There is no question that quality teaching is paramount for student success. To improve our public schools, states have mandated that educators take a set number of accredited courses each year to build knowledge and leadership skills.
The question is what classes do our educators most need to improve student’s learning success?
To answer that question, Arkansas’ Education Service Cooperatives used a Professional Development Assessment to determine which continuing education courses to offer educators to meet state certification requirements and increase student achievement.
The assessment sought input from all active teachers, administrators, and board members from every public school throughout the state. Quite an undertaking!
Using reporting filters, they were able to drill down on the data by position, campus type, grade level, and area of specialty.
Using survey logic, they were able to keep the survey short and relevant for all respondents.
An agenda of courses that benefit most public educators as they pertain to the state’s core standards, professional growth, and class room management strategies.
“We conducted a statewide survey reaching every school district in the state of Arkansas to collect important information from teachers and administrators in every district. SurveyGizmo gives us the tools to collect data and the scalability to reach every teacher.” – Leon Brown, Crowley Technology Coordinator
Here is how they did it.
Professional Development Survey
The goal of the survey was to identify training needs early on so that they could offer relevant classes and workshops to build knowledge and leadership skills.
Since the majority of professional development classes are offered in the summer when teachers and administrators are on break, the board decided to run the survey before winter break so that they could begin planning the summer training workshops.
The survey was emailed to educators, administrators and school board members the end of November.
The survey was carefully planned and crafted. Arkansas’ Education Service Cooperatives and the Technology Center Coordinator, Leon Brown collaborated to design and administer the survey.
The survey focused on 6 key areas:
- Professional planning and preparation
- Classroom Environment
- Professional responsibilities
- Technology Needs
- Coop/Distric Support Satisfaction
Drop-down answer options kept the survey looking short while using a long list of answer options.
They kept the survey relevant by using survey logic so that respondents only saw questions that pertained to their district, grade level, and specialty area.
Interactive question types, such as the drag and drop and slider were used to keep respondents engaged.
All of these design considerations reduced survey fatigue and increased the completion rate.
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The survey was emailed internally to teachers and administrators (kindergarten through high school).
They received over 12,700 responses.
Of the respondents:
- 62% were teachers
- 27% literacy
- 27% math
- 17% science
- 17% social studies
- 17% special ed
Because the survey included questions that identified coop, district, school building, campus, position and specialty, they could create a comprehensive report as well as individual reports for each segment that could be shared with the districts.
Here is what they found.
Respondents indicated that they would benefit most from common core training modules that provided:
- Cognitively guided instruction in mathematics
- Comprehensive literacy strategies
- Strategy for designing coherent instruction
- Establish a culture for learning
- Behavior intervention training
- Support in closing the achievement gap
- Technology training needs
Most respondents indicated that they were proficient using web 2.0 technology and administrative tools but had issues with web file blocking that prevented them from accessing websites. Knowing this allowed the technology team to narrow their focus.
Respondents also indicated that they were satisfied with the support they receive from the Education Service Cooperative.
How An Assessment Can Help You
There is no better way to discover what your audience needs than asking them. No matter what you are assessing, surveying your clients, customers, or team, gives you relevant information that allows you to create a strategic and tactical plan that all will benefit from.
Arkansas’ Education Service Cooperatives recognizes this and is now assessing public school nurses throughout the state to determine their needs and how to improve care for our children.
“SurveyGizmo has been invaluable and has been one of the best companies to work with.” – Leon Brown, Crowley Technology Coordinator