Increasing student engagement at the end of a quarter

A local high school sought to increase student engagement while minimizing the workload on its teachers at the end of each track (academic quarter). 

Goal Identification

Adriana and her client began this project by identifying their main goal: to increase student engagement at the end of each track while minimizing the workload on the teachers.

Resource Development

Adriana developed a comprehensive 20-page student negotiation package that included effective negotiation techniques, links to instructional videos, worksheets, role play activity description and instructions, feedback forms, and review questions. This package was intended to be used in the future by teachers to provide instruction and implement the activity over a five-day period.

Focus Group Formation

Adriana formed a focus group of five students in order to assess the adaptability of the negotiation materials prior to implementing the workshop on a larger scale. After observing how the students in the video used the materials, Adriana modified the materials so that key information would be more accessible to the students in future workshops.

Workshop Implementation

At the school, Adriana worked with a pilot group of students engaged in a car purchase negotiation role-play activity.  There were two parties, a dealer and purchaser, and each party was represented by a group of students that possessed confidential information.  Each party needed to develop goals, find alternative agreements, and reach a final agreement in the time allotted while employing the techniques learned in the workshop. After 15 minutes of negotiation, both parties reached an agreement that created value for both parties.

Feedback Capture

Adriana developed a strategy for measuring success that included student audiences, feedback forms, and surveys.  The negotiation workshop had two audience classes observing the students while they negotiated.  The audience students provided feedback while they made their observations.  The feedback forms were collected and the responses analyzed.  In addition, the students who negotiated filled out an online survey, as did their parents.

Adriana designed the surveys to measure the level of student engagement as they prepared negotiation strategies and while they negotiated. After the negotiation, the students reflected on their overall experience with the workshop and provided valuable feedback.

Parents played a critical part, as they provided survey feedback regarding the students’ level of preparation, understanding, and perceived workshop usefulness.  The survey also asked whether the parents would be more inclined to take their students to school at the very end of the track if activities such as the negotiation workshop were held at the end of each track. The overwhelming majority of responses affirmed the parents’ willingness to ensure attendance at the end of each track.

Results Analysis

After analyzing the feedback, Adriana presented the results to the client.  Students and parents appreciated the negotiation workshop, and parents responded that they would be more willing to send their students to school at the end of each track if they participated in similar workshops. The students reported increased levels of engagement and appreciation, and the teachers had added support while they finalized their grades.

As a result of this program, the client implemented policy changes for teachers of middle and high school students for the next academic year. These changes will help ensure increased levels of engagement throughout each track and strengthen the relationship between teachers, students, and parents.

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