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:
- Participants’ Reaction
- Participants’ Learning
- Organization support and change (are barriers being reduced)
- Participants’ use of the new knowledge and skills
- 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
Revised Version of the 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- http://www.flickr.com/photos/venosdale/6876773480