Friday, August 8, 2008

School Improvement Plan (M Ed project): Using Three Emergent Technologies in Public Speaking Class (Audience Response System Clickers, Online Posting of Speeches, and Improved Use of Interactive Whiteboards)

Introduction: My Motivation

As an instructor of public speaking at Lethbridge College since 2003, I am very fortunate to witness often quite substantial transformation in my students. Some changes that I get to see in my students include: they become much more confident as speakers (and as humans), they take more creative risks in terms of content and delivery, and as a group they become a supportive community. I also find it exceedingly moving that many of them begin to realize in a much deeper way that they have something important to bring to the world. Fear is replaced with excitement!

My personal mission as a teacher and artist is to use my own understanding and struggles with vulnerability to help people (myself included) expand their emotional comfort zone. Why? I believe humans need to change their habitual way of dealing with vulnerability or we are in big trouble—I feel a sense of urgency about this. What is not commonly discussed is how emotions guide our every act. Rather, we paint our actions in a coat of rationality. The problems humanity faces today (global warming, world poverty, engrained misogyny, war, social injustice, etc.) are the results of actions primarily based upon emotions caused by feelings of vulnerability. Pretty much every non-child walking the earth today operates out of a sense of self-worth that is attached to their ego (I am not exempt). Healthy self-worth is childlike, i.e. not about what a great person you are but about feeling comfortable in your own skin. The actions that have brought us to the problems of today’s world were not created by people who feel comfortable in their skin but by people who need to make up for that lack of comfort, i.e. all of us.

Creativity and vulnerability are linked. Sharing creativity is a vulnerable act. Public speaking by its nature is a particularly vulnerable act. The college’s outcomes for public speaking class are fairly straightforward, such as, “apply public speaking skills toward personal and professional enhancement” and “build and demonstrate self-confidence in oral communication” (Lethbridge College, 2008). I also see public speaking in the bigger picture as a creative platform for people to get more comfortable in their own skin, to have more opportunity to explore the shared human issue of vulnerability, and to connect more meaningfully and compassionately with other humans.

About PRS 155 Speech (Public Speaking Class at Lethbridge College)

PRS 155 is administered by the college’s General Studies program in the School of Liberal Arts. It is required for some programs of study including the business diploma and can be counted as a U of L GLER transfer credit. PRS 155 students are required to present four prepared speeches as well as at least three impromptu speeches.

Background: Web 2.0 and the 21st Century Learner

The next generation of Web use or Web 2.0 has arrived; students are basically there and we need to go with them. Not only that, as we have agreed in this class, we need to prepare our students for the exponential transformations and unknowns of the 21st century. The issues involved for 21st century learning is perhaps best summarized by the International Society for Technology in Education’s list of standards for students which address: creativity and innovation; communication and collaboration; research and information fluency; critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making; digital citizenship; and technology operations and concepts (ISTE, 2007).

There are three emergent technologies that I propose to begin utilizing in my public speaking classes (see below). These address some Web 2.0 and 21st century learning concepts and issues; they also address my own big picture vision. I actually see the changes in web use that are taking place, 21st century learning concepts, and my mission as linked to a paradigm shift that needs to take place and in some ways is taking place; all are about, among other things, opening up the world and creating more/new/sometimes radical connections between humans.

Many theorists have adopted the term the new Web or Web 2.0. For Edward J. Maloney, Director of Research and Learning Technologies at Georgetown University's Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, the new Web is “less a planned upgrade than a recognition of the way small technical developments, along with quite significant changes in practice, are altering how we interact with information and with each other in the electronic medium” (Maloney, 2007, p. B26). Maloney adds that one of the developments has been “the ability of people to write to the Web without the specialized skills once necessary to create a Web page.” Now people create their own online content. What this means, says Maloney (2007, p. B26), is that “the second-generation Web—wikis, blogs, social networking, and so on—all encourage a more active, participatory role for users.”

