by Mark Lee, Head of Science at Highfields School in Wolverhampton
Over the past few years, we have tried a number of different online learning platforms to support our learners’ revision and manage teachers’ workload. None have ticked enough of the boxes at Highfields to warrant us continuing to fund the resource until now.
In January 2018, we started using Doddle. We launched this as part of my own National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership project into the impact of digital technology on the quality of teaching and learning in Science, and the results have proven very positive. Not only is there a small but significant trend between student usage and improved progress in assessments, but we have also seen an increase in learner confidence, engagement and thirst for knowledge.
One of the unexpected side-effects of Doddle was the improvement in staff well-being. The majority of staff using Doddle on a regular basis have agreed that it has reduced their workload, mainly through the use of self-marking quizzes as a tool for formative assessment. Staff are also finding it much easier to support learners that have been absent for a time.
They can set individuals targeted work that will enable them to access the lesson content they have missed and set detailed, relevant cover work when unable to teach their lesson.
Following the introduction of Doddle at Highfields, we carried out a student voices survey. The results of that survey were overwhelmingly positive. 88% of respondents said that they thought their use of Doddle helped them do better in their end of KS3 Science examination with 71% of learners feeling more confident in the run up to their assessment as a result of using Doddle.
At the time, the focus in Highfields was supporting upper ability learners who appeared to be underachieving quite considerably throughout Year 8. Following the implementation of Doddle at Highfields, these learners made improvements, with Doddle contributing to as much as one GCSE grade progress or more. The overall trend confirms that increased use of Doddle has a positive impact on progress.
Moving forward, we are beginning to use Doddle for retrieval practice. Quizzes that cover previously learnt material are being set by teachers in advance of new topics to test their understanding, revisit previously taught topics and make key links to different areas of the course they need to access.
Doddle has supported our learners in becoming much more independent in their learning. Once they grasp how simple Doddle is to use, they can go on to use it at any time to help improve their knowledge and understanding. This has only been enhanced and simplified further by the introduction of the Doddle App that many of our learners use to access their Homework tasks and additional revision in their own time.