ETAD, Learning, Math, Professional Development

Where We Are and Where To Go Next: Creating a Survey

My learning journey in EDCUR 809 has taken me to assignment 5…creating a survey. I’ll be honest my first impressions of this assignment were Easy, How hard can a survey be? Create a few questions, get back some data, make a nice Excel bar graph and Voilà ..survey and analysis done.
Well I was wrong. Really wrong.

I reflected to a colleague that this truly was an “end of ignorance” experience. Now that I know more it was not easy. Every question caused me to think, wonder, and reflect on the question “Will this provide us with the information we need?”

I began by deciding to create a survey for the PreKindergarten to Grade 5 Mathematics Learning Community. I wanted to create a tool to assess the degree to which the math learning community members have reach the medium term (year 2)outcomes and provide recommendations for next year. I wanted a survey that would shed light on where we are and where we are going as a professional learning community. My first step was to revisit the outcomes through the lens of assessment. The outcomes for year 2 are:

  • increase understanding of mathematics content, pedagogy, and instruction
  • increased enjoyment of teaching mathematics
  • increased understanding of content development across mathematics curricula (grades prior or succeeding current teaching assignment)

To strengthen the survey assessment and analysis I also wanted to consider Guskey’s (2000) five levels of professional development. These levels are used by my system’s Staff Development Team to evaluate the effectiveness of our professional development. The levels are as follows:

  1. Participants’ Reaction
  2. Participants’ Learning
  3. Organization support and change (are barriers being reduced)
  4. Participants’ use of the new knowledge and skills
  5. Student learning outcomes

Specifically, I felt that my survey would focus on levels 1, 2, and 4. (However, based on feedback I revised my survey to provide an opportunity to gain insight into number 5 as well)

With both my outcomes and the five levels of professional development in mind I created the initial survey. From there I shared it with colleagues. They provided me with feedback that lead me to revisions. Next, I piloted the survey with 4 members of the Mathematics Learning Community to get their feedback. This lead to more revisions, more pondering about what data this survey would provide and questions about if the data would be adequate to shed light on the my inquiry into effectiveness and actualization of outcomes.

Initial Version of the Survey

Initial Math Learning Community Survey

Revised Version of the Survey

Revised Version of the Math Learning Community Survey

(please note that this survey will be put into an online tool. The open question text boxes provided in the document are place holders and do not reflect the amount of space participants will be given to complete their responses.)

This survey will be put into an electronic form to be sent out to all community members around the middle of May. From there the plan is to bring together a small group of members to help with the analysis of the survey, provide additional insight into the actualization of outcomes and make recommendations for next year. I hope that the survey and the follow-up analysis will provide the information we need to move forward effectively.

Image: Objects In The Rearview Mirror by KrissyVenosdale-

5 thoughts on “Where We Are and Where To Go Next: Creating a Survey”

  1. Hello again! I can definitely see great improvement in the revised version of the survey from the initial version. The revised version is much more in-depth and requires more detailed and helpful answers from those taking the survey. Good luck with it, and I hope you get really helpful information from it!

    I’d also like to remind you that tonight I’ll be posting a summary to my own blog of the two posts of yours I commented on!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. I too think the revised version is an improvement, mostly because I had feedback from my amazing colleagues. The idea of pilot testing a survey is new to me but I could not imagine creating future surveys without it. Collective wisdom is always better.
      I will definitely check out your blog. Happy writing!

  2. I like the second version much better, especially the comparison contrast chart, because it will encourage participants to distinguish clearly for you.

    1. Thanks Wendy for your support in creating the survey and your comment. During the pilot testing the compare contrast section provided some very interesting and potentially valuable insight and information. I am very excited to see how the rest of the community members respond to that question.

  3. Good to see you have received feedback from your colleagues. I love the honesty with which you approached this assignment and the way you tied it into the other work you are doing. I agree that it connects well to 1, 2 and 4 of Guskey’s model. The changes based on the feedback you received strengthened the survey. I think there is a good mix of questions types and it is not too long.


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