My brain definitely feels overloaded today – give me technology any day!
Today was the Project Planning Day for all teams that were approved funding from WADET for Embedding m-learning projects. The funds are to be used for professional development to enable teams to gain the skills to embed the technology with their students. Ann Odgers (WA Learnscope Manager) organized an excellent day of activities, to give us food for thought as we commence the planning stage of our projects.
All the presenters were excellent but Becky Saunders (Teaching and Learning Directorate, WADET) presentation on Embedding PD gave me the most to think about because this year I will be working part time facilitating staff PD on e-learning and m-learning. Effective PD to ensure sustainable uptake of these technology by staff is an issue faced everywhere. Her presentation highlighted the fact that there are so many aspects involved in providing effective PD to staff; and while I have reasonable technology and facilitation skills I have a lot more to learn about making the PD effective to ensure sustainable uptake by staff.
Interesting facts that Becky covered included:
- Professional development is about change management. A small change to be implemented in an organisation can take 3 – 5 years; a big change 5-10 years (e.g. reflect on the fact that there are still pockets within our organizations resistant to AQTF)
- Impact of peer coaching on uptake of skill in the classroom (Joyce and Showers, 2002)
Joyce and Showers (2002) studied four types of professional development to determine the effectiveness of each on concept understanding, skill attainment, and then the teacher actually applying what was learnt in the PD in applications in the classroom. The results of their study are summarised in this table:
In simple terms traditional PD that involves a presentation of theory will only increase in the classroom by 5-10%. PD that involves practising (titled in the table Practise and Low Risk Feedback) what they have learnt will increase uptake by 10-15%. If peer coaching is added to the practising uptake in the classrooms will be 80-90%.
Research has shown that workshops don’t provide sufficient time, activities, or content necessary to promote meaningful change. Joyce and Showers found that when teachers combined participating in typical workshops with peer coaching for sharing and observation, 88 % of teachers were using new strategies in their classrooms effectively. Studies have shown that that peer coaching and study groups which provide opportunities for on doing discussion and reflection “may have more influence on changing teaching practices” than other professional development strategies.
Great information Becky, however I now need to do a bit of research, because their use of the term peer coaching is confusing me. I have done a few workshops on coaching and mentoring; at this point in time I am a bit confused by “peer coaching” to me it implies more “peer mentoring” rather than the traditional model of coaching. At least I know that I am not alone in the confusion of mentoring and coaching. I will definitely need to learn a lot more about both mentoring and coaching if I hope to increase the sustainable uptake of m-learning and e-learning.
I strongly recommend you also listen to Becky’s “Technology and use with students“