First, kudos for looking to make your observation/feedback process into a conversation through the use of a collaborative tool such as gDocs. It just makes sense!
Second, WRT the time issue, perhaps the more-visits/more-feedback balance may vary by teacher, and you may arrive at a more comfortable spot with this as your process evolves and the conversations with teachers deepen? I think it would be truly telling to see how the results of your observation/feedback/conversation process unfold over an extended period of time. Tenacity on your part in making the time will be a key.
Finally, have you considered trying a gDocs-accessing iPad app like Office2 HD or QuickOffice? They allow you to edit an existing gDocs spreadsheet, albeit through a stardard formula bar interface. Another option would be to forego the form and simply duplicate an existing doc template in a shared folder of gDoc documents, giving you the format/flex of a word processor with the sharing capability that gDocs provides. Other options exist, but the open form and share ability of gDocs seem to be keys in your process.
THIS IS IT!!! Okay I have tried a dozen formats so far but absolutely think the "I noticed," "I wonder," "What if," is right on for wording I have been looking for.
I too have been using a google form for this and my Tech Specialist came up with a mail merge form for me to use that is awesome but the spreadsheet sharing would be awesome too. I have been carrying the keyboard around with the iPad but it is quite clunky I agree.
I will definitely let you know how this works. Thanks again for sharing. I haven't been as good at sharing lately either. Have to get back on that.
Melinda- could you lay out the details form this mail merge form you use for fedback. I was trying to develop a way to get my input automatically generated to teachers through email, while also keeping a central database
This is a great system for classroom walkthroughs, Chris. Thanks for sharing it.
You probably have already heard the good news - Google announced this week that docs are coming to the iPad, which should make the device so much better for all of us --> http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/three-million-businesses-have-gone.html
First, thanks for sharing this! I think it is a good way to give fast and routine feedback to teachers. I tried using a laptop and sending a "form" to trs some time ago, but was not as useful as I would have liked. More importantly, though, are teh questions that you ask - they are great tools for formative assessments that will help trs become better trs!
Thanks for sharing your Google Docs Walk Through template, but more importantly your reflections and thinking in the development of the form. Gathering feedback from teachers is powerful. I did something similar with a walk through form a few years ago. I had teachers brainstorm what a visitor should see in their classrooms. We then put the form together. Prior to its use by the administrator and myself (instructional coach) we had teachers actually observe each other and use the form. It provided them with a level of comfort that was needed, since ongoing walk throughs were new to the staff.
I really like the "I Noticed", "I Wonder", "What if" sections. Great wording for some reflective comments and stepping stones for the necessary dialogue after observations.
I will tuck your ideas away in my files. I know I'll need great examples to draw upon when I find a principal position!
Thank you for sharing this. How timely, I was a part of an iPad for admins PD today and I have to say the "walkthrough" app we saw didn't impress me much. I wonder why we're forcing the use of the iPad on this task. We've been doing this more elegantly with Tablets which is an all-in-one device that to me seems more suited for the task. Or perhaps even better suited is what an administrator I work with is doing. He does his walkthrough process with sms on any phone using a combination of Poll Everywhere and Wiffiti. I should have him write a guest post on this!
I also wanted to share a thought I had about how we're thinking about this work. I don't think it makes sense for this to mainly be on your shoulders. I think it would be much more valuable for you and your staff if teachers did a peer (one chosen, one random) and self evaluation each month. I would also fold students into the mix. After all, they are our customers and likely have some of the most valuable feedback. I don't think the data all needs to come from the school leader. Sure, you're in the mix, but multiple perspectives especially around a common vision is more valuable for all and everyone has some skin in the game.
How wedded to the Danielson framework do you think the SDP is? I went to a training with Kim Marshall, who advocated a similar mini-evaluation method. 10 to 15 minutes with each teacher multiple times per year. What gets taken off your plate is the 45 minute whole lesson observation. It seems looking at teaching over the course of the year would inform more than looking at one entire lesson.
For Chris and those interested in the topic, I recalled that NYC principal Jason Levy uses g-docs with walkthroughs as well. He adds a nifty piece to the process though, which I love! He has the teacher lessons video taped. I'm thinking students could be a part of that process.
This has the following positive outcomes:
# Eliminated scheduling problems as an excuse
# Teaching and learning that was once isolated can be open, collaborative, and celebrated
The videos can be compiled and posted in an open or closed environment (or perhaps teachers can determine which they want to open or close). The teaching clips become powerful professional development tools not only for the teacher, but the school community members as well.
See slide #10 of Levy's presentation, "How Google Transformed My School" at https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dc3h63q3_257dd745whm
Just noticed, there's another important slide to share in the above mentioned presentation #12. There you'll notice that Levy has a team that engages in these walkthroughs and on that particular slide he compares the advantages to this process over traditional feedback as follows:
Traditional feedback: one-time, summative, paper observations New feedback: year-long, formative, on-line conversation
Thanks very much for sharing this. Even though I'm not an administrator I enjoyed learning about how you use your iPad/Google Apps to make your walkthroughs more efficient (hopefully) but more importantly make them more collaborative and conversational with your staff.
I would agree with Lisa about the video idea as well. Is there a pocket camera that has wifi built-in? I'm thinking somehow the video is wirelessly uploaded to YT, Vimeo, etc. on a secure channel then that link can be added to the observation data perhaps?
I've been using Google Forms and a spreadsheet for teacher feedback and walkthroughs for about a year now, similar format to the one shared except aligned to Professional Teaching Standards. Now I just purchased an iPad and see the possibilities of using it for this purpose. I read that Google will soon enable editing of docs from the iPad too.
This is a good way to record the walk through level of observer judgments. If you want to then go deeper (where you see a problem) using my iPad/iPhone free app might be helpful. Just search the app store for eCOVE or observation. eCOVE is a collection of objective data collection tool and the iPad is great - very easy to gather data, make notes, email a simple report. Email me if you have any questions: John@ecove.net
Thanks so much for sharing your simple, elegant approach to formative feedback for teachers. I love your emphasis on core values, and as others have said, I also really like the "I noticed, I wonder, What if . . ." This is actually the same structure I use for giving feedback (and having students respond to each other) in a writing workshop. It feels very authentic, open, and honest while also feeling safe and supportive for the person receiving the feedback.
An added benefit to using the Google form - in addition to its convenience and timeliness - is that it creates an ongoing record over time. Now that we are implementing Google Apps for Education, I'll definitely be sharing this with other colleagues in the leadership team on my campus and in my school district. Thanks again!
Congratulations on your walkthrough, simple but very useful method. I was thinking of something similar with a spreadsheet but had not thought of a form.
Just a doubt, you mention teachers create the spreadsheet and share it with you. What about the form, do you create one for each teacher, so that your feedback goes into their spreadsheet?
Many thanks for sharing!
Here is an example of a multiple spreadsheet using "filter, and Import" formulas to create a robust evaluation document(s)/form that collects evals for all teachers from a form used on a mobile device, then shares that data directly with the individual teacher, and even can send them an email notification when new evals are completed.
I've included some instruction on how to set it up, with a very simple form example below. The admins at our school are using this and love it. They say they are able to complete walk-thru's on the fly and are able to provide three times more feedback to teachers than with traditional paper forms.
There is a great tool that works on both the iPad and iPhone called LookForApp. It is a research-based classroom observation software presented in an easy to use format which enables users to organize, identify, clarify and provide immediate feedback to classroom teachers regarding their instructional practices.
Chris thanks for sharing this at the St. James webinar in Winnipeg. last week. I'm considering using this or something similar in our school. I'm just wondering how to make it more of a conversation though.