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Published October 18, 2010 | Multidisciplinary

Teacher Perception of the CCDMD

"If the CCDMD did not exist, it would have to be invented!"

Over the years, CCDMD has implemented various strategies to get its products better known within the college network. Last spring, to gage its popularity with its target audience, the CCDMD held meetings with the coordinators of all departments in four colleges as a pilot project. The goal of these sessions was to first check the current perception of the CCDMD on the part of network teachers and to then present some CCDMD products to determine their potential usefulness.

The CCDMD conducted private interviews with 69 department coordinators representing a total of 65 % of the coordinators of the 4 colleges targeted as well as with 45 teachers, 7 pedagogical counselors and 3 IT representatives. The following questions, among others, were asked :

  • Do you know the CCDMD?
  • Which of its products do you know?
  • Do you use them in your courses?
  • What do you like about these tools?
  • What could be improved?

These meetings have provided some surprising but also very informative results. Although very interesting, we recognize that the data collected can not be generalized to the entire college system, partly because the sample (four schools) is small and partly because there were significant differences in the use of IT observed even from one college to another.

An Overview of the Results

In total, 87 % of coordinators and 78 % of the teachers surveyed say they know the CCDMD and have a favorable opinion of it.

Knowledge of the CCDMD graphic

Yet, 48 % of coordinators and 43 % of teachers did not know any CCDMD products, which represents one person in two.

There are still 30 % of coordinators, however, who use at least one CCDMD tool in their courses or who know that their colleagues in the department do.

These results seem at first sight, rather encouraging. We note, however, that in some disciplines, no CCDMD products are in use although several are available, such as in literature and in history.

CCDMD Product Perception

How are CCDMD products perceived? Here is a synthesis of the comments we received. In general, in the four colleges, the most appreciated tools are :

  • Free and easily accessible.
  • Professional, relevant, pedagogically rich and at an appropriate level of difficulty.

Other appreciated characteristics were :

  • Varied and interactive content.
  • Pertinent transdisciplinary tools such as Crisscross Words, The World in Images, NetSondage and Netquiz.
  • An option to create a printed version.
  • Cheap, good quality textbooks.

Negative feedback revolved around the following problems :

  • Lack of simplicity and the difficulty in using certain tools.
  • Lack of time to understand the operation of the tools.
  • Difficulty installing or using certain software or CDs.

Impediments to the Use of CCDMD Products

Apart from the specific advantages and disadvantages of each CCDMD product, people mentioned other things that might hamper their use such as the general complexity associated with ICT use, websites and CCDMD tools and finally the complexity of the CCDMD call for projects and production processes.

No CCDMD product

No CCDMD product graphic

ICT Use

While 90 % of department coordinators say they are comfortable with using the Web and say that at least 50 % of teachers in their department are also at ease, interviewees mentioned that :

  • The number of computers per teacher is generally insufficient.
  • It is still complicated in some cases to book a computer room.
  • It is difficult to use some automated tools (from CCDMD).
  • Several tools are not downloadable.

Website and CCDMD Tools

Users cite the following irritants :

  • The difficulty of easily finding resources on the CCDMD site.
  • The inefficiency of the CCDMD's keyword search engine.
  • The difficulty of installing some software on CDs or computers.

Teachers mention that they "get lost" in the abundance of tools available on the site.

Call for Projects and Production Processes

Some departments which have been denied a proposal "sulk" and then show little interest in using CCDMD products. Many also criticize the lack of clarity in the call for projects, the lack of support preceding the filing deadline for a project, and finally, the fact that the production process proved to be long and difficult.

Conclusion

These are the main findings and points for reflection that we learned from our study. The majority of these results are encouraging, but we must also take into account some comments and adjust to better meet customer needs.

We must also remember that all IT stakeholders in the college system have an important role to play in the use of CCDMD tools. Indeed, although the Centre can facilitate greater access to its site, it can not unlock the computers of some colleges or remove the filtering of certain file types. Furthermore, and importantly, it can improve the promotion of its products, but it can not, without the support of the IT Representative network, reach all teachers.

The use of CCDMD products has greatly increased, but there is still room for growth!

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