At approximately the midway point of the Student Learner Profile Pilot using Pathbrite, we wanted to ensure we were hearing what students had to say about their experiences. We endeavoured to include a range of student voices. In an informal conversation, we asked students the following questions:
• Do you like using Pathbrite, why or why not?
• Do you think using Pathbrite for your Student Learner Profile (SLP) has or could help you understand more about yourself as a learner?
• If your teacher next year said that they would be using Pathbrite to continue the work you have started on your SLP, how would feel?
After conversing with 11 Grade 7 students, several insights emerged from our discussions. One of the key ideas arising was that Pathbrite was user friendly. One student commented, “It’s easier than most other websites that we used. It’s more simple than others and straightforward. It doesn’t have a bunch of unnecessary items that you won’t need or ever use.”
Another student commented in the same vein, “The way I can use it fits my style – it’s nice and organized, I can organize my work. It’s a good way to reflect on my learning – more friendly – easy to work with, easy tool to communicate.”
Only one student felt that Pathbrite was “complicated” to use.
Other valuable feedback that we received was that some students felt they were able to understand themselves more fully as learners through the Pathbrite process. “I think I have improved. . . I feel happy about that so I wanted to record that in my Pathbrite Profile. It helped me improve and kind of tells me what I’m good at and what I can improve on.” Other students felt they needed opportunities to consistently use Pathbrite to reflect on their process as a learner. “If we got to use it more frequently, it may become more useful.” This was important information for us to consider as it gave a better understanding of how often students felt they needed to use Pathbrite for it to best support them as learners.
The following quotation reflected the overwhelming sentiment of student responses with regards to using Pathbrite as a common platform next year. “I would feel a bit relieved because I wouldn’t have to redo everything, I would just carry on. I just wanted find something and stick with it, instead of having millions of ways of doing it.”
Another student added, “It gets a little bit annoying to do the same thing every year, because some of the information is the same.” It was evident from our conversations that carrying their profile on into the next year is important to students. Yet another student commented on the focus shifting to growth rather than replicating the information from past years. This student mentions, “I think it’s a good idea (to continue on next year) because we are not recreating it. That way we can see how we’ve grown, you can build off what you’ve done before.”
Thus far in our research, we are finding Pathbrite has been able to support our students to meaningfully engage with the Student Learner Profile process. We have found Pathbrite to be user friendly, has a balance of options, with visual appeal and functionality, and engages our students. In the coming weeks we will send a closing survey to our Grade 7 parents, students, and teachers to gain additional insight into our pilot study concerning the value of Pathbrite for our school community.