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Conference Feedback

Immediately after the conference, we received the following feedback from one of our Zoom presenters.

Hello, I wanted to share my feedback to the conference team from the perspective of a presenter.

• The conference book and website were really well organised.

• The presentation options were helpful

• Zoom works better for our particular needs.

• We’re happy with the turnout we got – some attendees were late which was fine as it was live so their particular questions could be answered individually.

• Overall, we’re really pleased on our end and want to thank KOTESOL for the planning, organisation, and time that the volunteers have put into the conference.

Joanne McCuaig
PhD. Candidate, University of Birmingham
English Language and Applied Linguistics
https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/joannemccuaig

Now that the conference period has concluded (May 3, 2020), I thought it would be useful to share some additional feedback from the Survey form we asked visitors to fill out. Stats and numbers are shared below as are certain selected responses that were “OKed” for sharing.

Numbers

Out of 42 responses:

  • Demographics:
    • 93% are teachers
    • 52% from universities
    • 36% at public schools (24% public elementary schools)
    • 45% have 10+ years of teaching experience
    • 86% with 3+ years of teaching experience
    • 52% are NOT KOTESOL members
    • 74% have a graduate degree or higher (43% in education)
    • 52% have a degree in education (including undergraduate)
  • Location:
    • 55% are based in Korea
    • 19% are based in the Philippines
    • Respondents also include Japan, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Malaysia, Texas, California, Saudi Arabia, Algeria
    • 38% heard about the conference from Facebook (24% from the KOTESOL.org website)
  • Reception:
    • Zoom sessions were the most popular conference offering at 45%
    • Overwhelmingly, people responded positively about learning “actionable skills” and a “positive impression of KOTESOL”
      • Actionable Skills: 88% Yes, 12% Maybe
      • Positive impression: 98% Yes, 2% Maybe

You may check the gallery below for more detailed graphs about the above statistics.

Ratings

Overall, the conference received very high positive reviews and comments with between 70-80% “5-star ratings” all around.

Slack chat, a new technology introduced for the sake of this conference, had slightly lower ratings, but that may have had to do with people not being familiar with the new technology or its purpose. But it still received 77% positive reviews (4-5 stars), with 59% “5-star ratings.”

Check out the following gallery for details:

Our highest ranked speakers (based on YouTube views and survey results) included the invited speakers and Zoom sessions:

PresenterYouTube ViewsSurvey Results
Opening Ceremony362
Plenary (Tomomi Kumai)25811
TNKR1623
SIGs135
Angie Lee52
Kevin Kester466
Blake Brunner46
Lisa Hunsberger (Zoom)7
Adrienne Seo (Zoom)4

Notably, Lisa Hunsberger had at least 60 attendees during her Zoom session, and was asked to also record her presentation for hosting on the KOTESOL YouTube channel later.

There was also lots of interest in Terri Beadle’s Zoom session, and she also agreed to record her presentation for the KOTESOL YouTube channel later.

Other Zoom presenters have also been asked to record their presentations for KOTESOL.

Feedback

The following comments were expressed by multiple survey respondents as well as through the Slack chat:

  • “It exceeded my expectations”
  • “It was great to interact with people in Korea from [insert global location here]”
  • “I was disappointed the Zoom sessions were not recorded”
  • “Zoom was difficult and didn’t work well for me”
  • “Slack / networking were difficult for me. I’ll be emailing the presenters separately”
  • “More diversity in presenters, please (women, internationals, academics, elementary teachers)”
  • “More technology-related presentations, please (distance learning, non-platform specific, online games)”

The following are a handful of selected comments and are posted below with permission (by answering “Yes” to Share your Responses on the Survey form – last question).

I always wanted to attend, but traveling from Ukraine is quite far. Having worked on many training courses in Korea (Daegu and Daejeon) helped me have some understanding of the educational context. I know that there are great ELT-ers in Korea, and wanted to ‘meet’ them virtually. Yes, expectations met!

Thank you for the opportunity to attend and meet your teachers and trainers. In the circumstances like now, the conference is a great example how the world can be more connected and collaborative. I wish more local chapters internationally could learn from you!

Respondent from Lviv, Ukraine

I wanted to see if you could pull it off ^^ But seriously, I wanted to see how it would work … Amazingly smooth!

Respondent from Kumamoto, Japan

I just happened to join — exceeded my expectations!

