Doddle and DIRT

Anya Gray is Assistant Headteacher of Teaching and Learning at The Westgate School.

In this blog, she tells us how she uses Doddle to implement DIRT (Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time) in her lessons and to improve her school’s homework policy.

The journey of an “Outstanding” school never ends, and one of our key targets is to look at how we can make homework better, and how we can become Smart Markers.

Smart Marking involves students taking responsibility for their own marking and reflecting on their work to help develop their knowledge and understanding of the topic. 

WWW-blanked-outWe introduced What Went Well (WWW) and Even Better If (EBI) marking at the start of the academic year in September 2013. Rather than focussing on giving a mark to students, we wanted to encourage teachers to concentrate on the WWW and EBI comments. We require EBI to be skills-based, enabling our students to develop their understanding of the skills needed within the subject. 

After reading through the EBI, students complete DIRT in order to evaluate and reflect on their learning, homework or project, and then look at ways that they can progress next time.

As a school we started to look at how we could make homework even better. Doddle was a great way for us to do this and we introduced it at the start of September 2014. Staff and students now use Doddle to enhance the learning that has taken place in the classroom and develop their understanding of the topic. 

The question remained: “How can we use DIRT and Doddle in every lesson so that it has the biggest impact on learning in each and every class?”

This is one way I have used it in a GCSE PE lesson:

Doddle automatically records a breakdown of students’ marks in the markbook, which made it easy to identify questions that students had struggled with. I picked out five questions that each student had dropped marks on, and took them along to the lesson.DIRT table

First, each student identified what it was that they had got wrong, building on the explanations provided on the recap slides in the Doddle quizzes. They wrote down the correct answer, and then moved around the table to look at other students’ answers and add further points to them.

Mark schemes were handed out so students could see exactly what the exam board would look for in their answer. Using this knowledge, they went back to the question they understood the least and used a giant post-it to DIRT and write the correct answer, so that they would be able to achieve full marks.

One of the great things about Doddle is that it allows students to see instantly what they have got wrong, and revise topics using the formative recap slides. This is a great way of developing independent study and reflection skills, which can be used in DIRT activities such as this one. A fantastic lesson where all students now know how to achieve the full marks needed!

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