Maloney adds that these new uses “mirror much of what we know to be good models of learning, in that they are collaborative and encourage active participation.” (p. B26). Bryan Alexander, director of research for the American National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education, concurs. He cites another educator regarding the exciting self-directed learning that goes on in Web 2.0:

Students who write words on paper, yes—but who also compose words and images and create audio files on Web logs (blogs), in word processors, with video editors and Web editors and in e-mail and on presentation software and in instant messaging and on listservs and on bulletin boards—and no doubt in whatever genre will emerge in the next ten minutes. Note that no one is making anyone do any of this writing. (Yancey, 2004, as cited in Alexander, 2008, p. 150)

Alexander notes that students have increasingly become Web 2.0-literate, “living Web 2.0 digital lives,” and that many teachers are actually doing their best to adapt to their students. “However,” he adds, “K-12 institutions are often behind, building classrooms constructed physically and socially along decades-old patterns” (2008, p. 152).

Alexander discusses Web 2.0 as a set of “digital strategies” (p. 152) such as “social software or social networking” (p. 152) (including blogs, wikis, facebook, flickr, etc.); “microcontent” (p. 152), i.e. small pieces of content placed on the Web that, as Maloney mentions above, require little effort; “social filtering” (p. 153), where works have multiple authors and the authorship changes over time; and tags (“single words that users choose and apply to microcontent” (p. 152)) that lead to “social bookmarking” (p. 156) or “collaborative information filtering” (p. 156), where users can see how others assess content and find people with corresponding interests. Alexander’s array is, no doubt, a somewhat mind boggling, but useful list for the “digital immigrant” educator (Prensky, 2005-2006).

Alexander adds that the Web 2.0 universe is a global one:

Students partaking of this rich international conversation find themselves catapulted beyond the physical boundaries of the classroom or library. Moreover, writing for a global audience is a powerful stimulus for questioning personal identity, representing oneself through writing, and understanding an audience. (p. 156)

Of course, what he refers to here could also be applied to an online speech.

He also discusses the gaming industry which he says has “dwarfed” (p. 158) not only Web 2.0 but also Hollywood and the music industry. Says Alexander: “Game content constitutes an increasing proportion of the informational world, especially as experienced by K-16 students.” (p. 158-159). Basically, says Alexander, we as educators have a lot of work to do to address and keep up with these new, multilevel literacies.

Another education writer, David Warlick (2006) has cleverly put together a “day in the life of Web 2.0” (p. 20-26) for readers to understand how using all of these strategies might look in a school setting. Warlick’s hypothetical science teacher, Ms. S., listens to podcasts on her MP3 player on the way to work. The device has scanned her subscribed podcasts overnight, three of which it has downloaded. Ms. S. will select one or two to share with her students. Mr. K., a health teacher, like Ms. S., reads the school’s teacher blogs and writes his own. Through her blog, he knows Ms. S. will be covering genetics so he arranges to meet with her to create a combination assignment… and so on (Warlick, 2006). Warlick’s hypothetical day at a hypothetical middle school is a lovely vision of local and global collaboration and communication through Web 2.0 tools.

All of these writers share a vision of the powerful possibilities for 21st century learning offered by Web 2.0 in terms of creativity, collaboration and knowledge generation. They also share an understanding that these strategies constitute the way students live, work, play and think. These writers add to the growing voices arguing that educators need to be living, using and continuing to develop in the ways of the new Web. Both Alexander and Maloney express dismay that institutions are not keeping up, while Warlick’s day reads like a contemporary-minded educator’s dreamy utopia. These articles’ descriptions and analyses of the applications of the new Web, as well as the arguments outlined (especially the depth of Alexander’s piece), are convincing and enlightening—particularly for educators not fully versed in these concepts.

The “real life”-“school life” intersection provided by integrating technology and Web 2.0 thinking is particularly compelling. Public speaking itself is a subset of self-expression (i.e. who a person is in “real life”). To apply emergent technology to the public speaking setting is an added way to create “real life” context or relevance for students. In the big picture, as well, this technological shift might be seen as paradigmatic—the more that people move into a world of creativity, connection and collaboration, the better off we can hope humanity will be. (Sadly, it must be acknowledged that violent and deviant people are clever about using the Internet, as well).

Utilizing Three Emergent Technologies in Public Speaking Class: Rationale and Goals

Improving my use of interactive whiteboards: Interactive whiteboards are, as a key manufacturer notes, a great “tool for collaboration, improving student learning outcomes and streamlining lesson planning” (SMART, 2006, p. 5). Education writer Neal Starkman quotes educational consultant Benjamin Hazzard, who says: “It isn’t about the boards; it’s about the learning that is happening. The boards are a conduit…” (Hazzard, as cited in Starkman, 2006, p. 1) In other words, as we have discussed in this class, the boards do not and should not replace good teaching, but they can enhance it.

