I did not use the exact interview tool I created for this class, but I used one very similar to it for a beginning of the school year activity. When my classes change, I plan to use the interview tool I created for this class because it includes questions for both parents and students that I had not considered before. I may have to adapt it just a little to fit a more blended-learning style of classroom. I do think interview tools such as these encourage adults to open up to conversation. I think it allows them to see that we as educators truly do care about their children, and when parents see that, they tend to want to open up and help in any way that they can. There is a lot of important information that can be gathered from these tools. Some of the most important information I have found is the constraints placed on students that make it difficult for them to complete work outside of the classroom, whether they be time or technology constraints. If I have this information, I am better able to visit with my students about it and make accommodations for them that will allow them to be successful in my class.
The conversation stays pretty well on track because of the format of the interview tool. Google Forms makes it easy for both students and parents to answer questions, and it doesn’t provide a lot of room to steer the conversation off track. I do, however, like to include a space where students and parents can tell me anything they think of that may not be on the form. I believe this is a very valuable activity to complete before a course begins. It lets both students and parents know that you care and are interested, which can go a long way in education. It also provides you as the instructor with some very valuable information that you may not otherwise get. This is an activity I will continue to implement regardless of whether I am teaching in a face-to-face classroom or online environment.