To be honest, I joined because I just happened to hear about it and it was free and I was home with time this weekend. (Being in the same time zone was convenient too.) I didn’t really think about professional development in Korea before, but the overall atmosphere was more relatable to my work in Japan than I thought. I would like to attend a future conference!

Respondent from Yamaguchi, Japan

You all are so amazing, this was pulled off very well.

Respondent from Busan, Korea

I was looking forward to seeing how the conference would run, being entirely online. It exceeded my expectations.

The conference committee, web admin, and everyone involved behind the scenes did an EXCELLENT job in bringing this all together, and making this happen online. I was thoroughly pleased and impressed. Everything ran so smoothly!

Respondent in Fukuoka, Japan

KOTESOL did an outstanding job, bringing educators not only from Korea, but from many other parts of the world and making it free for everyone. THANK YOU! It was an incredible experience!

Respondent from Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA

The space in an online environment needs to be super regimented and controlled and I think people were very respectful and took a lot of care in muting their mics but if there is another online conference it might do to have the mod say, if you would like to speak, do this. Or something similar. In one zoom chat there was some wasted time on how to begin speaking and I think basic rules for mods to implement at the beginning would be very helpful. 🙂

I really wanted to network, but it was difficult to do so. I will be emailing questions to a few of the presenters and hopefully get some answers.

Respondent from Ulsan, Korea

My first time to use the slack and attend the conference in online form Thank you for the opportunity.

Respondent from Batangas, Philippines

It was a good conference once I got the hang of how it was organized, but it was confusing to access in the beginning. I didn’t know if I was supposed to access the conference via Slack, Zoom or if it was going to be available on the website.

Instructions for how to attend would have been helpful. Sometimes we plan so thoroughly that we forget we haven’t shared that plan with others.

With the Zoom issues (copyright, YouTube etc…) it would have been nice to find individual rooms in Slack for each speaker/presentation other than the featured speakers or just the general chat. That way, attendees would have had the option for that slack chat to be open during the session and receive copies of various files (ppts + others) if the presenter was willing to make them available.

Zoom provides the recorded session’s video on a link that also could have been posted on the KOTESOL 2020 Conference page (perhaps an info section) to avoid problems with YouTube policies.

Many of the presentations seemed to be aimed at University or Adult levels, while I can adapt many of the methods, I’d have found it beneficial if there were options of some presenters with that younger demographic in mind. Especially as there is a definite attention span issue with children and teens that needs to be addressed in a classroom.

Perhaps for future purposes, dividing the presenters by level at each of the sessions, ie. YL, Uni, Adult (as Russell did in his session). That way attendees can choose either based on the level currently relevant to them, or interest.

Respondent from Gangneung, Korea

I prefer face-to-face conferences, although blended conferences could be appealing. Nevertheless, this was a well-organized event.

Good job to all the organizers!

Respondent from Korea

Yes, overall, but there was some contradictory/misleading information. Mainly, I thought (via the FAQ’s section) that the live Zoom sessions would also be recorded (so that those who missed out seeing the others while attending one could revisit them later).

It was a bit hard to initially find the Zoom links for the live sessions, so perhaps make it easier to find such links on the websites for any such future online conferences.

Respondent from Inje-gun, South Korea

It went above my expectations … It was a great conference that I was happy to still be able to participate in and experience. It has left me with a great feeling…. as always. Thanks everyone ^^

Respondent from Daegu, Korea

The technical chair and organising committee did a stellar job given the circumstances. Disappointed about the change of policy regarding recording Zoom sessions. If privacy was the concern, perhaps faces could be blurred in editing afterwards.

Respondent from Gangneung, South Korea

Thank you for pulling together an amazing conference under the constraints of the times! … [It] was much better than I expected.

Respondent from Midland, Texas, United States

By Aaron

Aaron Snowberger is the Technical Chair for the KOTESOL 2020 National Conference. As such, he's building the conference website(s), as well as providing consultation and recommendations for all technical aspects of the online format. In 2019, he was the Conference Chair for the National Conference held in Jeonju, where he also created the conference website, app, posters, and book for the event.

Aaron is a 14-year Jeonju resident, a Google Certified Educator, Trainer, and GSuite Admin, and a professional programmer, graphic designer, and online educator. He has taught ESL for 14 years, and computer-related design and programming courses for 8 years. He is currently employed by Jeonju University.