I have been using the SMARTboard interactive whiteboard for years and only realized during this class that special software designed for the SMARTboard exists (SMARTboard Notebook). Because the SMARTboard Notebook software is designed for SMARTboards, it is very simple and handy to use. I have always used PowerPoint in the past, but in a very basic and limited way. I can now see myself using SMARTboard Notebook for making more resilient presentations in which students also take part. I can see that it would be smoother and easier to use the SMARTboard for what we would usually have done on the non-interactive whiteboard, such as mind maps, creating outlines, refining central ideas, that sort of thing.

Using the resources available in SMARTboard Notebook will make presentations easier to produce and possibly more visually stimulating. I can also see there would be value in teaching my students to use it for their presentations. This technology is in my classroom and I’ve been using it in a less than full sense. It behooves me to at least try it.

Internet sharing/social networking sites: My students’ speeches are currently video-recorded for the purpose of self-evaluation. I would like to get them to use at least one of their recordings for the further purpose of placing it on an Internet sharing/social networking site, like YouTube or MySpace. As the theorists above have noted, students are already ardent producers, consumers and users on these sites, i.e. engaged in the world of Web 2.0. This gives them a couple of opportunities to integrate their “real lives” with their “school lives” and broaden both: in the sense of using the sites they are already hanging out in and, as mentioned above, in the sense that public speaking is a subset of self-expression (i.e. who a person is in “real life”).

Posting a speech would also offer them the potential of connecting with a much wider audience (beyond our 20-30-person classroom). I am looking to expand their comfort zone by placing them “in front” of that bigger audience in order to become a more confident and connected speaker/human. I am also hoping that students will become more engaged because they are creating a speech that has the potential to reach more people. If they do indeed get a big audience, this will almost certainly enhance their engagement with the whole process.

Education writer, Jeffrey Young, describes an anthropology professor at Kansas State University, Michael Wesch, who, while writing a paper about Web 2.0, uploaded a video about Web 2.0 practices to YouTube. In a very short time his video had been viewed more than two million times and had engendered a great deal of online discussion, basically proving his point that Web 2.0 has significantly changed the way people connect and exchange ideas. Wesch and nine undergraduates began conducting an ethnographic study of the online community of video bloggers. "If you could name a core value on YouTube, it's authenticity" (Wesch, as cited in Young, 2007, p. A42). In the course of study, some of his students became passionate video bloggers or podcasters themselves (Young, 2007). It remains to be seen if any public speaking students’ speeches will become popular like Wesch’s video. There are parallels, though, between creating podcasts or video blogs and posting speeches. There seems to be a decent likelihood that posting speeches could lead to podcasting and/or continuing authentic communication for at least some students.

Posting a speech will be voluntary (I will offer between 2%-5% bonus marks). These sites are free and pretty much self-explanatory to use—that Web 2.0 ease and simplicity—so the technicalities of posting will not be onerous.

Classroom clickers: For the two purposes of audience-analysis and critiquing of speeches, I’d like to experiment with using hand-held student response system keypads or clickers (the college already has TurningPoint’s clickers and software).

In my class, after students speak, the class offers feedback. There are guidelines in place to help the speaker receive criticism in a kind and constructive way. For instance, strengths are discussed first. Still, for whatever reason, some people rarely participate; also, most of my students are reluctant to discuss the weaknesses of their peers’ speeches (they’re “too nice”). I would like to see if the clickers are useful to expand critique dialogue or even just to keep students more engaged when they are audience members because they are using a keypad, a tactile, “21st century” object that has a similar feel to the handheld computer games or PDA/cellphones that they are used to using.

A pastor in Florida, Steve Fortenberry, uses TurningPoint to help engage audiences in his Sunday sermons. He stated, "With the anonymity and the safety factor, members are more honest" when he asks his congregation to answer personal questions by using the keypads (Turning Technologies, 2006-2008). He added: "The [results] charts show everyone that they aren't alone…" (Turning Technologies, 2006-2008). As in Fortenberry’s church, audience members in speech class may be more comfortable being honest when they can critique a speech anonymously. They may also find reassurance in the results charts, as did the churchgoers, to see that they were not the only ones who had certain criticisms.

