For this final blog post of the semester I had planned to focus on the student feedback we had received regarding our Digital Hall Pass Project. However, as of 30 minutes before the writing of this blog, our project has undergone a massive change. Allow me to explain:
Over the previous six weeks of this pilot project, we have been using Google Forms, where the students would sign out using the last four digits of their student number. This step was causing some issues in terms of time and accuracy, because some students could not remember their student numbers and other students were intentionally entering the wrong student ID number. However, with one small change we know can eliminate both of these issues.
From Google to Microsoft
While discussing the hall pass results with a teaching colleague, I was lamenting how often we have to remind students of their student number and how that really slows the process down. This teacher suggested that she has used Microsoft Forms in the past and that has eliminated some of the troublesome issues. We continued to discuss and thus, a new version of a project has been born.
By switching our operations to Microsoft Forms, we can set up our questionnaire in a way that forces the students to log in using their student username and password. The reason this is so effective is because Regina Catholic Schools use Microsoft Office 365 and every student has their own unique username and password. So now, when students sign out to leave the classroom, their name is used rather than any number they may have chosen to use. This development will be incredibly beneficial in terms of the accuracy of our data. I look forward to continuing to develop this idea moving forward.
The feedback focused on five different questions, followed by an opportunity to provide individual feedback. Let’s take a look at the results:
While I am very pleased with the stats and feedback, and the fact that 85% of the students find this system easier to use than the paper logs, there is some debate as to whether system makes students leave the classroom less often. Furthermore, was this even the purpose of the project?
I believe that the project was never designed to scare the students into leaving the classroom less often. However, one aspect where it has been successful is reducing the length of bathroom visits. Because there is a timestamp created every time they leave the classroom, the students seem to be more willing to get back to the classroom more quickly.
As well as the above feedback, we also provided a space where students could write unique feedback. The following statements came from the students:
“writing on paper is better because logging into the wifi takes extra time”
“I feel like the electronic hall pass should be used by everyone”
“Change to an app”
“Make sure everyone knows their student number because that wastes a lot of time”
All of these are very valid points and I want to finish by addressing their ideas. The first idea regarding wifi is a valid concern. Not all students have cellular data on their devices and if they are not logged in to the wifi when ready to leave the classroom that can add a minute or two to the process. The second idea makes a great point as well. The only way to ensure consistency and build skills for all students is very every teacher to be adopting this practice. The 3rd point about changing to an adapt is an interesting idea, but somewhat harder to pull off in practice. However, one workaround that we have been trying is creating a shortcut from the phone’s browser to their home page, which will speed up the process. The final point was a real concern for a long time, but now has been changed because now students will sign out with email and password which every student already knows.
This has been an excellent journey and if anyone has further questions about this project in the future, you can comment below and I will help you out with everything I can.