An Effective Action Plan Should be an Essential Part of Pupils’ Project Work
The Goal I Set For Myself:
The goal I set for myself for Professional Growth Plan is to learn how to create and implement an effective action plan so that I can teach this life-skill to students to be more productive not only in academics but in life.
The Reason behind the Goal:
During the last three years, I have observed that when students are given a task, most of them get it done. However, apart from a few exceptions, most of the work – though it reflects a lot of potential yet mirrors poor quality because of lack of effort in planning and processing the work, as most of the students suffer from a chronic habit of procrastination.
Another amusing yet annoying reason which influenced me to choose this goal is that last year when I sought feedback from students on the project work I gave them, most of them accepted that they could not submit their work on time because they procrastinated due to the long time frame I gave them! Even though I tried to convince them that they need to manage their time efficiently, things did not improve. So, it occurred to me that may be they don’t know how to make an effective action plan.
My Action Plan:
Most of the assignments I give my students are project based. I assess not only the quality of the product but the process. So, this year one of the specific areas of assessment of the process in the rubrics was action plan. Students have been assigned three long term projects and three mini projects in which I stressed on creating and implementing an effective action plan.
As I have mentioned earlier I am on trial and error mode; so are my students. After checking their project files, I have observed that their action plan is not clear about work distribution and setting timeline. Since I did not give them any template for action plan, it was very time consuming for me to assess their action plan. Therefore, I have made a template based on a YouTube video lesson with detailed reference to the last project work I gave them.
The Result of Implementing the Action Plan:
In the four long term projects, students of Classes IX and X were required to make an effective action plan, which carried 32% of numerical weight-age in the marking scheme designed for the three projects. For example, in the first project work, Action Plan: Preview Review, the marks allotted for the specific area were 24 out of 64, in the second project work, Poetry Presentation, and the third project work, Skit-Choice-Class IX, it was same as the former, and in the fourth project work, Documentary Film: Give a Joy, the weight-age given for individual project file was 24 out of 96 and for group project file it was 116 out 360.
I have analyzed the data of three areas of action plan, viz. goal setting, list of actionable items and submission, to draw conclusion on the effect of action plan on their project work. Graph is the graphical representation of their performance in the three long term projects assigned to both Classes IX and X.
As evident from the graph, there is a remarkable improvement in Setting Goal from 71.87% in the first project to 86.15% in the second, to 88.75% in the third project. Similarly, in List of Actionable Items, in the first project, it was 69.6% which increased to 83.12% in the second and further moved up to 91.25% in the third project. With regard to ‘Submission’, there was a landslide decline in the second, which was 41.87% from the first, 91.87% and then a huge climb of 92.5% in the third project. Most groups were late in the submission of the second project because it was assigned during the summer break and they were supposed to turn in their work on the first day during the English period after the break.
My Action Plan for Further Improvement:
When students are given a long term project, I assess their work in progress at regular intervals rather than after they have submitted their project work. While assessing the first project, I noticed that some groups had made their action plan according to the rubric given to them not before they started working on their project, but after completing their project or while working on it just to get good marks. In the second project, I did not find it as they were alerted of this malpractice in my feedback to their project work.
Since I had not given them a standardized format of making an action plan, I faced lots of difficulty in assessing their second project. In the third I gave them a rough outline of action plan, which worked quite well. This still needs a lot of refinement, which I am going to do next year.
I am satisfied with the results, but I am skeptical whether the students’ behaviour has been modified to the desired effect. Has making action plan become a part of their habit? Have they acquired the skill? Has it contributed to improving the quality of their project work? I am not sure about the answers to the first two questions. However, to answer the third question, I am sure it did so which was evident in the documentary films they made just in two weeks.
For students’ behaviour to change, this practice should be an essential part of every assignment they do, especially project work. If it is done so, the lofty goal I stated at the beginning of this write up can be achieved.
Tenzing Rapgyal, was born and brought up in Darjeeling, West Bengal. After schooling from Central School for Tibetans, Darjeeling, he pursued further education in Chandigarh. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Education.
After completing B.Ed, he worked for a couple of years in Sherab Gatsel Lobling, a transit school for adult refugees from Tibet, and then in the year 2005, he joined Tibetan Children’s Village School, Dharamsala Cantt. Distt.Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. In 2011, he was transferred to Tibetan Children’s Village School, an elite school for bright students from other Tibetan Children’s Village School, in Selaqui, Dehradun.
He has been a teacher of English language and literature since 2000 with a qualification of Tenth Graduate Teacher. Presently he is teaching English to the 9th and 10th grade students in Tibetan Children’s Village School, Dharamsala Cantt. Distt.Kangra, Himachal Pradesh.