The results charts will also allow the speaker to see where the class really stands on a speech. Whether this type of criticism for the speakers is more useful or too painful or somewhere in between, remains to be observed. What I foresee is that as we create a supportive community it shouldn’t be a big deal for speakers to see their results in black and white (fingers crossed). These coming students in the fall term will walk into public speaking class not really knowing that I have done it differently in the past. I do think it will be important to get some buy-in ahead of time by discussing the value of the critique and by posing worthwhile questions. I would agree with Pastor Fortenberry that the value of Turning Point is "all in the quality of the question" (Turning Technologies, 2006-2008). See Appendix A for proposed critique questions.

As an additional use of the TurningPoint software, I think it would be interesting to encourage student speakers to come up with their own questions about what they want to ask their audience; thus adding another level of investment in their speaking and buy-in to using the software.

In public speaking class, we discuss audience analysis and talk about being audience-centred speakers. I would like to see if the anonymity provided by giving information with clickers would help the class better understand and have more compassion for their classmates, particularly in terms of traits, experiences or beliefs that are usually kept private. (I have heard student speeches that discuss or allude to the damaging effects and sinfulness of, for instance, homosexuality. I have advised those students that their speech might particularly fall on deaf ears, if not offend, people who are gay or have a friend or family member who is gay. I always wonder if they would be more compassionate if they knew that there are gay people right in their midst or people who have a gay brother, etc.) In this case, I have honest doubts about their potential efficacy in a class size of 20-30. It is one thing to commit anonymously, for example, to giving a speech 7 out of 10. When it comes to closely held personal information, people still might be very reluctant to divulge anything in such a small population. See Appendix B for proposed audience analysis questions.

Some recent research has started to address the use of clickers as these relate to post-secondary students. Most studies focus on the usefulness of clicker technology in large-lecture settings. Margie Martyn, a computer information systems instructor at a small American college, studied four classes totalling 92 students, which is similar to the size of my classes, although what she teaches and used the clickers for is different from what I plan to do. Still, her 2007 study comparing use of a student response system (students answered knowledge-related questions anonymously using hand-held wireless keypads or clickers) vs. another active learning approach (class discussion) has some value for this proposal. Her students reported that they perceived that using clickers helped them with their grades even though her study did not show any significant difference in learning outcomes (which she defined as their final exam grade) between the two groups.

Martyn conducted the study to see whether the benefit of using clickers is more about the active learning aspect of using the devices. Her study suggests that may well the case. She also writes about some observed benefits of clickers that bolster the approach I am proposing: student anonymity helps more reticent students take part; students enjoy the "gaming" aspect of pushing keypad buttons; feedback in the moment is helpful (Martyn, 2007). Her study, while not making any big claims for higher grades caused by clickers vs. other active learning approaches, adds to a body of work that shows that students, if nothing else, enjoy the active and anonymous aspect of using clickers. Her research makes me believe that student buy-in for using the Turning Point keypads will not be an issue.

Summary/Review of Rationale and Goals: In brief, how will using the emergent technologies improve public speaking class?

• Using all three technologies mentioned will enhance student engagement in the public speaking process (supported by Alexander, Maloney, Martyn, Prensky, Young)
• Using Internet sharing/social networking sites and classroom clickers will enhance student investment in their speeches (supported by Martyn, Turning Point, Young)
• Using classroom clickers will help students better understand to whom they might be speaking; they will enhance creation of a supportive class community (supported by Martyn, Turning Point)
• Using classroom clickers will provide opportunity for students to engage more fully in peer feedback (supported by Martyn, Turning Point)
• Using Internet sharing/social networking sites will encourage students to expand their comfort zones, stand up for their beliefs, put themselves “out there” and speak to the wider world (supported by Young)
• Using all three technologies mentioned will provide some opportunity to integrate “real life” with “school life” (supported by Alexander, Maloney, Martyn, Prensky)

Resources: What resources are required to make these improvements work?

