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Observing and Evaluating Blended Learning: One District’s Classroom Walkthrough Tool

By: Will Cody on September 14th, 2015

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Observing and Evaluating Blended Learning: One District’s Classroom Walkthrough Tool

Personalized Learning  |  Blended Learning  |  Classrooms

Some of the most common questions we get, from superintendents to teachers, are, “How do I know if blended learning is working? Am I doing it right?” Good questions. And the answer is not, “Let’s wait 6 months to see how students do on a high stakes test.” To have a culture based on continuous improvement we also need to continuously measure and course correct. Tweet: To have a culture based on continuous improvement we, need to continuously measure & course correct. http://ctt.ec/2h1s6+ #edchat #edleaders And we need to do so in a way that is not focused on evaluation, but instead focused on development. Enter a walkthrough tool.

 

It all started with our Blended Learning Teacher Rubric. After dozens of conversations with teachers and leaders our team developed a rubric to help teachers set and track their progress against their own goals for blended learning. With five domains and strands under each domain, the rubric provided teachers, leaders and coaches with a way to determine their starting point and map out a plan to get them to where they wanted to be over a given period of time. The rubric was intended to give teachers a way to self-evaluate and coaches and leaders a way to provide the right PD at the right time. But self-assessment can be hard and observation is incredibly valuable. So the walkthrough tool was born.

A walkthrough is a quick 3-5 minute classroom pop in where an administrator or coach simply ‘walks through’ a classroom and ticks boxes that have been predeterminedTweet: A walkthrough is a quick 3-5 minute classroom sweep where an administrator  ‘walks through’ a classroom & ticks predetermined boxes (see an example here: Blended Classroom Walkthrough Tool). There is a place for the observer to fill in their name as well as the teacher being observed. Then (within 3-5 minutes) the observer fills in the check boxes noting what the teacher is doing well and what the teacher should be improving. Based on our original rubric, the walkthrough tool each of our districts uses varies based on their own goals and other evaluation systems they may be using.Tweet: Based on @edelements rubric, the walkthrough tool each of our districts uses varies based on their own goals & other evaluation systems The walkthrough tool provides a non-evaluative way for observers to give quick, actionable feedback to teachers. Actionable feedback. And that is key.  

Blended learning and the walkthrough go hand-in-hand because blended learning is about constant iteration and improvement.Tweet: #Blendedlearning & the walkthrough go hand-in-hand because, blended learning is abt constant iteration and improvement http://ctt.ec/hlme5+ Each teacher, school, and district will start with different strengths and developmental areas. A walkthrough can be tailored to your curriculum and the specific objectives you are trying to meet.Tweet: A walkthrough can be tailored to your curriculum and the specific objectives you are trying to meet http://ctt.ec/892_f+ #BlendedLearning Much like our Highlight Platform, which provides real-time data for teachers of what their students are doing, a blended walkthrough provides real-time data of what a teacher is doing. There is no reason to wait to get better.

 

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