With many initiatives already in place at schools and districts for the 2016-17 school year, when is the right time to implement an online teacher evaluation tool? Are there best practice options that I could explore to move away from Word/Google Docs and transition to a more streamlined online evaluation system through a phased approach? Are there benefits to gain in doing so?
Taking a Phased Approach – Which Option is Right for You?
- Volunteer Approach – Ask for principal and teacher volunteers to pilot an online tool for the school year or part of the year. Your technology-savvy staff will be eager to take the lead on new initiatives. TeachPoint users taking this approach only moved a few components such as classroom walkthroughs/observations and the summative evaluation to the online tool.
- Single School Approach – Identify a single school in the district to pilot the online tool for the year or part of the year. With this approach, TeachPoint users found success moving the entire evaluation process online to maximize the benefits outlined below.
- Limited District-Wide Approach – This involves a district-wide implementation but with a limited roll-out. With this approach, the roll-out takes place during late fall or the January/February timeframe, where only limited teacher evaluation activities are done via the online tool. TeachPoint districts taking this approach focused on using the online tool for classroom walkthroughs/observations. Some used the online tool for their summative evaluations while others also had teachers complete their Goal Form for the next school year in May/June using the feedback from their classroom walkthroughs and summative evaluation.
Benefits of Taking a Phased Approach
TeachPoint users that moved away from Word/Google Docs to an online tool using one of the phased approach options above shared with us that they enjoyed many of these benefits:
- Minimized the learning curve by only using the tool for a few forms
- Allowed administrators to adapt to an online tool at their own pace
- Provided a quick turnaround on feedback from observations
- Decreased paperwork
- Fostered a stronger collaboration between teacher and evaluator via a streamlined online process
- Identified training needs for a district-wide rollout
- Utilized forms for a limited time to assess what changes needed to be made to forms
- Obtained feedback from evaluators and teachers on best practices in moving to an online tool
- Minimized anxiety of the transition from a paper-based, Google docs system to an online tool
To discuss what option is right for your district or school, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to discuss your goals and share additional insights on the benefits users gained in moving to an online evaluation tool through a phased approach.