• Students need a storage device like a “memory stick” (these are not prohibitively expensive and they are a required item along with the text book)

All of the rest of the resources needed, as listed below, are already available…
• Students need access to a computer and decent Internet connection, which at the very least they have at the college
• For in-class recording: appropriate computer, recording software and video camera
• SMARTboard and SMARTboard Notebook
• TurningPoint software and clickers
• LC Help Desk and audio-visual departments
• Support and advice from Marko Hilgersom (winner of the 2008 National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development Excellence Award for Educational Leadership), a colleague who has pioneered the use of TurningPoint at the college
• Support from Cathy Takeda, Chair of General Studies

How Do The Goals of Utilizing the Three Emergent Technologies in Public Speaking Class Address Required Outcomes?

All of the PRS 155 Speech outcomes (Lethbridge College) are as follows:

1. Apply public speaking skills toward personal and professional enhancement.
• The larger the audience or potential audience (e.g. YouTube viewers) for the student, the broader will be her experience. The broader the experience for the student, the more she will gain confidence. The more confidence gained by the student, the more she is able to stand up for herself and speak about what is meaningful to her, i.e. the more she is engaged in public speaking. The more the student is engaged in public speaking, the more able she will be to demonstrate this outcome.
• The more a student is able to integrate “school life” with “real life” (by using Web 2.0 tools; by speaking about what is meaningful to her) the more likely she is to demonstrate this outcome.
• The more a student understands her audience (enhanced through the use of clickers), the more she will be able to demonstrate this outcome.

2. Build and demonstrate self-confidence in oral communication.
• The more supportive the class community (enhanced by the broader understandings of audience learned through the use of TurningPoint), the more likely students will demonstrate this outcome.
• As mentioned above, the larger the audience or potential audience for the student (e.g. audience found through posting speeches on social networking site(s)), the broader her experience. The broader the experience of the speaker, the more confidence gained, which demonstrates this outcome.

3. Prepare and present a variety of public speaking assignments according to set criteria. (The set criteria for public speaking assignments do not need to alter for these technologies to be implemented.)

4. Assess and criticize your own and other's speech presentations.
• The more engaged a student is with feedback (enhanced through the use of the active, tactile, 21st century-ish keypad clickers), the more she will be able to demonstrate this outcome.
• The more a student understands who her classmates are (enhanced by getting audience analysis information through the use of TurningPoint), the more comfortable she may feel about engaging in peer critique and thus the more likely she will demonstrate this outcome.
• The more a student feels safe and comfortable to offer criticism (enhanced through the anonymity of using clickers) the more she will be engaged in this process.

5. Plan, prepare, practice and deliver a presentation within a given time frame. (Time frames for speeches do not need to alter for these technologies to be implemented).

Assessment/Evaluation: How will I know I’ve succeeded?

Surveys: To know if using the three emergent technologies has been useful to the students, one tool I plan to use would be fairly simple surveys for the students to offer their feedback. See Appendix C for some survey samples. These surveys regarding perception, satisfaction, use, etc. would be given to them at the beginning and end of the course, and possibly points in between.

Measurement of participation: By measuring and recording the number of people using clickers for answering audience analysis questions or engaging in critique, I will know if people are using the TurningPoint technology. Some qualitative analysis may be needed (do the answers make sense and seem sincere?). But if the majority of the class were using the clickers when invited to, that would look like a measure of success. Similarly, if a large number of students decide to post speeches to a social networking/shared site, this also would be a measure of success—especially if their speeches garnered large audiences.

My own observations: By keeping a class diary of my observations about how the various technologies seemed to be working or not (as well as any suggestions on practices to improve how things go in the future), I will be able to reach some conclusions by the time term ends. See Appendix D for an observation checklist.

Timeline: When will what get done?

In August before term begins:
• Discuss FOIP issues regarding posting videos with applicable person at LC (as of finishing this assignment, she had not returned my call or email)
• Get some hands-on training using Turning Point (the person who can show me is on holiday until August 18)
• Talk with Marko again about what I plan to do, any suggestions/advice
Early September:
• Give the students a pre-use of technology survey (see Appendix C)
• Introduce the idea of posting a speech on a sharing/social networking site to the students and get student feedback (possible questions: would they consider doing it? what issues would they foresee? what would help them participate?)
• Introduce clickers and do some kind of introductory exercise with them (students at the college are mostly unfamiliar with them, as well)
• Notify other PRS 155 Speech instructor-colleagues about this experiment
After TurningPoint intro:
• Have TurningPoint critique questions and audience analysis questions set up for every class or most classes (we evaluate speeches almost every class) and build the use of them (i.e. I envision using them for fairly simple or innocuous questions at first and then perhaps getting more specific and rigorous)
With regard to posting speeches:
• I would like to gauge that as the class unfolds
• I don’t see any reason in this experimental phase to arbitrarily decide when this needs to happen or what speech (I will probably leave it open for the student to choose what speech they would like to post)
• I’m guessing more will participate in the second half of the term when the class has had some experience and comfort with presenting
Near end of term:
• Use end of term survey to get student feedback about the use of these technologies (see Appendix C)
• Create report to share with colleagues.

