By Judith W George and John Cowan
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Additional info for A Handbook of Techniques for Formative Evaluation: Mapping the Student's Learning Experience
Self-confidence surveys entail little more than a few direct questions to provide a rough indication of the confidence which students have in relation to this particular study, or to a skill or capability demanded within it. Probably you will find the method most useful if you use it to focus on skills or abilities that you consider critical for success in the course or module. Having identified these, you compile simple questions asking for a rating of confidence under each heading – perhaps between 'very confident' and 'not at all confident', with a couple of intermediate stages.
We cite as an example the development of the Dynamic List of Questions,17 which entered life in an action research study of importance to a project developing computer-assisted learning materials in Mathematics Education. 18 And it has also become part of the lesson plan for many OU tutors, who use it to obtain routine feedback about learning needs, and about the learning needs which are outstanding when a tutorial session has come to an end. Equally, action research can develop naturally into educational research of less particular relevance.
Some methods, such as post-testing or the analysis of students' work, can tell us where learning has, and has not, taken place. Others, such as observations, briefed or unbriefed, and the taking of protocols,1 can tell us about the learning experience , rather than the learning outcomes. Yet other methods, such as interpersonal process recall,2 concentrate on feelings and reactions during learning, that is, the immediate reactions to the learning experience. 3 We, therefore, suggest to you that you should plan evaluation by choosing a method or methods appropriate to what you or your course team want to know rather than, as is often the case, choosing a method for no relevant reason, with the outcomes which follow in consequence, appropriately or otherwise.
A Handbook of Techniques for Formative Evaluation: Mapping the Student's Learning Experience by Judith W George and John Cowan