Thursday, 18 November 2010

Self-assessing my Global Education Conference Presentation

Yesterday, I presented my first-ever webinar, Directing Young Learners Towards Effective Self-Assessment, as part of the Global Education Conference 2010. As the topic was self-assessment, I thought I should air some of my own thoughts on how it all went.

First of all, the whole thing ran with no technical hitches (though we did have a little trouble hearing from Cecilia in the Q&A part), a great relief as those kind of problems were my main worry beforehand. The only hic-cup to occur during my session was a brief interruption from my son, who burst into the computer room at about the halfway point to tell me something that had happened on his Wii game!

I covered everything I planned to say (at regular conferences, I usually immediately recall several things I should have said post-session) and my slides were generally well-received (they are currently being ‘showcased’ on the education page at Slideshare as well!). The main thing I would like to work on for future webinars is increasing interaction with the attendees. Beyond ‘where are you listening from?’ and an initial ‘what is assessment?’ question, it was mainly me talking.

DSC09036
Teacher modelling – did it get a laugh? Probably not!

The lack of immediate interaction was generally the most difficult thing as there is no way to be 100% sure if everyone is engaged and if it’s all making sense. On the one hand, nearly 40 people were attending, but on the other hand, I was sat in front of my computer talking to myself! In a regular conference, you can observe expressions on faces, hear comments of agreement/disagreement and chuckles (or groans) for the little jokes. Then again, with my jokes, perhaps it’s better not to have any immediate feedback!

Tumbleweed (VancityAllie)
I thought it best to provide my own tumbleweed
Image by Vancity Allie

The very best thing about the whole event was my audience! It was truly global stretching from the Pacific coast of America to the Pacific coast of Australia. One of my neighbours and work colleagues was in attendance as well meaning the participants came from across continents and from the floor directly above me as well! Having a few members of my PLN present helped my relax a bit so a big thank you to Shelly, Cecilia, Greta, Henrick (Oprea!) and Sue for being there (hope I haven’t missed anyone) as well as to everyone else who was there. They fielded some great questions afterwards too which gave me an opportunity to expand on some key points.

If you were in attendance, I’d also like some peer feedback:
  • What did you think of the session?
  • Did you take anything away from it?
  • What could I do differently or better next time?
  • Any other thoughts?
If you missed it, you can access the recording from here and I’d like your feedback as well.

Here’s the slideshow:
And here are the links to the documents and blog posts I referred to. Great for further reading:
Unfortunately, as I was busy this week (despite it being a holiday here, we’ve been inundated with visitors and guests!), I haven’t been able to attend many other sessions. I made sure I had time for Shelly Terrell’s presentation on global projects though and I’m glad I did! If you want to view it (and I strongly recommend you do), the recording is available here: Global Class Projects

5 comments:

  1. Hi Dave,

    I missed your session but I have just watched the recording. Congratulations! It is a great presentation and also nice to read your comments on it. I believe it would be good to use the webcam for the speaker and the participants, thus everybody could observe expressions on faces, which could help for immediate interaction.

    Isil Boy

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  2. Hello David!
    Unfortunately, I've been busy this week and I couldn't make it. Thanks for sharing your presentation in your post! It's highly insightful! Assessment is essential in the learning-teaching process.
    I also use my students' comments as to the classes (What I've learnt/What I've liked/What I haven't liked) as assessment of my classes and it's proved really helpful.
    Regards,
    Marisa (@Mtranslator)

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  3. Isil - Thanks for the comments. I decided against using my webcam as in the set up it was very jerky and low resolution. Hopefully, in the future we'll all be able to use such things more easily. :)

    Marisa - Thanks to you as well for contributing to the pre-session discussion. Your comments were useful in illustrating my points. Keep your students reflecting!

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  4. Hi Dave!

    It was a pleasure attending your first-ever webinar presentation :-) You were great and I'd never have said it was your first time. And I'm glad our presence made you relax a bit - I know that feeling well. Having a familiar face, be it a former student in a new group or a fellow teacher at a presentation helps with the butterflies.

    Now, with pleasantries out of the way, let's get to the feedback. I think your presentation was truly interesting. As a teacher who works in a school where the evaluation is done through portfolios, where reflections are the core of it, I got a lot of insight from your presentation - especially because, as you know, I don't have much experience with young learners. It was great listening to your experience and how you work with self-assessment with children. The slides were great (great highlight for the modeling one!!! Do I sense a career shift? LOL) and the pace of the presentation was also very good. you kept things interesting and dynamic, no time to get bored. Kudos for it!

    The only thing I can think of suggesting for a next time (which I hope there'll be many, for it's the easiest way for me to take part in your presentations ;-)) is that you could have looked more at the chat box, interact more with what we were saying about it, the questions and comments that were being made. You did some of that towards the end, but maybe if you had done that throughout the presentation it would have been nice. I can imagine how hard it is to do everything and still remember to look at the chat box :-) Practice, practice, practice eh?

    Thanks for the presentation and for sharing here. :-)
    Cheers!

    Cecilia

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  5. Thanks for the feedback Cecilia. It's greatly appreciated.

    As for the chat box, I guess that's something to get used to with time. I've seen presenters at online events who have said at the start "I won't be looking at the chat box" and I've seen ones who have been distracted by it and lost the flow of the presentation while answering comments. However, I've also seen people admirably and seamlessly respond to the comments as they come up! An acquired skill I guess. :)

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