Possible Impediments: What might go wrong?

• There may be Freedom of Information and Privacy Act problems that would curtail any plans for us to post speeches online
• Technology glitches could occur that hold up class or cause bigger issues. Even just connecting the laptop to the projector and getting the college network to work are sometimes issues which have taken place due to circumstances beyond my control, i.e. glitches have occurred without always being caused by me being a techno-idiot. I see these as being an occasional thing not overarching.
• My teaching style is quite loose and spontaneous. Clicker questions need to be planned and prepared ahead of time. This may cause me discomfort. One possible solution I foresee is to have clicker questions prepared but not using them if it doesn’t fit with how I’m running class that day.
• No or little student buy-in.

Appendix A

Proposed Critique Questions (using TurningPoint Clickers)

These are simplified and modified from my usual speech evaluation forms. Students will answer whether they strongly agree, agree, have no opinion, disagree or strongly disagree. They will also be asked to give the speech a mark out of 10.

The speaker maintained eye contact and audience connection.

The speaker seemed serious and/or enthusiastic about his/her subject. He/She had good energy.

The speaker seemed prepared.

The speaker spoke extemporaneously. He/she did not read her cards or appear overly rehearsed).

The speaker created few distractions (e.g. filler words, fidgets, clothing, gum, etc.).

The speaker had a strong introduction in which he/she stated his/her central idea.

We understood his/her motivation for speaking.

The speaker had a strong central idea. He/She took a stand.

The speaker supported his/her central idea well (strong evidence, moving testimony, logic, examples, etc.).

The speech flowed well. It was well organized.

The speaker had a strong conclusion that reinforced the central idea.

I enjoyed/I was engaged by the speech.

The speech should get _______ out of 10.

Appendix B

Proposed Audience Analysis Questions

I am creating these on the basis of what I’ve seen in past classes. My hope is that by seeing the answers to some of these questions, my speakers will, as I’ve written above, better understand and have more compassion for their classmates, in terms of traits, experiences or beliefs that are usually kept private.

It’s likely that I’ll base these types of questions on what I’m observing in each particular section so these are not meant to be hard and fast; they are possibilities. I’d also like to take suggestions from the students for questions. As well, I would only do a few per class—little windows into souls.

TF = True or False
Agreement scale = Students will answer whether they strongly agree, agree, have no opinion, disagree or strongly disagree.

If people knew more about some of what I have been through in my life, they might be more understanding of people like me. TF

Racial prejudice is not a problem in Lethbridge. Agreement scale

Prejudice based on gender or sexuality is not an issue in Lethbridge. Agreement scale

I have experienced racial prejudice. TF

I have experienced prejudice based on my gender. TF

I have expressed racially prejudicial or sexually prejudicial remarks. TF

I have been bullied. TF

I have been a bully. TF

I have been a victim of violence. TF

I have been a perpetrator of violence. TF

I experience fear of violence, bullying and/or prejudice. Agreement scale

Premarital sex is not a big deal. Agreement scale

I am or have been sexually active. TF

I am a virgin. TF

I am abstinent because of my religious beliefs. TF

I am sexually active even though it is against my religious beliefs. TF

I am straight. TF

I am gay, bisexual or still not sure. TF

Someone important to me (friend, family member) is gay or bisexual. TF

I have experienced prejudice based on my sexuality. TF

I have expressed prejudicial remarks about people’s sexuality. TF

I am or have been afraid to acknowledge my sexuality freely around most people. TF

My parents are divorced. TF

I am divorced or separated. TF

I have experienced child abuse. TF

I have never tried hard drugs. TF

I have dealt with addiction. TF

I have overused food/smoking/alcohol/drugs/gambling/porn/gaming/TV/shopping. TF

I would describe myself as mostly content. Agreement scale

I would describe myself as mostly unhappy. Agreement scale

I have dealt with depression. TF

I am on medication to help me with my mental health. TF

Abortion should be illegal. Agreement scale

I am against abortion. Agreement scale

I have had or someone close to me has had an abortion. TF

I felt comfortable answering personal questions using these clickers. TF

I answered these questions honestly. TF

Appendix C

Survey Samples Regarding Use of Technology

TF = True or False
Agreement scale = Students will answer whether they strongly agree, agree, have no opinion, disagree or strongly disagree.

