Heather Hoff's Portfolio Page
Hello! I'm Heather Hoff, instructional designer. My educational and professional path has taken me on a journey through architecture and business to education, where I am now. My goal is to design transformative educational learning/user experiences through researched-based processes, interaction and storytelling.
My Topic and Purpose
ORIGINAL: Engaging Parents Using Androgogical Principles
- Parent/Teacher communication is essential in the K-5 classroom. While elementary teachers are experts in communication with children, parent communication may not always go as smoothly. Understanding and applying principles of andragogy (adult learning theory) to parent teacher communications, such as back to school night or discussions about IEPs, may make for better outcomes and greater parent engagement.
REVISED (based on needs assessment and learner analysis): Quick and Effective Parent/Teacher Communication
- Parent/Teacher communication is essential, but both teachers and parents are pressed for time and availability. Communication needs to be quick and effective. While teachers are highly-trained experts in communication with children, they often have little training in adult communication leaving room for misalignment of goals and misunderstandings.
Understanding and applying principles of andragogy (adult learning theory) to parent teacher communications, such as class updates or discussions about IEPs, will make for more efficient and successful communication.
Scope of Learning Outcomes and Content
- After completion of the mini-course, teachers will be able to:
- • identify major obstacles in parent/teacher communication
- • explain the principles of androgogy
- • describe how androgogy effects parent/teacher communication
- • determine if existing parent communications are androgogically sound
- • modify existing parent communication documents to align with androgogical principles
- • create parent communications and interactions that follow androgogical principles
REVISED (based on needs assessment, learner analysis, constructivist approach, and instructor feedback):
- • After reviewing resources on the importance of parent/teacher relationships and purpose of communication, teachers will devote time and energy toward improving communication.
- • Given the results of parent and teacher surveys regarding communication, teachers will analyze the data to discover the major obstacles to communication.
- • Teachers will explore resources on androgogical principles to develop a job aid to assist with parent/teacher communication that addresses the major obstacles they identified.
- • Using the job aid they created, teachers will determine if existing communications are androgogically sound and modify or create effective and efficient communications to parents for their practice.
- Parent/teacher communication is important to successful learning outcomes, especially in the elementary grades, but often parents and teachers feel disconnected.
- Two surveys were conducted. One to gather information from practicing teachers and the other from parents with PreK-12 students. Additionally, relevant scholarly articles were reviewed.
- • Parent/Teacher communication is often not ideal for either party.
- • There is often a disparity between what parents and teachers believe to be ideal parent/teacher communication. For instance: The parents surveyed wanted communication providing specific feedback about their child and mentioned annoyance with redundant and non-applicable communication. Parents also felt communication relationships should be positive and be established before issues began. The teachers surveyed saw regular group feedback as ideal with individual feedback only necessary when issues arose. I believe this disconnect to be an instructional issue that is affecting the quality of parent/teacher communication and relationships.
- • All parties surveyed mentioned time and availability as an obstacle to effective parent/teacher communication. Strategies for making communication efficient and asynchronous would be useful.
- • There is some disparity between what parents and teachers believe to be the obstacles hindering effective communication. For instance: The parents sited a reluctance to “bother” the teacher as an obstacle, while teachers mentioned disinterested parents.
- • Teachers often have little or no professional development on effective methods of parent/teacher communication. They would benefit from instruction.
- The KNILT platform will be utilized to provide teachers with an opportunity to take a mini-course on effective parent/teacher communication.
- Teachers will choose to strengthen parent/teacher relationships by utilizing efficient and effective parent communication strategies.
Analysis of the Learner and Context
The learners are entry level or practicing K-12 teachers. They have had little or no previous training on parent/teacher communication and have varying levels of practical experience. They are motivated to study the topic of parent/teacher communication and are seeking to improve this skill. They are highly educated and familiar with multiple modes of course delivery.
Demographic and Group Data
- • Roughly 50% of practicing teachers in NYS are between 33-48 years old
- • Roughly 78% of practicing teachers in NYS are female
- • Roughly 80% of practicing teachers in NYS are white
- It is assumed that learners will exhibit predictable variability
- In NYS, practicing teachers must hold a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree is required for professional certification
- • 60% of the survey respondents had some training on parent/teacher communication
- • 40% of the survey respondents had no training on parent/teacher communication
- • No respondents had ample training on parent/teacher communication
Motivations and Other Affective Characteristics
- All survey respondents felt there was a need for improvement in parent teacher communication, with 30% reporting that the need was high.
- The teacher survey respondents emphasized the obstacles to parent/teacher communication being primarily time constraints, language or technical barriers, and parent disinterest. They may not feel like parent/teacher communication issues can be addressed with instruction; however, as discussed in the needs assessment section, teachers can benefit from instruction in this area.
Surveys conducted for project.
- Review resources on the importance of parent/teacher relationships and purpose of communication to defend the devotion of time and energy toward improving communication.
- Analyze data from parent and teacher surveys regarding communication to discover the major obstacles to communication.
- Develop a job aid, using resources on andragogical principles, that addresses the major obstacles identified to assist with parent/teacher communication.
- Using the job aid, determine if existing communications are androgogically sound and modify or create effective and efficient communications to parents for your practice.
Prerequisite Skills, Knowledge, and Attitude
- Willing to work with parents
- Use of Venn diagrams
- Understanding of pedagogy
- Word processing skills
- Utilize job aid to facilitate modification and creation of effective and efficient parent/teacher communication
- Analyze parent feedback to determine communication obstacles
- Understand how andragogy applies to parent/teacher communication
- Value parent/teacher relationships
- Value parent/teacher communication
References and Resources
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Education Endowment Foundation. (n.d.). Parental engagement. https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/education-evidence/teaching-learning-toolkit/parental-engagement
Fan, X. & Chen, M. (2001). Parental involvement and students’ academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 13(1), 1-22. http://pages.erau.edu/~andrewsa/Project_2/Christian_John/DuneProject/Child%20Success.pdf
Fox, P. (2020, July 22). Knowles’ 6 assumptions of adult learners [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SArAggTULLU&t=4s&ab_channel=PatrickFox
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Hogue, R. J. (2019, February 6). Principles of andragogy [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgNeWsbKDUY&ab_channel=RebeccaJ.Hogue
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Kaufman, T. (n.d.) Family engagement and student success: What the research says. https://www.understood.org/articles/en/family-engagement-and-student-success
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