Investigating the use of student perception data for teacher reflection and classroom improvement
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This article reports a study involving: (1) developing and validating a learning environment instrument, (2) investigating whether reflection on feedback generated using the instrument led to improvements in the learning environment and (3) examining how teachers used the feedback. For the new learning environment instrument, validity was supported for a sample of 10,345 secondary students over 3 years (2,042 students in 2008, 4,467 in 2009 and 3,836 in 2010). To investigate whether reflection on feedback from this instrument led to improvements in the learning environment, multivariate analysis of variance and effect sizes were used to examine pre–post differences. Statistically significant improvements in students’ views of the learning environment were found for 8 of the 11 scales. Finally, we examined how teachers used the student feedback. Of the 459 teachers, 45 focus teachers used the feedback as part of a formal action research approach involving entries in reflective journals, written reports, discussions and participation at a forum. These data were analysed to provide an overview of the ways in which the information was used, and to provide a more detailed account of the journey of one of the teachers.
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