Assessing Digital Learning and Instruction

Throughout the past five weeks we have been focusing on how to measure those items previously thought to be immeasurable. Our goal is to put a plan in place in order to measure these items and address our progress. This was a very difficult task for me. What do I want to measure? How will I measure it? What exactly is it that I want to know about my implementation? 

After lots of collaboration with my professor and colleagues, I determined that I wanted to measure teacher engagement in our Personalized Learning Initiative. This narrowed my focus from buy-in to teachers actually using the models in their classrooms. My measurement plan is as follows:

  • What is the problem or question you are really trying to address?
    • How can we improve teacher engagement in using technology to enhance student learning (our blended learning initiative)?
  • What method and research design will you use?
    • I plan on using a survey to measure all “blending” teachers’ comfort, perceived ability, engagement, and understanding of our blended learning program.
    • I also want to use a small focus group to get more specific ideas and concerns.
  • How will you deal with your research participants (privacy, ethics etc.)?
    • I will use Google Forms to gather the data anonymously.
    • I will do a “lunch and learn” with my focus group to help set a casual tone.
  • What general procedures will you follow?
    • I will be sending out the survey at the beginning of the year to establish a baseline measurement. I will then use the data to develop professional development to support teachers. I will send out the survey again during the middle of the year and again at the end of the year.
    • I will continue to meet with the focus group throughout the year when I feel this data would be pertinent.
  • What are your measures?
    • The majority of the survey uses the likert scale while two of the questions are free response.
  • What instruments will you use to gather your data?
    • I will use internet to deliver the Form and gather my data.
    • For the focus group, we will have casual conversations
  • How will manage and handle your results and data?
    • I’ll take the data and create some visuals to give a quick overview of the engagement in our school. I’ll also create a summary of the understandings and needs of our teachers based off of the survey results and the focus group responses. 
  • How do you plan to analyze your results?
    • We will look at the data to determine how many of our teachers are truly comfortable and engaged in our BL initiative. The hope is that the anonymity of the survey will promote truly honest responses.
  • How do you plan to discuss and share your results?
    • I plan on discussing and sharing my results in one of our first leadership team meetings. I would like to use some visuals to create a short presentation to present to my principal and asst. principals.

In order to present this to my leadership team, I developed a Google Slides presentation to offer up some basic information and ideas for the upcoming year.

This is still a work in progress as I am switching my focus from buy-in to engagement. This means I really need to find a video or an article to really speak to the teachers’ hearts. I will update it as I continue to work.

We also researched and collaborated on our topic. After reading over the research, I developed a literature review around the topic of successful implementation. Again and again, I found that it goes back to teachers’ understanding and belief of a program. The focus cannot be the technology tool. I also found that an important part of any implementation’s success will be the Professional Development that supports the program. Often PD is structured as “sit and get” when we expect our teachers to do the exact opposite in their classrooms! For this reason, it is necessary for PD to be restructured and supported in new ways.  The summary of my research is below.