Last year Language Teacher Nicola Pugh carried out her Action Research project. This is her summary of what she found out.
Does focusing on the presentation of work lead to better note taking and revision in boys?
I have been trialing a departmental technique called ‘Presentation for Learning’. Our Head of Languages began a presentation competition to be reviewed each term; the best presentation and the most improved presentation for learning would receive a prize. Taking this idea, I trialed dedicating a lesson to note taking, organisation of notes and strategies for showing a thought process through their work. Throughout the term, students then worked through their books and chose particular pages or work in their exercise books that showed their best thinking or best learning. Each term, a nominated student would look through books and judge the best thinking.
Summary of what you did to adapt your practice.
Dedicating time at the beginning of the research period to note taking, presentation and demonstrating how to show thought processes allowed a better understanding of what I was looking for and what students were aiming toward was something that I have not tried and it proved successful. Also, embedding this as a routine every few lessons to check their progress of their best work and see if they can top it, and also giving ownership to the student about their presentation and not taking.
How did you test and review the impact of your work?
Taking photos at the beginning of the process and regularly assessing progress. Student engagement has been a great factor in judging it as students have actively been trying to beat their best work each term.
Summary of the impact so far.
Start early and maintain the momentum. It is difficult to keep on top of the administration involved initially which is when I developed the role of student judges and the ownership was on them. Ensuring time is built in for regular updates to maintain the momentum and maintain engagement is key.