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Emojis: Learner-Led Assessment, A New Pedagogical Tool?

This Article is based on funded research undertaken with learners during 2020-21 at Kendal College of Further Education,16 plus learners, and South Lakes Community Learning Centre, with adult learners. Funding was awarded by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), (the charity and expert body for professional development and standards in Further Education (FE) and Training in England) which itself is funded by the Department for Education (DFE). 


This Action Research intervention examined using online tools to enable learners to exchange ideas and data, with the aim to increase engagement and motivation for each learner. 



The teacher‘s focus is on the pedagogical use of the technology to facilitate the learning and engagement on an environmental issue.

The technology enabled intercultural dialogue and exchange that enabled more authentic learning of a real-world problem as pupils heard first hand of the impact of pollution on the Okavango delta (global level) and their own waterways (their canals and rivers in their city - local level).


Making Claims

Whatever the teacher discovered in this one cycle of Action Research could be applied to other intercultural projects that also wanted to exploit online collaboration across countries/schools and classes, to enhance the learning of a topic. 


Making Claims

The aim was to see if the technology enhanced pupil engagement in the topic and motivated them to complete the tasks in their online groups. Also, did it aid their learning of the curriculum content on the environment and enhance intercultural understanding of climate change in other countries. 

Data Analysis

The teacher chose to collect two types of data. The first set was observations of each lesson and watching the children use the teams platform, and see how they engaged with the different functions in their groups.

The second set of data was from the summative survey of pupils where she asked a set of questions that got each pupil to evaluate their use of the online platform. 

The teacher could check one set of data (her observation notes, from the series of lessons with the technology) against the data set of the pupils' use of the technology, from the pupil survey. 

Data Analysis

At the end of the six week project, Shima wrote an online pupil questionnaire, which collated the data and presented this in a graphical format. Shima could identify which aspects of the technology were engaging for the pupils and were effective in helping them to collaborate and finish the presentation and report. 

Shima reflected on the first cycle of Action Research and evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to teaching the topic via using an online platform. What were the benefits to using the technology and what were the affordances of the technology?


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