Comparing More Survey Results: The Open-Ended Questions

My last post looked at the responses to multiple choice questions on the midterm survey “The Development of Media Literacy Skills in English 105 Students.” This post will analyze the responses to the open-ended questions on the survey. To read about the methodology and background of the survey please Click Here.   

Question 10: What is the most valuable thing you have learned in the class?

To analyze the results from this question I put the responses into three categories that represent different areas of media literacy: related to analysis, related to evaluation and related to the creation (and engagement) with messages in a variety of forms.

analysis responses (1)

The responses regarding analysis do not show any significant contrast between the different survey groups. In fact, several of the responses from students in the sections using the standard English 105 curriculum show quite a lot of confidence in their ability to analyze messages in different modes. CLICK ON THE CHART TO ENLARGE.

Evaluation (survey response chart) (1)

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE. This comparison doesn’t reveal any significant findings either. At the most, the responses on the left of the table are a little more specific about the modes they have evaluated in so far this semester.

creation responses

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE. This is the only category that reveals a significant difference in responses between the two surveyed groups. The column to the left suggests that writing on the blog and creating multimodal projects has helped students communicate more effectively in academic discourse as well as other modes. Again, these responses only suggest this, and I understand that even though a student thinks they have learned a skill it doesn’t necessarily mean they have learned to use if effectively. The best conclusion I can draw is that I need to continue developing my own data collection practices and to continue observing and surveying my students.

The responses from all the surveyed sections to the other open-ended question were very similar. The question was: In What Areas of Your Life do You (or Will You) Apply Rhetorical Analysis? To view the responses from the sections of English 105 that I teach please Click Here. To view responses from the other three sections of English 105 please Click Here.

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Survey Results: The Development of Media Literacy Skills in English 105 Students

At the midterm of this semester I surveyed six sections of English 105 with the intention of documenting students’ thoughts on their development of the technology and visual literacy skills used in class. I wanted to know how my students’ perception of their technology and visual literacy skills–with the blog assignments and multimodal projects as the core of their homework–compared to the perceptions of students from more standard English 105 classes. This post looks at the multiple choice questions of the survey. To read about the open-ended questions please Click Here.

Methodology

I created ten questions on Surveymonkey.com modeled after Colorado State University’s Writing Studio guidelines for conducting field research. To view The Writing Studio’s website please Click Here. Eight of the questions were multiple choice and two of the questions were open-ended.

I surveyed the three sections of English 105 that I teach along with three random sections of English 105. I conducted all the surveys during the same week of the semester (the first week of March), and in similar environments (in computer labs). All six sections of the classes I surveyed were in the process of writing the informational paper.

Background Information 

In the three sections of English 105 that I teach, students use the following technology: Black Board Learn discussion posts for some homework assignments, Google Drive for peer review of academic papers, WordPress for posting to The Critical Student Blog and self-directed choice of media design tools for the multimodal projects (Word, video recording software, online meme makers, Prezi, etc).

The other three sections of English 105 use these technologies: Black Board Learn discussion posts for some homework assignments and Google Drive for peer review of academic papers.

Summary of Results

The results from the three sections of English 105 that use a student blog and multimodal projects in the curriculum saw a marked increase in positive responses in two areas: the improvement of technology skills and the understanding of the role media plays in society. Most of the other questions, on the ability of students to analyze messages in a variety of forms and the ability of students to critically analyze social media and popular news, saw very little increase in positive responses (responses from all classes showed a high rate of confidence in these skills). On the question “How much has this class improved your ability to analyze academic texts?” about 70% of students from my classes, and about 70% of students from the other classes, responded that their ability to analyze academic texts had improved “some.”

About 30% more of the students in the classes using a student blog and creating multimodal projects thought their technology skills were improving because of English 105. 

These are the results from the three sections of English 105 that use the blog and create multimodal projects for each module.

These are the responses from the three sections of English 105 that use the blog and create multimodal projects for each module. Click the graph to enlarge.

Responses from the students in other sections of English 105.

This graph shows the responses from the students in other sections of English 105. Click the graph to enlarge.

About 15% more of students in the classes using the blog and creating multimodal projects believed their understanding of the role media plays in society had increased because of English 105. 

