Faced with teachers who see the risk factor of participation too high and not worth the experience relating to the bigger picture of study, it has seemed that a ‘not on my watch’ attitude has been generated. Students on the other hand are predominantly the ones whose perception of risk is lower and their fear factor isn’t as great.
What are student perceptions of my marking and feedback practice of summative assessment? Are they only interested in the headline news – ‘did I pass?’ Or do they read and reflect in greater detail? If they have passed or achieved the merit or distinction they were hoping for, do they bother reading the rest of the annotations and feedback? In terms of development, do they prefer brief abbreviations or longer comments?
Questions that might arise include: Does my marking serve a deeper purpose for students beyond getting a grade? Do I need to find ways to encourage greater engagement of students with my marking? Will I need to make fundamental practice changes to do this?
The most popular course is the 3 day First Aid at Work (FAW) course. This is a mixture of theory and practice, but it's mostly a practical course and, for it to flow and for the students to get the full benefit of the course, its needs full student participation, which needs the student to want to be there. A growing problem that I and fellow teachers have noticed, is a lack of engagement from the student into the course.
This research therefore is intended to develop strategies to engage students on this study programme to increase their confidence to learn maths by effectively embedding maths activities into the teaching of the vocational subject. It is also intended to measure the impact of this work on their overall attitude to learning maths as a broader subject and whether it is possible to move the students away from having a fixed mind-set in relation to this subject area.
My reasons for this particular area of research is in hope to better the student engagement in the course by re-enforcing study habits through communicating, while utilizing some innovative ideas to drive forward the future success of our students, and embed study skills for the duration of this 3 year course. I feel I will benefit from this project, as I will be teaching to more engaged students, should my action research implementation prove successful.
A large proportion of people appear to believe that they have some kind of ‘innate’ problem regarding understanding maths. I also encounter some people that are actually made uncomfortable by the notion of mathematics to the point where some learners are reduced to tears when faced with certain questions. These are obvious problems as they both go against the very important aspect of learning, which is motivation.
The main reason for choosing the importance of having varied resources is that it ultimately helps to stimulate the learning environment. If a teacher delivers the same style of lesson every day for twelve weeks at some point one will not be catering for all learning styles and the lack of variety may mean that some learners lose motivation and enthusiasm for the subject studied. It is the role of an educator to inspire learning but one can only fulfil this role if the right resources are used to suit the level and type of learners.
My notes revealed that many students used distraction techniques to avoid work. It became apparent that most students found it difficult to listen effectively to instructions; teachers and teaching assistants would need to repeat those individually. The class had, by March, started controlling the lessons by becoming louder and by denying their abilities.
To develop a strategy for the research, I considered what exactly I would be researching. I wished to understand whether a kinetic lesson (active lesson) would assist the students to learn. Two bottom-set groups will be taught the topic of ‘rounding’ in an active way. In order to measure the learning, I will assess their ability before and after the active lesson, as well as how much they pick up during the activity.
The areas I have defined above may sound easy to include in a class or they may sound difficult depending on your point of view, but I believe they are much harder to achieve for a teacher of fitness than many students realise, hence the number of newly qualified teachers that leave our industry constantly. Because I am also an assessor, I get countless student fitness teachers contacting me to say it is much harder than they thought to retain their clients/learners and to keep them constantly inspired and what can they do about it? In my experience this is the norm and only a few teachers have the necessary character traits, personality, inspirational teaching skills and determination to be successful in the way I have defined it.
As someone entering teaching for the first time I found working at a community college to be extremely challenging. My learners had been mandated to attend college from the job centre under threat of sanction of having their benefits stopped. Their attitude was very much ready for “flight or fight” in their first days. The “New Deal” course was a roll on, roll off course and so there was no definite start and end date but a continuous stream of disgruntled learners each week to disrupt the make-up of the existing class.
It became quickly apparent that I needed to engage the learners very quickly to avoid problems. Whilst it would be nice to say that I wanted them to become motivated learners it had more to do with classroom management. Often the learners did not want to learn but simply wanted to pass their time.
I am going to research how to stretch and challenge my students during their lessons. The phrase “stretch and challenge” can relate to the whole class, and be included within the lesson to the whole class, but equally it can be interpreted to mean pushing the most able students to think beyond what has been taught, perhaps focusing on the implications of what they have learned or evaluating the effectiveness of a particular model or method. I am interpreting “stretch and challenge” to mean the stretching of all the students within a class to suit their ability level. I want all my students to feel challenged in the lesson and to overcome these challenges. What is a challenge to one student will be different to another student and I would like to adapt my teaching methods to reflect this.
Motivation is what teachers, tutors or educators think of as the distinguishing feature of adult learners from school pupils. Based on their more mature behaviour due to age and past experiences, what we tend to assume is that adult learners come into the classroom with ‘bags of motivation’ and are ready to absorb what we teach. We prepare the resources aiming them to be engaging, interactive and interesting; deliver the lessons using innovative and inclusive approaches, yet we still observe that a couple of learners may have a chat here and there with another friend in the classroom or seem to be disengaged, more so in the subject of numeracy than ESOL, both of which I teach.
The purpose of this research was to establish the benefits of changing the student induction process to increase retention on childcare courses during the first four weeks of the course.
The main difficulty was retaining students, in the first few weeks of a course; it seemed we were incapable of maintaining punctuality and motivating students to remain on their enrolled programme of choice. I t was this situation and the consequences of poor retention figures that provoked me to investigate why this was happening.
Despite the research suggesting that around 50% of prisoners rate employment and skills deficit as most important to their resettlement, my experience has shown me that offenders (male) do not always prove to be the easiest or most keen learners in many respects. 49% of prisoners throughout the system have been excluded from school, which more than likely will result in the adult offender learner having a negative connotation attached to education, and may be fearful and reluctant to re-start the process again.
The purpose of this research is to establish why employers very rarely continue to participate in accepting students on work placements. How as a college can we improve their retention and encourage employers to work with us, so it benefits the up and coming workforce. The NVQ Floristry Courses Levels 1,2 and 3 all require work placement to be completed as part of the criteria of the course, this is set down by the awarding body.
My study will look at learner participation on e-learning portals on the Health and Social Care courses. The study will aim to explore learner participation on forums, their utilisation of resources and peer support to meet the guided learning hours of the course as well as
the assessment criteria. There are learners studying the health and social care course and are enrolled on the blended learning pathway. My responsibilities as a teacher and assessor are to ensure that learners are supported throughout the duration of the course. This study would explore what is involved in action research as well as the implications. This would also
include a discussion of a literature review, the methodologies used, the results obtained and identification of recommendations. This research will show the impact of work and personal commitments to e-learning participation.
In January 2007, the Nuffield Review of 14-19 Education and Training (2006) which was put forward to the Education and Skills Select Committee, stated that “The participant study (Entry to Employment Participant Study Final Report, (October 2003) Spielhofer, Mann and Sims LSDA and referred to below) registered overall positive experience of young people in the pathfinder programmes. However, the gains reported were more at the level of personal development and job search skills and much less at that of literacy and numeracy.” This is totally at odds with the outcome of my research findings (maybe I‟ll send them a copy) and mine and my colleagues‟ experience on our E2E programme.