The Data Speaks and We Listen: Lessons from our CLICK teachers
Creative teachers are fundamental to CLICK and virtual exchange. They make the magic happen with their students and our training helps them succeed “first time.” Our shared success with each set of collaborating teachers is aided substantially by learning from their experience through assessments and de-briefings. With 36 teachers and nearly 400 students connected in their CLICK projects over four years, here is a glimpse into what our data has said.
We have systematic feedback on key goals with our teachers. Through virtual exchange, teachers gained increased confidence and skills to support students in achieving 21st-century skills, learned to co-teach and work effectively with an international partner, and achieved new ways of incorporating a global dimension to their pedagogy. Finally, they became more inclined to help grow international and virtual exchange programs on their campuses. How well teachers reached these goals was crucial to adapting our training and providing the best learning resources to ensure the most robust results for students, teachers and their campuses.
For four years, we’ve tracked faculty feedback on CLICK through end of semester surveys. What did our faculty think of CLICK? And what did teachers get out of their CLICK experience? To answer those questions, let’s see what the data have shown us. We’ll also pepper in a few open-ended responses to provide more nuance in their own words.
Across all four years of data, faculty by and large agreed that CLICK introduced them to new knowledge and skills related to globalization and teaching in a global classroom. We have adapted the training and mentoring over the years and see the results in the projects and in the feedback. In the first chart, notice how teachers in Year 4 more emphatically agreed about the transferable skills they learned through CLICK. As we gathered the data and listened to the feedback from the teachers, we were able to provide better training experiences for both teachers and, ultimately for their students, too.
And in the second chart, CLICK teachers saw the value of the transferable skills and knowledge they gained in the VE classroom to other professional and teaching settings. Some valued it as an opportunity for professional advancement. For some, CLICK gave teachers an opportunity to co-teach for the first time. As one teacher put it, “I didn’t have any experience co-teaching a course before and this project fills that gap. Great experience!”
And teachers directly experience how CLICK shapes student success. “It was a wonderful experience and gave me a new outlook to my relationship with the students,” one teacher wrote. Another teacher in France shared how she witnessed her students build confidence throughout the semester, as the CLICK projects “help[ed] them see there is no reason to be scared” of collaborating with English-speaking students. Turning back to the data, our teachers almost entirely agreed and strongly agreed that the CLICK course benefits students beyond the course material, preparing them for enriched experiences in other classes and beyond the classroom as they experiment with team and technology global workforce skills outside of the classroom:
Interestingly, our year 4 responses were especially strong. As life shifted online during the pandemic, Gazelle International’s CLICK program had a head start, so to speak, with years of online experience under our belts already. And of course, the pandemic prevented any study abroad to take place in the first place. CLICK provided a sustainable approach to cross-cultural exchange and learning by creating a global classroom environment without the travel. Despite the difficulties with the forced mass shift to online learning, teachers this past term reported their students’ enthusiasm never waned.
And this applied to teachers, too, as CLICK enabled them to make connections with institutional partners they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to meet: “I really enjoyed this experience, especially in a COVID environment. I really enjoyed meeting global partners.” Nearly all of our teachers in Year 4 shared that sentiment as seen in the chart below:
Each semester after teachers complete surveys on their experience with CLICK, we adapt our training system to better meet the needs of faculty and students. After three years of faculty training and results, it’s no surprise that Year 4 has the most positive feedback. We have carefully modified our teacher support and workshops to respond to the teachers’ wisdom and lessons revealed in the survey results and comments, and we are dedicated to continually improving.
At the end of Year 3, we also created a CLICK Network to support teachers in their projects, professional development, and professional connections. As this peer support system grows, we look forward to increasingly dynamic mutual learning to supplement survey insights and more nuanced ways to deepen our support for teachers.
Are you interested in learning more about teaching CLICK? Check out our video, Why We CLICK and You Should Too. Contact us for more information, and join us for our next series of workshops!
By Joseph Wei
May 3, 2021