. 26. Enhanced understanding  Red lines: Anonymity important, “anonymous surveys are the most efficient way to collect honest information” and students sometimes doubt that anonymity is real  Student ‘buy in’: “It’s more important for me to feel that mmy feedback is useful and they implement changes.”  Strategic: stating that the course is too hard could disadvantage the current cohort  Time to build a trust relationship (ENG 6A1 students, spring 2016)
  27. 27. Why use language/classroom research-based discussion activities?  Adopts learners as research partners-teacher researchers and learner-researchers  Raises awareness of the purpose of such activities and potential for student voices to be heard  ELT activities but research-focused in line with expectations of HE
  28. 28. Benefits: a focus on obtaining feedback and evaluations from learners  Facilitates development of the reflective skill in both learners and teachers  Provides mutual access (teacher-learner) for greater understanding  Cultivates a learning environment with an open space for ongoing dialogue  Complements but does not duplicate official university instruments for obtaining student feedback and evaluations- additional and potentially rich pool of data
  29. 29. Benefits of EP  Potentially transformative for the teaching-research relationship. Classroom events become a “legitimate source of research knowledge about teaching and learning” (Borg 2010:418)  Brings teachers and learners together by foregrounding and improving classroom quality of life and enabling creativity (Hanks 2016)  Helps cultivate quality in teaching by motivating experienced teachers (Slimani-Rolls 2003), boosts staff satisfaction with their practice in a “collegially supportive environment” (Slimani-Rollls and Kiely 2014:433)  CPD benefits: 15+ conference papers, 7/8 publications
  30. 30. Conclusion  English language teaching and the English language classroom in HE settings can become an interface of learning, teaching and research  Students can comment insightfully on the feedback and evaluation process  Enriched learner feedback and evaluations can help boost quality of life in the classroom
  31. 31. Thank you and questions  Thank you very much for listening.  Feel free to get in touch: ?
  32. 32. References  Allwright, D. (2005) ‘Developing Principles for Practitioner Research: The Case of Exploratory Practice.’ The Modern Language Journal, 89 (3): 353-366.  Allwright, D. (2009) The developing language learner : an introduction to exploratory practice. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.  Bond, B. (2015) Exploratory Practice and the EAP practitioner. Teaching EAP [blog] 1 May 2015. Available at: [Accessed on 17th May 2016].  Borg, S.(2010) ‘Language teacher research engagement.’ Language Teaching Research, 43 (4): 391-429.  Clayson, D.E. and Haley, D.A. (2011) ‘Are students telling us the truth? A Critical look at the student evaluation of teaching.’ Marketing Education Review, 21 (2): 101-112.  Dar, Y. (2015) ‘Exploratory practice: Investigating my own classroom pedagogy.’ In D. Bullock and R. Smith (eds.) (2015) Teachers Research! Faversham, Kent, UK: IATEFL.  Espinosa, F. (2014) The Necessity of Needs Analysis. In 33rd Annual Colloquium TESOL France Telecom Paris Tech, Paris, France. 14-16 November 2014.  Hanks, J. (2015) ‘Language Teachers Making sense of Exploratory Practice.’ Language Teaching Research, Jan 2015: 1-22.  Hanks, J. (2016) ‘ “Why Exporatory Practice?’”A collaborative report.’ ELT Research 31 Feb 2016 IATEFL Research SIG ( at: [Accessed on 17th May 2016].  Mortiboys, A. (2010) How to be an effective teacher in higher education: answers to lecturers' questions. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press  Regent’s University London (2016) ‘Facts and figures about Regent’s University London .‘ [online] Available at:  [Accessed on 17th May 2016].  Slimani-Rolls, A. (2003) ‘Exploring a world of paradoxes: an investigation of group work.’ Language Teaching Research, 7 (2): 215-233.  Slimani-Rolls, A. and Kiely, R. (2014) ‘We are the change that we seek’: developing teachers’ understanding of their classroom practice.’ Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 51 (4): 425-435.  Richardson, J.T.E. (2005) ‘Instruments for obtaining student feedback: a review of the literature.’ Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 30 (4):387-415.  Williams, R. and Brennan, J. (2004) 'Collecting and using student feedback: A guide to good practice.' Open Research Online. [PDF] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb 2016].