Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Some Important Tricisions

indecision dice
Image on Flickr by Anne-Lise Heinrichs

I am attending Adapting Your Coursebook with Technology on Seeta. It is a pleasure to learn from Nik Peachy and the participants are a lively creative bunch of people who are eager to share and learn together. The best thing in this course for me is the fact that I have found a large network of Serbian teachers who love technology. I have to say that so far I have had very few people from my part of the world in my PLN.

During the first week we learnt about Tricider. This tool was new to me and it was love at first sight. Tricider is an online brainstorming and voting tool and it can be used for polls, questionnaires and brainstorming sessions. It is very flexible. You ask your question and that question appears as the title of your questionnaire. Then you provide some ideas in the form of statements that people can agree or disagree with. They can vote for the best ideas (useful for collecting feedback) or add comments of their own next to them. Once your interviewees get used to Tricider, they will start providing ideas of their own and this is where the true power of Tricider as a brainstorming tool lies.

We were asked to provide two questionnaires, one for students and one for the teachers participating in the course. This is the questionnaire I created for my students:

powered by tricider

It is a very fast way to gather feedback after each class. They just need to click on the statements they agree with and I tried to phrase the criticism in a positive way, so that they don't feel that they are going to hurt my feelings. Other participants created a wide range of questionnaires, gathering information about the students' learning styles, their likes and dislikes, their opinion on controversial issues... Quite a few participants focused, just like me, on the feedback from students. Tricider was also used for reading comprehension (pre-reading activities) and grammar (What would you do if..., Have you ever...).

But the best fun started with the questionnaires for teachers. Here are some of the questions asked: Are you a technophobe or a technogeek? Is it difficult to be a teacher? What's the worst thing about being a teacher? What is your favourite "teaching hat"? What's the type of student you prefer? What have you got in your bag on a typical working day? What do you do when you get home from a full day of teaching?

I have always found questionnaires addictive. They are a great introspection tool. I ended up doing most of the questionnaires and they really got me thinking. The questions were well phrased and I was sometimes surprised by my answers (the amount of work I do after I come home from my classes). It is good to be understood and supported and very few non-teachers can understand a teacher. That's why this was such a great experience. I really learnt a lot about myself from my peers.

Anyway, here is my questionnaire for teachers:

powered by tricider

This second tricision I have shared is a good example of Tricider's brainstorming potential. All the comments in the middle column were made by my fellow participants, as well as two of the left-column suggestions.

The course is keeping me very busy and I'll post again soon to let you know how I am doing.


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