This graph is of the responses from the three sections of English 105 that I teach. Please note that the "now" is a typo of "no."

This graph is of the responses from the three sections of English 105 that I teach. Please note that the “now” is a typo of “no.” Click the graph to enlarge.

This is a graph of responses from students in the other sections of English 105. Please note that the response "now" is a typo of "no."

This is a graph of responses from students in the other sections of English 105. Please note that the response “now” is a typo of “no.” Click the graph to enlarge.

To compare the rest of the results please Click Here for the responses from the students in the sections that use the blog and multimodal projects and Click Here for the responses from the other sections of English 105.

Conclusion

This survey didn’t provide any eye-opening or earth-shattering information. But the results do suggest that incorporating a blog and mutlimodal projects is beneficial for some students (as seen by the 30% and 15% increase in positive responses about gaining technology skills and a better understanding the role media plays in society). These survey results also suggest that the addition of social media (the blog) and multimodal projects doesn’t hurt students or detract from their engagement with academic discourse. This element needs to be studied further, but I think it is important to note that in all sections 70% of students thought that English 105 had only helped them improve their ability to analyze academic texts “some.”

As my sections of English 105 dive deeper into their academic research for the informational paper and the extended argument, I intend to construct lesson plans and activities that will help them further transfer their analysis of digital media skills to academic discourse. Please stay tuned for updates on these lesson plans. I am also in the process of constructing a second survey, to be conducted at the end of the semester, to further document the impact of the blog and multimodal projects on my English 105 students.

Click Here to read my analysis of the open-ended questions on the survey.

Student Reflections on Evaluation

Below is a sample of my students’ reflections. Their deadline for finishing this assignment is not for two more days, but I’ve perused the early birds’ reflections and posted some highlights below. Many of them are making thoughtful connections about how they will use what we learned in the module–establishing criteria, comparing and contrasting, writing reviews to an online community, writing an academic evaluation–to their future careers! HOW STUDENTS WILL APPLY WHAT THEY LEARNED IN THE FUTURE

I would apply these elements in my future career. A lot of engineering design works with not only creating new products but modifying current products. So comparing and contrasting different models and writing an evaluation on the new modified product would be help in the engineering design I will most likely apply the elements of this module when I am evaluating anything. I already knew that we evaluate things based on criteria but I didn’t quite understand what criteria meant or what it was. I will also apply the elements of this module when I have to do an evaluation in a different class. I want to be a teacher so most likely I will have to evaluate students, lesson plan ideas, teaching strategies, etc., based on criteria as well. Since I am a business major, I will be using a lot of comparing and contrasting when it comes to business ideas and other financial problems that may occur. As well as using a lot of digital techniques (such as the use of Word and Excel) will be used to present certain business proposals. I think I could use the elements outside this module in order to decide on a job or career. It will be much easier to compare and contrast the criteria that is required for the type of job that I want to have. I will establish my credibility and expectations of things around me in my future career. I will use reasoning skills to compare and contrast many things, especially when purchasing important items. I will most likely use this module for general discussion with friends. I like to understand how and why something is good, whether it is music, movies, or even food, Being able to evaluate at the best of my ability with help me to discuss these in more in-depth ways. I will use these elements in my future career and daily life. In a career setting it is important to use and create credible information. I also think that understanding how to evaluate anything is useful in everyday life whether it is for an important issue or for something in the grocery store.

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Discourse Discussion

Desired Outcomes

  1. understand how discourse communities, genres and modes influence our writing and communication choices
  2. reflect on the different discourse communities, genres and modes we used and experienced in this module

INTRODUCTION  Watch this YouTube video and discuss why the student’s communication seems out of place, as well as in which discourse communities the student’s language would be appropriate. Continue reading

Reflection on Module 1

At the end of the Rhetorical Analysis Module I ask students to reflect on what they learned. The students didn’t mention the blog much in their responses. For the next module I plan to ask them more pointed questions about the blog.

  • What did you learn from this module (please give specific examples and definitions)?
  • Please give examples of how (and when) you might apply what you learned in this module to life outside of this class. 
  • What was the hardest part of this module for you? Why?

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