Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsJAMES: In terms of planning for where we talked about the careers, I thought it was a nice place to start at the start, just start getting them thinking about careers in which direction that lesson was going to go in. And then as we moved through the lesson, it was more about-- the simple experiment, moving the magnets. And where they could feel that actual force, it then sparked their own imaginations in terms of where they could be used. So that was a really good link for them to then decide what careers this could be use for and where they could apply something as simple as magnets outside of the classroom.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 secondsI think it could be seen in today's classroom that the impact is quite significant. There was not really too much writing done today, but all the students left knowing what an electromagnet is. Knowing how it's applied and also some jobs it applies to. And I really think it meant a lot of the students started to question why, which is what I want them to know is, I want that why question all of the time. And even some of the students that don't necessarily always engage, even left the classroom feeling like they knew a bit more than when they entered.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 secondNEIL WILLIS: As you choose your small change that you will implement, it is important to consider how you evaluate the impact of these changes. This will help you to decide if you wish to collect any information or evidence as part of the lesson. We can divide the evaluation into three categories, engagement, behaviour, and learning. Did your students enjoy the lesson? Were they more engaged than usual? You know your students, and you will know the answer to this, but whether the answer is yes or no, it is the why that can help you shape future planning. You may have strategies that you currently use in your teaching to gauge engagement, such as student perception surveys.

Skip to 1 minute and 39 secondsThree emojis on the wall on the way out or a simple tick from each student can give some rapid and easy feedback. You may wish to conduct a short student voice activity at an appropriate time after the lesson, or use an exit ticket with one or two targeted questions posed. Engagement will often correlate to behaviour, so you will consider if the students were better behaved than usual. Did they exhibit better behaviour for learning, work independently, or participate in discussion more than normal? Depending on your school or college policy, you may have quantitative data that can be used to evidence the impact. Evaluation of learning may be through formative assessment over a short or longer period.

Skip to 2 minutes and 19 secondsFor example if a learning outcome was to solve problems in a context, this might be evaluated at the end of a learning episode or activity. If it was to gain a wider understanding of how a subject relates to the world of work, this may be a longer term evaluation. A quick review of knowledge before and after a learning activity can quickly capture impact. For example, you could ask before, can you think of examples of people who apply percentages regularly in their work? And afterwards, what did you learn about the application of this topic to the world of work? Ultimately, we can also use summative assessment over time to evaluate the impact of learning.

Evaluating the impact

It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of these small changes so that you can focus your efforts on where it makes a difference.

Whilst watching this video, note how the teachers introduce careers linked learning in their curriculum and measure the impact that it has.

When you embed careers into your lessons, how you will know the impact your changes have made?

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Do your students enjoy the lesson? Could you consider using a student voice survey to evidence this?
  • How do the students engage, does it generate questions or discussion?
  • Where there are contextualised questions, do these help to bridge the link to the world of work?
  • Can you see a change in the quality of student work (homework or in class) when students are encouraged to draw on their personal or local expertise?
  • Can you see an impact in the quantity of student work (homework or in class) when students are encouraged to draw on their personal or local expertise?
  • Test students’ knowledge or perceptions of STEM careers before and after the learning activity - have their perceptions changed?
  • Are students better behaved than usual?
  • Is there scope for progression and how can this be planned for?

Reflect

If you have used careers contexts within curriculum teaching, what did you notice about the way your students behaved and understood the lesson? Take one or two of the ideas above and reflect on how the classroom activity went. What was effective?

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Linking Curriculum Learning to STEM Careers

National STEM Learning Centre