Beginning of Term

I have never used clickers before. TF

I am interested to see how clickers will help me become a better speaker. Agreement scale

I am interested in the idea of posting a speech online. Agreement scale


Clickers help me be a better, more honest critic of speeches. Agreement scale

Clickers give me a better idea of where I’ve succeeded and where I need to improve as a speaker. Agreement scale

Clickers help me learn about my audience. Agreement scale

Learning about my audience through the use of clickers has helped me become a better speaker. Agreement scale

Written comments:

End Of Term

Clickers have helped me be a better, more honest critic of speeches. Agreement scale

Clickers have given me a better idea of where I’ve succeeded and where I need to improve as a speaker. Agreement scale

Clickers have helped me learn about my audience. Agreement scale

Learning about my audience through the use of clickers helped me become a better speaker. Agreement scale

Clickers helped me engage in speech class. Agreement scale

Posting a speech online was a valuable experience. Agreement scale

Posting a speech online helped me a better speaker. Agreement scale

I would recommend the use of clickers for critiquing speeches in speech class. Agreement scale

I would recommend the use of clickers for audience analysis purposes in speech class. Agreement scale

I would recommend that speech students post a speech online. Agreement scale

Written Comments:

Appendix D

Classroom Observation Checklist

I’ll be looking for and evaluating…

Engagement vs. disengagement
Comfort vs. discomfort (some discomfort is to be expected; too much pushes them away)
Comments made
Collaborative moments
Ah-ha moments
Glitches and their causes
Smiles vs. frowns
Conflict ( might be good for learning; might be too much)
Focus and concentration vs. zoning out and avoiding
Connection and community vs. separation
Building confidence vs. harming confidence
Feels like too much technology vs. technology integrates smoothly
Et cetera


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Lethbridge College. (2008). PRS 155: Speech course outline.

Maloney, E.J. (2007). What Web 2.0 can teach us about learning. Chronicle of Higher Education, 53(18), B26. Retrieved June 17, 2008, from

Martyn, M. (2007). Clickers in the classroom: an active learning approach. EDUCAUSE Quarterly. 30(2), 71-74. Retrieved June 3, 2008, from

Prensky, M. (2005-2006). Listen to the natives. Educational Leadership, 63(4), 8-13. Retrieved May 25, 2008, from

SMART Technologies ULC (2006, March). Interactive whiteboards and learning: Improving student learning outcomes and streamlining lesson planning. 1-14. Retrieved August 6, 2008, from

Starkman, N. (2006, May 1). The wonders of interactive whiteboards. T.H.E. Journal, 1-3. Retrieved August 6, 2008, from

Turning Technologies LLC (2006-2008). TurningPoint® case study: Common Ground Church community. Retrieved August 6, 2008, from

Warlick, D. (2006). A day in the life of Web 2.0. Technology & Learning, 27(3), 20-26. Retrieved June 18, 2008, from¤tPosition=1&userGroupName=leth89164&docId=A154004526&docType=IAC

Young, J. R. (2007). An anthropologist explores the culture of video blogging. Chronicle of Higher Education, 53(36), A42. Retrieved June 18, 2008, from

1 comment:

  1. You have a very interesting proposal and use of technology. You might find it useful to explore using the eCOVE Classroom Observation Software. It's a set of tools for collecting objective data on classroom behaviors of teachers/students.

    After a career in education, I failed retirement and wrote the software and developed the Data-Based Observation Model. The software replaces the 'checklist' record of judgments with objective timer and counter data.

    Website: eCOVE Software
    Blog: Data-Based Classroom Observation

    If you need data collection tools created, I can help. In the software, you can create unlimited tools (in addition to the 40 tools already there). Please contact me if I can help.

    John []