Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Student Survey Results on Global Connection within Enrichment Project

My students were all asked to evaluate how "connected" they felt they were within this project. To increase a global connection, I asked all groups to reach out to one global expert. I left the type of expert out, but I did give them a few examples of good people to contact. I wanted students to find out more about their animal, and different examples of enrichment. Because this was a zoo and wild animal centered enrichment toy design project, many of the students decided to reach out to the Minnesota Zoo. However, they had a difficult time getting into contact with anyone.

Other students had success when they emailed specific people. One group, who had the cougar as a client, emailed an in-state, Wild Cat Sanctuary, and received a great email full of information about cougars in general and how they enrich the cats. The group that received the input from this organization was very excited to hear back, and used the information to their advantage.

Below are the results from the student survey.

The first question I asked students centered around blogging. I had never required students to blog during a project, but I did like the way it required students to reflect during the design process. Based on the survey results, about 63% of my class agreed with me.

Next up, I asked how many students heard feedback from their experts, either global or local. Local experts being the Animal Caretakers from Zollman Zoo at Oxbow Park, who we worked with for this project. Then below this, I asked who they reached out to for a global expert, and many answered with Zoo experts or other animal experts.

After asking about specifics, I wanted to know whether 7th grade students see the value in reaching out to a global network. And I was very happy to see that they do see this as an important aspect in school today! Lastly, I was curious if students would have liked an extra dose of social media added into the project, which surprisingly, most said no.


  1. I like the questions you asked, I think they will be very helpful for you if you plan to do this unit again with students, as it will help you know what to keep and what to perhaps change. I also found the percentage of students that found blogging to be an important part of this project very positive. It'd be interesting to include blogging again in another project the students do and ask them that same question to see if the percentage goes up, down or stays the same.

  2. Like Kory said, the questions are awesome and very unassuming, leaving students a chance to be really honest with you. In my Game Design class last quarter, I found the same exact challenges amongst my students -- reflection feeling less relevant and not feeling confident reaching out to experts / getting effective feedback. It seems to be a function of prior experience, not age. Thus, I am excited as a high school teacher to know that students will be leaving middle school with this kind of experience. As you figure out how to more effectively teach the process of reaching out for feedback, please blog about it and share with the cohort / me as I try to figure it out too.

  3. Katie, I am very impressed with your survey results. I think this really allowed the students to think through the process of the project. Their honesty will really help you with this project for next year. Have you thought about trying to reach out to experts ahead of time for next year as to see if they would be receptive to helping your students out in the future? I think if you were to try and make some connections this might help the students receive the information they need. However, I also like the approach of having the students make the contact and connections. This helps them see that not everyone is going to respond all the time and helps them discover how to problem solve. I would be curious as to your thoughts of how you might approach this for next year.