My continuing journey in EDCUR 809 has led me to assignment 4- Performing an Evaluation Assessment. This assessment is a necessary step in Program Evaluation as it is used to determine the feasibility and direction of any future evaluation. In EDCUR 809 I have an opportunity to lay out a possible evaluation but it is not necessary to conduct the actual evaluation. My learning is about the how of setting up an evaluation not the actual evaluation itself. This assignment asks me to choose a program to lay out a plan for evaluation and I have chosen a program that is very close to my heart…the PreK- Grade 5 Mathematics Learning Community. This community has just begun its second year of existence and consists of teachers from PreKindergarten to Grade 5.
The Goal of the Mathematics Learning Community
In order to increase student engagement and achievement in mathematics, we will work to develop communities of professional learners. Our learners will own their learning, openly reflecting on student learning, and implement powerful mathematical instructional practices that meet the needs of all their students.
Engaging in an Evaluation Assessment requires me to focus and reflect on 5 important steps and how they would be connected to the Math Learning Community.
1. Engaging Stakeholders– There are many important stakeholders who would need to be engaged in this evaluation in order to provide a through evaluation.
- Teachers– Teachers are important stakeholders in the program. Their input and voice into the effectiveness of the professional development will be invaluable. Qualitative and quantitative data can be collected though their engagement in the evaluation. Teachers will also play a role in the creation of assessment and evaluation tools.
- Consultant Team– The consultant team will be involved in the co- creation of assessment and evaluation tools to gain insight into teacher engagement and changes to practice. They will also play a role in the creation of assessment and evaluation tools to assess student learning and engagement.
- Students– Students are the most important stakeholders in this program. Teacher learning in the communities is in service to the learning of students. Data around the effectiveness of teacher learning will be gathered through assessment tools which measure student engagement and achievement in mathematics.
2. Focus the Evaluation– This evaluation would focus on assessing the degree of actualization of the Math Learning Community outcomes for teachers and students. Through this assessment and evaluation decisions can be made around whether or not to continue funding the program (senior administration and trustees) and to make adjustments to the program to make it more effective (consultant team).
- feeling supported in learning
- sense of belonging in a community of professional learners
- reflecting on their practice and student learning
- increased understanding of grade specific curriculum
- increase understanding of mathematics content, pedagogy, and instruction
- increased enjoyment of teaching mathematics
- increased understanding of content development across mathematics development
- strong professional judgement in mathematics
- confidence in delivering differentiated instruction informed by assessment and an understanding of essential understanding
- leading and supporting mathematics with colleagues
- feeling a part of a community that is self-led and self-sustained
- increased enjoyment of mathematics learning
- increasing understanding of mathematics and an ability to communicate
- confidence and competence in mathematics
- engaged in mathematics learning
- increased achievement in mathematics
This program evaluation could be completed at the end of the 2012-2013 school year to evaluate the effectiveness of the program to date in terms of actualization of short-term and medium term outcomes. This evaluation would be critical in informing planning for the 2013-2014 school year and lay the foundation for future evaluations of long-term outcomes at the end of the 2013-2014 year and beyond.
Evaluation Program Design
This evaluation will follow the CIPP Model, as it allows for the partitioning of various components of the program and create a long-term evaluation plan.
3. Collect the Information– This evaluation would focus on the collection of data from reflections, observations, and products. It will include but not be limited to:
- Surveys with teachers and students around their feelings about mathematics instruction and learning (existing surveys and one completed at the end of the 2012-2013 school year)
- Photos/ Videos from workshops and classrooms (existing and ongoing)
- Testimonials (written or from interviews) from teachers and students around their learning in mathematics (existing and to be collected at the end of the 2012-2013 school year)
- Analysis of student created products and conversations in mathematics (existing and to be collected at the end of the 2012-2013 school year to inform next steps)
4. Analyze and Interpret– The data will allow us to answer the overarching questions of Is this program effective for increasing student learning and achievement in mathematics? and Will teacher directed, professional learning communities create teacher confidence and knowledge in teaching mathematics? If this evaluation were to actually take place it would be important to ensure that the analysis of the data take place by an individual who is not a part of the consultant planning team in order to ensure that evaluator bias who not affect the analysis and evaluation. The data evaluation could be shared with Coordinators, Superintendents, teacher participants and the board of trustees.
5.Use the Information – This evaluation will be used to inform decision-making around professional development in mathematics, and this model of a professional development learning community.