Best Practices for Implementing Online Educator and Staff Evaluations

Implementing a new online teacher and staff evaluation system to support professional growth can be a big undertaking for schools and districts. Whether you’re taking your first step to streamline educator and staff evaluations by moving away from paper forms or Google Docs, or you’re transitioning from one online solution to another, having the right stakeholders, implementation plan, and training in place will be key to ensuring the successful outcomes you’re aiming for–increased efficiency and improved educator effectiveness.

Factors Impacting Implementation

  • Capacity – Implementing any new system requires time and resources from stakeholders across the organization–IT and system administrators, instructional leadership teams, principals, evaluators, teachers, and staff. Ensuring that you have a well-established implementation plan and a dedicated implementation team will reduce wasted time and maximize the resources you do have.
  • Customization – The level of customization required to align a new online evaluation system to your school’s or district’s rubrics, forms, and workflows can be time-consuming and complex. Choosing an online evaluation solution that is designed to accommodate this customization, backed by personalized implementation support, can ease this burden.
  • Training – As with any new system, training is essential for all stakeholders. Having a variety of in-person and online training options will help meet the needs of educators and staff across your school or district. Investing resources in evaluator, teacher, and staff training will not only help them learn to use the new system, but will also help them understand how it will support their ongoing professional growth. Allocating time each year for refresher training will also make certain that educators are realizing all the benefits of your online system.

Lessons from the Field – Taking a Phased Approach to Implementation

Over the past eight years, we’ve partnered with thousands of schools and districts across the country to help them successfully implement their new online teacher and staff evaluation system. And while every district is unique, one similarity stands out when it comes to implementation–a phased approach to rolling out a new system greatly improves the fidelity of the implementation and increases stakeholder buy-in and support, especially for larger school districts.

Phased Implementation Options
How you approach a phased implementation of your new online evaluation system will vary based on your unique goals and timelines. There are two alternatives for a phased rollout that have proven successful for our TeachPoint customers.

  • Limited District-Wide Approach
    • This involves a district-wide implementation but with a limited rollout. With this approach, the rollout takes place during late fall or the January/February timeframe, where only limited teacher evaluation activities are done via the online system. TeachPoint districts taking this approach initially focused on using the online system for classroom walkthroughs or observations. Some used the online system for their summative evaluations, while others also had teachers complete their student learning and professional growth goals for the next school year in May/June using the feedback from their classroom walkthroughs and summative evaluation.
  • Pilot Group Approach
    • In this case, district leaders identify a single school or a pilot group in the district to utilize the new online evaluation system for the first year (or part of the year), followed by rollout to additional schools or groups of staff the following year. With this approach, TeachPoint users found success moving the entire evaluation process online to maximize the benefits outlined below. This approach has proven to be the most successful for TeachPoint customers.

Planning for Sucessful Change

Implementing any new system or process within an organization requires significant planning and leadership throughout the change process. The buy-in and support for the implementation of a new online educator and staff evaluation system can be influenced by many factors, such as organizational culture and trust, that extend beyond the introduction and training on a new technology system. However, these key factors can help lead to a successful change that realizes the ultimate goal of improved growth and performance across your district:

  1. Utilizing a phased approach to implementation.
  2. Creating and communicating a clear vision and compelling purpose, including
    the potential benefits of the new system for all stakeholders.
  3. Developing a clear implementation plan with key milestones and outcomes for
    each phase.
  4. Allocating adequate resources for capacity building including time, training,
    ongoing support, and technical assistance.
  5. Providing initial training, followed by ongoing refresher training, for
    administrators, evaluators, teachers, and staff.

To download the full whitepaper, including customer success stories, click here.

About Vector Solutions & TeachPoint
TeachPoint, a Vector Solutions brand, is a leading provider of award-winning online educator and staff evaluation and professional development tracking solutions for the K-12 market. Its customizable solutions help districts across the United States manage professional growth and performance and improve educator effectiveness. Vector Solutions is a leader in eLearning and performance support, providing award-winning SaaS solutions. Its extensive online and mobile learning library exceeds more than 9,000 courses written by over 280 subject matter experts and reaches over 10 million professionals worldwide.

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