A bit on student feedback

Another response to a thread in class…

I think encouraging student feedback as part of your assessment is an excellent idea

Chris and Mia,

I agree, and this thread has prompted me to share an anecdote that occurred earlier this week.

At the OCDE, which is an event planning machine if nothing else, there is an event called “Children at Work Day.” On this day, employees bring their children to work. The original intent was to allow children exposure to their parent’s work environment (and apparently it grew out of an attempt to expose girls to the various careers available at the county office), but has degenerated into a day of the various departments taking turns entertaining children. At anyrate, apparently in recent years they’ve had trouble getting secondary aged students to the event. Another lady who is new to the committee and I had some definite ideas about returning the day to its roots and trying to provide secondary students (at least) with exposure to the work environment. We had some creative ideas, and there was some disagreement about what the students would like. I suggested (of course) that we could survey the employees children and see what they would like to get out of the day. The reactions in the room were astounding. Some reacted as if I had just uttered the solution to achieving world peace, but were quickly sort of shushed by others who said “no, no, we can just…”

Initially I was shocked that they were shocked. They I was amazed that the idea was shot down. I don’t know why we should not always include our students’ feedback as part of our evaluation process whenever possible… they (especially at the secondary level) may know best whether or not our instruction is effective.