Students on Speed

‘M’ (no, not that one) did a fantastic CPD slot this week on development of writing and tools to help students craft analytical paragraphs.

Here’s a summary of the tool. It’s called SPEED.

  • Signpost: be specific about the thing you are talking about (what I used to call ‘scoping the problem’)
  • Point: make the point that you want to make
  • Evidence: present the evidence that supports the point you just made
  • Explanation: explain how the evidence supports your point
  • Discussion: discuss the point you made, for example including contrary views or evaluating benefits.

Many of the examples were from English or subjects (e.g. History) that place a large emphasis on the ability to present written arguments. But this works for computing and ICT too. Here’s a basic example:

Signpost

Looking at the feedback form webpage on version 2 of my website

Point

most users found it easy to use and quick to enter the information requested.

Evidence

For example, 8 out of the 11 responses to my survey were positive or very positive when asked about the usability of that page.

Explanation

This high score suggests that most users would be able to use the feedback form successfully.

Discussion

However, because all of my survey responses were from students, it may be that other types users, for example older users, would have difficulty using the site.

As a paragraph you get:

Looking at the feedback form webpage on version 2 of my website most users found it easy to use and quick to enter the information requested. For example, 8 out of the 11 responses to my survey were positive or very positive when asked about the usability of that page. This high score suggests that most users would be able to use the feedback form successfully. However, because all of my survey responses were from students, it may be that other types users, for example older users, would have difficulty using the site.

Neat.