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Talk Data to Me: Professional Growth During COVID-19
In response to the mid-March National Emergency Declaration, school districts around the country began to close their facilities. Regulations intended to flatten the curve prohibited large group gatherings and necessitated remote learning. This not-so-familiar way of teaching and learning into which schools were plunged required teachers and students to navigate new technologies and online platforms virtually overnight.
Effective Strategies for Analyzing Professional Development Data: It’s Not As Hard As You Think!
I remember struggling through my college statistics class. Just the term “data analysis” made me cringe. After all, I was going to be a teacher, not a scientist! Now that I’ve spent years collecting and analyzing data I’ve learned, I don’t need to be a statistician to do professional development program evaluation.Continue Reading
Report: Data-Driven and Classroom-Focused Professional Development
How well are school systems in America measuring up to ESSA’s definition of professional development? Is professional learning “data-driven” and “classroom-focused”? That question is at the heart of Bridging the Gap, a series of reports from the Frontline Research & Learning Institute. Bridging the Gap looks at anonymized data from the professional development experiences of educators across the country and asks, “How close are we to this ideal?”
Measuring the Impact of Professional Learning
When districts invest in professional learning, they expect results for both educators and students. Yet far too often, the evidence of effect is elusive. This reality can be changed when district and school leaders plan for the evaluation of professional learning when they initially design it to strengthen educator effectiveness and student success.Continue Reading
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Professional Development Program Evaluation: Using Surveys, Interviews, Focus Groups and Observations
In the previous article in this series on evaluating teacher professional development, I shared that evaluation questions drive data collection and asked, “How would we know what data to collect, and from whom, if we haven’t settled on the questions we’re asking?” Once we have settled on a small set (about 1-3) of evaluation questions, we set our sights on how to collect data to answer them.Continue Reading
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Focus Groups: Your Secret Weapon for Enhancing Professional Development Program Evaluation
Focus groups (FGs) -- essentially interactive, conversational group interviews -- are an underappreciated data collection strategy. When used well, they can provide rich, nuanced and actionable data for your professional development program evaluation. They are fairly easy to add to your repertoire and don’t require extensive planning or resources to carry out. They are often used in other contexts (e.g., market research, usability research) and are flexible enough to be used for different purposes (e.g., to inform the design of a product or service, to collect feedback about a website, to test potential survey questions or dig deeper into survey responses). FGs are best used along with other data collection strategies, such as surveys or interviews.Continue Reading
What’s Involved in Evaluating a Professional Development Program?
Today’s article, focused on the five phases of program evaluation, is Part 2 of a seven-part series on evaluating professional development. In the rest of the series, you’ll learn how you can apply these phases to evaluate your own programs.Continue Reading
3 Non-traditional Professional Learning Ideas for Teachers
20 miles east of Portland, Oregon sits Gresham-Barlow School District. With 18 schools, “We’re too small to be big, and too big to be small,” says Sarah Barlow, an instructional coach at the district. Sarah and her colleagues work one-on-one with teachers, but also work at the district level in to provide support where needed.Continue Reading
5 Reasons You Should Be Evaluating Your Professional Development Programs
Wouldn’t it be great if we knew when our professional learning programs were successful? What if we knew more than just the fact that teachers liked the presenter, were comfortable in the room or learned something new? Wouldn’t it be better to know that teachers made meaningful changes in teaching practice that resulted in increased student learning?Continue Reading
How to Create Effective Reports for Communicating Professional Development Program Evaluation Results
Wouldn’t it be great if we knew when our professional learning programs were successful? What if we knew more than just the fact that teachers liked the presenter, were comfortable in the room or learned something new?Continue Reading
Evaluating Professional Development for Teachers? Evaluation Questions Are the Linchpin.
Evaluation questions form the cornerstone of professional development program evaluation. They both frame and focus the work, pointing us in the right direction for data collection. After all, how would we know what data to collect, and from whom, if we haven’t settled on the questions we’re asking? Crafting the right questions for a particular evaluation project is critical to an effective evaluation effort.Continue Reading