Back in November of this school year, we decided to bridge the 29 000 square km of our rural school district with some virtual PD in the form of a first-ever PRSD8 FlipGrid Book Study. Midway through the study as we paused for Christmas break, we were experiencing some great successes and some sure signs of disconnect.
Despite initial excitement, in many ways, this experiment in virtual Professional Development was somewhat disappointing if you consider some of the statistics:
- by the end of the study right before our February break, only two of the original 16 participants had completed almost all of the suggested posts
- about a quarter of the group did not get past Chapter 1
- by the time we broke for Christmas, less than 40% of participants were still responding.
However, our feedback suggests that it is feasible to try again:
- We had 13% completion, but whenever I watch a Seth Godin interview, he often mentions that only 5-10 % of people actually complete online courses. So, I guess that we should see our 13% completion as positive!
- Over 85% would try a FlipGrid book study again or recommend it to a colleague
- 90% found the FlipGrid format easy to use and also appreciated not having to drive
- 70% enjoyed “talking” their responses instead of having to write them
But when we match the reality of the completion data with the post-survey feedback, it is obvious that we do need to make some changes. Here are some of the most commonly repeated suggestions from participants:
- We should start with an “in person” get together to help everyone feel more comfortable with each other
- YES to some sort of regular email or Remind reminder just before responses are due
- We should remind members who do not like to see themselves on video that they can just put a picture of their cat, dog, pile of marking etc. in front of the camera, thus just providing us with audio
- We should post our chapter discussion prompts further in advance
Since these are all do-able suggestions, perhaps we will try again!