Debriefing session 2






Brendan:  So these two people were away last week when we had our final debriefing session so I’ve called them back.  Thank you.

During this we’re not going to use, umm, our real names just like we haven’t throughout the project.  This first thing I want to do is play the animation about "How does hair grow?" to you because you haven’t seen it.

("How does hair grow?" animation)

Any comments on that before I give you some of my comments on it?

Neil:  I have one question. 

Brendan:  Yep.

Neil:  Umm, what’s…why do the people have different colours of types of like colours, different coloured like?

Harriet:  Genes.

Brendan:  Yeah.  By saying "genes", that’s the correct answer but it’s also...doesn’t really explain, umm, what’s in a gene and how that works because that would be too big a topic wouldn’t it?  So we can’t go into every detail of every thing.  But the short answer, is umm, is genes.

Do you think you understand your topic and if you were to use a scale of one to ten what would you, what would you give yourself?

Neil:  Umm, I’d give myself maybe an eight or seven and a half to eight yeah.

Brendan:  Uh huh.  What about you?

Harriet?:  Ah…seven or eight ah…eight I guess.

Brendan:  We’ve just had a visitor to get her shirt signed because it’s the last day of school, but, complete coincidence and fortunate for me is that the director’s commentary you’ve done is the first one that I’ve actually finished.  And that’s what I’m up to now for you guys, is to actually find out what a director’s commentary looks like and then record your own.  Remember it’s not like "Today we did this".  It goes with the imagery.  So we’re going to watch yours now.

Ingrid:  Okay.

Brendan:  You’ll be the first person to actually see it.

("Stringed instruments" director’s commentary)

Brendan:  In your director’s commentary, what I thought was really interesting is that, that you thought you understood the formula and then when I questioned you about the square root and you didn’t know what that was. So, it was good because what it really meant is, you understand how the formula functions without necessarily having to worry about what the formula is mathematically. Like the square root, you probably still don’t know what that really means but you do know about length effecting pitch and tension and mass.  Alright, thank you.

How did you feel about me working on your work?  Do you think it took away from it being yours as much or were you just happy that you had help?

Neil:  Well, I think I really appreciate that Brendan could help me and I just, it just felt like it took away a bit of the pressure and I don’t feel that…as if project was being taken away by me.  I still think, Brendan helped out a lot but I still did a lot, umm, with it.  And he just helped me and just guided me as well and yeah and I really appreciate that.

Brendan:  Okay, that’s good.  I was saying to the group last week too, you, you can say things, don’t think you just have to say things I want to hear but thank you for saying that. 

Did you have any…how did you feel?  Well with yours it really was your work most of the time except for that little bit at the end where I did the colour as well because I used the same lines.

Harriet:  Umm, ah, I think I was sort of happy with that.  That was fine.

Brendan:  How do you think you learnt compared to if you did something that wasn’t on a computer. Like if you were making posters or writing a normal sort of assignment?  Do you think you would have learnt as much or do you think it was…do you think this was a, a better or worse way to go about it?

Neil:  I think like a visual presentation like on a computer, you can just explain it more and it’s more entertaining and more like…you, you have a lot more ways to go about it where…whether…if you do it on like a poster or a piece of paper, I think your choices would be much, much more limited in how you’d want to do it or set it out.

Brendan:  Do you have any comment on that?

Harriet:  Umm…

Brendan:  So you liked using the computer?

Harriet:  Yeah, I liked using the computer.  I think it was fun doing all this.

Brendan:  And what if I told you (that) you could use photos like hair and satellites rather than have to make it all yourself?  Like…

Neil:  I…

Harriet:  Well…

Neil:  Go on.

Harriet:  I think I would have rather do it myself.

Brendan:  Yeah.  I thought so too.  This way it’s your own work you don’t have to worry about (copyright) yeah.

Neil:  And I also thought not having photos, well having photos would just look out of place with the whole animation and just…

Brendan:  Yeah. 


Researcher reflection: Having this additional debriefing session with only two participants probably gave them more of an opportunity to voice their opinions than if they had been present during the original session held the week before.

Ingrid was clearly not too focused on watching her director's commentary as evidenced by her signing of school uniforms while the video was playing. This didn't bother me as it was the last day of her primary school career and she knew what she had said and how it looked.

Neil mentioned that my assistance "took away a bit of the pressure" to get the animation finished. I don't think he was really too anxious about this but, rather, that the comment reflected his understanding that we were working towards a deadline.

These two students also preferred using computers than writing on paper. I already suspected this so the question was really just to get them talking in case any other insights came out.

The discussion about using photographs was similar to feedback I received last year during the 2010 trial. The 2010 Grade 6 boy who studied "Trumpets" said in his director's commentary that using photos would have been "cheating".


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