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How to Build Instructional Excellence

The Proven 7Cs Survey for Teacher Excellence
"If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it"

Discover Tripod 7Cs for Teachers

Created through the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University in 2001, The Tripod 7C Survey accurately measures and targets instructional improvements in your school.

Prominent leaders – from the best private schools (including Harvard Westlake), and major school systems (like Pittsburgh Public Schools and District of Columbia Public Schools ) – all use the Tripod 7Cs to support instructional efficacy and drive excellence across their schools.


  • Analyze responses across the "7Cs" of instruction including aspects of DEI

  • Benchmark results against thousands of classroom teachers - elementary, middle, and high school

  • Deliver actionable data and insights to drive tangible, positive change in every classroom


Access the Overview

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Why You Need the Tripod 7Cs

  • Get the clearest picture of effectiveness by classroom

  • Make it easy for teachers to focus on improving their craft

  • Simplify support for principals and learning teams

  • Support school improvement with Tier 1, strong evidence

Strong Evidence about Tripod 7Cs & Effective Teaching

The research provides strong evidence to demonstrate that better survey results on the 7Cs components predict higher student achievement, engagement and motivation. Download our research paper to learn more.

Download the Guide

Leaders Trust Tripod Surveys


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Survey responses are analyzed at the classroom-level, and presented in user-friendly, online reports designed for teachers, school leaders, and district personnel. Reports highlight areas of strength and opportunities for improvement for each teacher, so teachers and leaders can quickly gauge where to focus attention.


Rooted in Educational Equity.

Tripod surveys were first administered as part of a school-based initiative focused on raising achievement for all students while reducing the achievement gap. Tripod surveys include measures to capture student perceptions of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Validated by Research.

Tripod is a Tier 1 - strong evidence-based intervention. In fact, many research studies have highlighted the reliability and validity of data collected with Tripod surveys, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measure of Effective Teaching (MET) Project, which used Tripod surveys as one of its key metrics with more than 3,000 teachers.



Tripod surveys reflect millions of student responses across nearly a quarter of a million classrooms to benchmark and calibrate results.


Pioneers in the field.

Tripod’s nationally recognized surveys were first developed in 2001 by Dr. Ronald F. Ferguson of Harvard University.
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Pittsburgh Public Schools

“We firmly believe that student voice has an important place in school improvement efforts. Tripod’s classroom-level instruments already drive professional growth and evaluation in our district, and we look forward to adding school climate data to our toolkit as we work to establish and maintain environments in which all teachers can teach and all students can learn.”

Tripod 7Cs is not Just a Survey


Tied to Better Outcomes
Better results on the 7Cs components are correlated with higher student achievement, engagement and motivation, as well as happiness and college aspirations (Ferguson & Danielson, 2014; Ferguson et al., 2015; Kane & Cantrell, 2010; Kane et al., 2013; Stuit, Ferguson, & Phillips, 2013). 


Actionable at the Classroom Level
Strategic use of the 7Cs, together with the 7Cs framework, offers a streamlined way to provide actionable, consistent feedback for teachers and school leaders. The 7Cs supports reflection, goal-setting, professional learning, and instructional improvement.


Evidence Based
Tripod’s 7Cs framework for effective teaching captures essential elements of instructional practice. In fact, research published on the 7Cs demonstrates that it is a Tier 1 level, strong evidence-based resource - supported by one or more well-designed and well-implemented randomized control experimental studies.
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Unparalleled Customer Success

Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) has administered Tripod 7Cs district-wide for more than four years to inform teacher practice, and summative evaluations. The surveys have been instrumental to identifying which teachers are struggling and the specific areas in which improvement is needed. The data are also critical to helping PPS leadership craft data-driven strategies and tactics that have produced increased teacher effectiveness. 

What Our Partners Say

“We would recommend [the Tripod] services to other districts or agencies that are looking to provide meaningful student feedback to teachers and schools.”

- District of Columbia Public Schools IMPACT Team, which worked with Ed Elements over the last 5 years to administer the 7Cs student perception survey to over 25,000 students annually

“They have been instrumental in helping us better understand the dynamic and ever evolving student experience at the school…. I would recommend their services to any school or school district looking for reliable, trustworthy partners to help shape their program with more data-informed strategies.” “Extremely positive experience.”

- Mike Barker Director of Institutional Research for  Harvard Westlake School (#1 Private School on Niche.com)

What are the 7Cs and what do they measure?

Tripod surveys are organized into three conceptual categories: personal support, curricular support, and academic press.  Within those are the 7Cs: care, confer, captivate, clarify, consolidate, challenge, and classroom management.


Explore each of the 7Cs below or download the guide.

Download the Guide
Classroom Management
  • Care

    Teachers who care show concern for students’ emotional and academic well-being. They develop supportive, personalized relationships with students, cultivate an emotionally safe environment, and respond consistently to students’ social, emotional, and academic learning needs.

    The message to students is “Your success and well-being matter to me in a serious way.”

  • Confer

    Teachers who confer, encourage and value students’ ideas and views. They seek and respect students’ thoughts, opinions, and input as part of the learning process.

    The message to students is “I invite, welcome, and respect your ideas and feedback.”

  • Captivate

    Teachers who captivate spark and maintain student interest in learning. They stimulate and engage students by cultivating curiosity and inquiry and by making lessons interesting, relevant, and enjoyable.

    The message to students is “I find ways to make lessons intellectually stimulating and relevant.”

  • Clarify

    Teachers who clarify help students understand content and resolve confusion. They explain ideas and concepts in a variety of ways, check frequently for understanding, address misconceptions, and provide useful feedback.

    The message to students is “I can explain in a variety of ways, and when you are confused, I will help you understand.”

  • Consolidate

    Teachers who consolidate help students integrate and synthesize key ideas. They summarize and make connections in ways that help students see relationships within and across lessons, remember ideas, and build understanding over time.

    The message to students is “We review and summarize lessons to help make learning coherent and memorable.”

  • Challenge

    Teachers who challenge students insist that they persevere and do their best work. They hold students to high academic standards, encourage persistence, and monitor student effort.

    The message to students is “I insist upon real understanding, not just memorization, and I will not let you give up, even when the work becomes difficult.”

  • Classroom Management

    Teachers who are effective at classroom management foster orderly, respectful, and on-task classroom behavior. They create conditions that enable learning, including establishing a positive classroom climate, teaching self-management skills, monitoring student conduct, and redirecting unproductive behavior.

    The message to students is “Our class will remain orderly, on task, and respectful, with learning as our first priority.”

Get Started With Your Personalized Demo

With Tripod 7Cs There Are No Minimum Number of Schools.



Start Your Journey with the Tripod 7Cs Today!

                  • Get a free no-obligation consultation with a member of our team.
                  • Tell us about you and your current context.
                  • Share questions and seek advice.

Let’s Chat About How We Can Help

Reach out to the Tripod Team for a 15-minute solutions conversation.