Has education, education, education, been bullied by the call for evidence, evidence, evidence. Possibly. However, I am keen to be a part of an evidence based profession, so here is my two-penth. Take the relatively simple, but brilliantly so, Exam Feedback Tool designed by Peter Atherton, an interest in Question Level Analysis, a fantastic Scientist and talented coding mathematician, you are bound to get an evidence based approach. In case you are pondering that summary... That is exactly what you got.
Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom. - Clifford Stoll
In September 2014 I forwarded a copy of the EFT tool to Paul Kearley, Curriculum Leader for Science. We spent sixth months refining it's use. Results were very positive, particularly with the A Level students. Pupils looked forward to receiving the coloured feedback summary page, all part of the EFT (although these were printed one at a time). They were even asking for additional exam questions on the targeted topics. Yes, asking for additional exam questions. I think it was at this point we realised we were onto something.
The EFT was less successful with students/pupils not able to select their own targets (a training issue?) with most opting for vague phrases such as "work harder," '"complete more homework" and "listen in class." We employed training with some success. Come April 2015, Paul and I were confident enough to share our progress with various curriculum areas and the enthusiasm for the EFT spread quickly at the Academy. Sharing resulted in a colleague from the maths department adding two critical enhancements. The NEW and IMPROVED EFT can now;
1. Auto select target areas - algorithmically.
2. Print a full class set of summary sheets (macro)
Finally, this term, I introduced my Year 8, set 5 Maths class to the EFT. I was more than a little surprised by their response. I have written about that experience, so please do not see the EFT as an "exam only" Year 10-13 tool.
Yesterday Paul and I presented at #TLT15. Our colleagues attending contributed a number of valuable points, here are our collective solutions.
Completing the EFT for one group has a cost. If leaders take responsibility for the EFT, completing the EFT for multiple class or a year group, requires even more time, however enables the group analysis features that enables very powerful teaching-leadership enquiry. Still we have the issues of time.
The time invested in completing the QLA, does not have to rest with the teacher. Pupils can add their own scores to an open spreadsheet, or it potentially provides as excellent task for pupils in detention. Always remembering that working with the EFT reduces the need for extensive feedback on the exam paper itself.
AI captured the attendees attention.
Lastly, I am looking forward to meeting with colleagues from the session and hearing about their successes/reflections on how we could evolve the EFT even further.