By: Jorge Estrella
The NYS/NYC Professional Development Resource Center (PDRC) at Fordham University, during the 36th Religious and Independent Schools Educators (RISE) conference, offered nine webinars for educators and school leaders.
In preparation for their sessions, and working collaboratively with the Fordham PDRC team, these educators leveraged the use of online platforms both to engage the audience in interactive activities and to model how to use the technology tools. As a result, by the end of the sessions, participants were familiar with these online tools and prepared to use them to enhance their lessons and instructional practices. Each session had two moderators who attended the chat and provided the presenters with all the needed support to maximize participants’ learning experience and interaction.
Attendance The analysis of the data collected revealed that there was a high level of interest in the sessions offered by the Fordham PDRC: a total of 653 participants engaged in the sessions. The number of participants per session ranged from 18 to 170, with an average of 73 participants. Another aspect of interest is that 73% of the educators who registered attended those sessions. It is relevant to note that the most exciting contents are on Social Emotional Learning and Special Education, as indicated in the Registration/Attendance Chart.
Throughout the sessions, attendees demonstrated high-levels of participation and engagement by posting questions in the chat, sharing their experiences using different online tools, and sharing strategies to engage students in writing, solving math problems, or pedagogical techniques supporting students facing learning challenges. School leaders also had opportunities to engage in conversations, sharing their experiences and solutions around instruction, supervision, and school organization.
Session Satisfaction: All attendees were invited to offer feedback through an online survey administered at the end of each session. This survey included questions about satisfaction with the preparedness and knowledge of the content being delivered, questions about session content and strategies, future impact on practice, interest in continuing professional development on the topic, and open-ended responses for comments about the session.
The Rating Chart illustrates the results of the survey based on 328 responses received which represented 50.2 % of the total number of attendees in the nine sessions offered by the Fordham PDRC. The data shows a significant level of satisfaction among attendees. For example, the average composite rate for Presenter Rating is 3.53 out of 4 possible points—a similar trend for Session Content/Strategies and Future Impact on Practice.
Another approach to measuring the sessions' level of satisfaction is to calculate the percentage of satisfaction responses. The data revealed that 95.5 % of attendees rated the presenter as Excellent and good, 93.3 % of the attendees indicated that they agree and somewhat agree that they would implement in the future what they have learned, and 90.6 % indicated that the content and strategies learned were excellent or good.
Also, the written responses aligned with the data results. For example, these are some quotes from attendees:
Examining the data results of this subset of sessions together with the comments of participants, we can conclude that the attendees to the RISE Conference had a great learning experience in sessions offered by the Fordham PDRC. Also, as we have learned from our PDRC counterparts and RISE Conference organizers this level of satisfaction is representative of the overall level of satisfaction with all the sessions offered at the first virtual Conference of the N.Y.S. Coalition for Independent and Religious Schools.