Friday, 3 November 2017

Key Points

The initial reaction to the post inquiry data was positive. I wasn't overly sure how students would respond to the idea of using 'voice typing' due to the low levels of efficacy. The data showed that students found the tool effective in helping them improve their self efficacy towards their writing. The positive response was overwhelming because of the huge risk I took introducing a new tool for students to use for an NCEA assessment.

Due to the increased self-efficacy within students writing, I saw an increase in overall results for the particular achievement standard I attached my inquiry to. To see a 16% increase in the overall pass rate from the previous year was extremely pleasing. After all, one of the main objectives of my inquiry was to help improve student outcomes.

A key point to note was the fact that the achievement standard did not require copious amounts of writing. The standard required students to reflect on what influenced their participation in the previous day's practical lesson. The forms of reflection only required a description and not any lengthy explanation, which suited using the tool 'voice typing'. However, if I was to use this tool for a different assessment that required critical explanations, I do not think that I would get the same outcomes.

Subjectively, as the year went on, I could personally see student's increasing their efficacy within their writing. However, I wanted to know if this was being transferred to other subject areas. The fact that students had faith in their writing in Physical Education was great to see, but ideally I wanted that skill to be transferable to other subject areas. Whether this has happened or not is for me to investigate.

A key point to note was the fact that student's with extremely low levels of self-efficacy found 'voice typing' difficult to use due to the added stress of the task. Student's who already did not have a lot of faith in their ability to construct a written piece on a document also found talking difficult. Due to their low self efficacy they found it hard to articulate words in order to use voice typing effectively. This small group found the task extremely difficult and consequently had little faith in using the tool.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Analysis of Results

Along with collecting data on the effectiveness of the tool, I also ask students to rate their confidence once the unit had been completed.

Comparing data from the start of the year to the end, shows an improvement in students having faith in their ability to complete written reviews.

When reviewing my results, I think back to the initial problems that I faced at the start of the year and to see a huge improvement in student self-efficacy despite the obstacles, has been pleasing.

With the increased belief in writing ability helped students achieve at the required curriculum level and improve on results from the previous year.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Student Feedback

While collating post inquiry data, I also got student thoughts about using voice typing.

“It was easier to get the work done and say what was on your mind instead of trying to find the words to explain what you mean.”

“It meant that I could have a conversation with Sir and the question was answered without me having to worry about writing stuff down.”

“I liked it how Sir talked to us and helped us get the answer we wanted for our assessment. Then it was recorded for us on our document.”

Overall, majority of my feedback was positive, outlining the benefits of using voice typing. The common theme to come out of this feedback was closely related to what I found in my research, which identified that talking is a far more natural way of communicating.

However, one major problem that was identified while using the tool was the background noise. Often words mentioned by someone in close proximity were detected and embedded on the document of the student using 'voice typing'.

“If you were in a crowded place it didn’t always pick up what you said and sometimes it wrote down a different word to what you were saying.”

Lastly, feedback suggested a select group of students found the tool difficult to use. I believe this was due to very low levels of self-efficacy. Because of their very low level of literacy, no matter how they gathered evidence for their task, they found it difficult to complete. This was a fear I had throughout my inquiry, as some of my students demonstrated extremely low levels of efficacy and to get them to show any belief in their writing was difficult.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Post Inquiry Data

At the conclusion of the unit I gathered post inquiry data. I wanted to see if the 'voice typing' tool had been effective from a student's perspective.

The outcome was positive, with 60% of student's preferring to use 'voice typing' over normal typing/writing on a document.

It was pleasing to see the increase in interest of the 'voice typing' tool over the course of the assessment. 53% of students initially thought that 'voice typing' was a preferable option compared to 60% at the conclusion of the assessment. From my opinion I base this increase of percentage on familiarity of the tool. Student's were hesitant at the start of the unit, because the tool was something completely new to them. But over the course of time, they started to become more familiar with the tool, which increased their self efficacy and their ability to complete the task using 'voice typing'. 

Friday, 11 August 2017

Using the Innovative Tool

Student's were finding it hard to adapt to the idea of using 'voice typing' for their assessment. When a new task is introduced, they tend to stick to what is comfortable instead of branching out of their comfort zone. This relates back to one of my initial problems I identified with my class, a lack of self-efficacy. Students had a lack of faith in their ability to use the tool to help them with their assessment. The irony here is that 'voice typing' was identified as a tool that was going to help those students who were reluctant writers. I believed that this was the right tool but students just needed a helping hand to get them started. At the start of the unit I had one-on-one conversations with students prompting them with questions that would help them gather evidence for their assessment. While I was having this conversation with each student, the 'voice typing' tool would capture our conversation.

Once the conversation was finished, students would edit any errors to make complete sentences. After doing this exercise a couple of times, students started to feel comfortable using the tool. They then started using the tool by themselves and found it relatively straight forward to use.

Those students who adapted to using the tool, often gave others help which made it a lot easier for me as the classroom teacher.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Initial Trial of Voice Typing

Soon after researching the effectiveness of voice dictation I decided to introduce it to my Year 11 PE class. As majority of the class were in favour of using 'voice typing' it was time to see if students could manage using the tool effectively. I gave them a quick demonstration and then let them experiment with the tool. The aim of the lesson was to become familiar with using the 'voice typing' tool so there were no problems when it came to using it for their assessment.

Below is an example of me using the 'voice typing' tool.

At the conclusion of this lesson I knew it was going to take some time for students to become familiar with using 'voice typing.' Like every new tool that is used, it does take time to adjust to the basic functioning and this was no different to my students. 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Innovation Research

Due to majority of students being in favour of using 'Voice Typing,' I wanted to find out more information about the tool. While researching I realised that the tool was in it's initial stages and had only recently been developed. Google had released numerous voice typing/dictation extensions that could be used on a google document, but due to poor functionality a lot of people voiced their frustrations while using these tools. However, Google's Voice Typing has recently been added as an available tool within a document and can easily be accessed by anyone. Due to the tool being in it's trial phase, I decided to research how effective voice dictation/activation had been.


Speech recognition has been available for many years but due to better functionality, people are choosing to use the tool more frequently. 

With built-in software on smartphones and better functioning microphones on devices, more and more people are actively using voice commands. With the absence of keyboards and relative ease of communicating, people find the convenience of talking to a device a lot easier than typing. This is no different to what I have observed from my students. They are orally capable but struggle to put their thoughts down on paper/documents. For them talking is a far more natural way of communicating, as pinpointed by the quote above. Therefore I believe that using voice typing as a tool while I scaffold questions, would be a good way of capturing evidence for their assessments.