33. Designing a(nother) Worksheet – Teacher Feedback

07/05/2016

Designing a(nother) Worksheet – Teacher Feedback

Last week my colleague Stuart very kindly tried out my Art Postcards lesson and worksheet with his CAE class.  We got together earlier for him to give me feedback and share thoughts.  Here’s the audio of what we spoke about:

Some particular points of interest that arose:

  • The worksheet also doubles up as a teacher guide to the sequence of activities in the lesson.  This is particularly interesting in light of the new materials format Beatrice is developing – which she shared with us during last Thursday’s input session.  This raises questions about the content and purpose of a worksheet, as Stuart and I both found there were aspects that were of little relevance to the learners but served more as instructions for the teachers.
  • That the learners could physically pick up the cards made them more engaged in the activity.
  • Stuart agreed that from a practical point of view it would be better to have had each part of the grammar match task cut up and keep the worksheet as a handout of correct answers.
  • The segue between discussing the cards and the language focus also worked well with Stuart’s class – particularly interesting given that in creating the worksheet I had felt this might’ve seen a little forced.

I find this process of other teachers trying out materials and sharing experiences very rewarding – and recently did the same with Chris from the diploma course, but in reverse.  I tried out a worksheet Chris had designed on visual learning and we then met up to discuss how it had worked in my classroom.  As much as I found it useful to hear Stuart’s feedback on one of my creations, I found it interesting to feedback on another teacher’s creation.

Although publishers repeatedly ask us for feedback, we rarely find the time to respond in great detail.  Fortunately the structure of the diploma course affords us the opportunity – and inspires us – to feedback in detail on just a few pages of materials, rather than an entire coursebook – a dauntingly time-consuming prospect that reduces our comments, when we give them, to generalised summaries of our feelings about the material, rather than anything wholly practical or constructive.

This dialogue between teachers strikes me as integral to the process of developing materials – and I’m extremely grateful to Stuart for his support and contributions. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “33. Designing a(nother) Worksheet – Teacher Feedback

  1. A very stimulating discussion indeed. It is quite interesting to hear that although at the beginning of the lesson some students said that they were not keen on art, they actually got engaged with it.
    I agree with both of you that having the parts of the grammar match task cut into twelve cards would be much better for the students. In spite of my Italian background, I have always found that the spaghetti lines matching exercise can be very messy and potentially confusing. Finally, I agree with you that sometimes the instructions on worksheets serve mostly as a sort of teacher’s guide through the lesson, and are not entirely relevant to the students unless the worksheets are used for self-studying. As I said in another comment, maybe for each worksheet we should prepare two different versions, one for the students and one for the teachers?

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