An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. ~ Benjamin Franklin
Professional learning for teachers exists to provide teachers with a full array of tools and strategies to help them connect with students in the classroom and get to the desired student outcomes.
At Alludo, we believe that tracking key metrics for educator and staff development is crucial to getting the results you want for your school district. With that in mind, here are some of the reasons that it’s essential to track professional development progress, and seven educator and staff professional development metrics that you should be tracking.
Table of Contents
- How Do You Monitor Growth in Teacher Professional Development?
- 7 Educator and Staff Professional Development Metrics to Track
- How Can School Districts Improve Professional Development?
- Alludo’s Take
How Do You Monitor Growth in Teacher Professional Development?
Tracking key metrics is necessary for quality professional employee development, but how do you monitor growth? Here are six steps that should be included.
Step #1: Talk to Stakeholders to Identify Key Metrics to Track
Stakeholders in professional development include several groups of people:
Each group will have its own idea of which metrics should be tracked and why. You’ll need their input first before you can proceed.
Step #2: Identify SMART Goals for Districts and Individual Teachers
The next step is to identify SMART goals for districts and teachers. As a reminder, SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. An example of a SMART goal would be for teachers to complete 10 hours of professional development before the end of the school year.
Step #3: Choose a Professional Development System with Built-In Metrics & Analytics
Building your own professional development system to include metrics and analytics is not within the means or budget of most school districts. For that reason, it’s in your best interest to partner with a company that has done the legwork for you and can customize their platform to meet your needs and allow you to track the metrics you have chosen.
Step #4: Analyze Results
Once you begin to collect information, it’s time to analyze the results. Ideally, you will have identified benchmarks that will tell you whether your professional development program is working as it should.
Step #5: Adjust Professional Development Based on Results
In the event that your results aren’t exactly what you hoped they would be, the next step is to review the results and make adjustments to your professional development program as needed. For example, if teachers aren’t engaged, you might need to give them more choice in what they study.
Step #6: Remeasure & Continue to Adjust as Needed
Any time you make a change to your professional development program, you’ll need to re-measure the results and continue to adjust as needed. It may take several iterations to get to the program that is ideally suited for your school district.
7 Educator and Staff Professional Development Metrics to Track
According to the Frontline Research & Learning Institute, there are seven key metrics to track within your professional development system.
Metric #1: State & District Requirements
Every state and district lays out professional development requirements for teachers and school administrators. For that reason, the first metric to track is whether participants in professional learning are meeting those requirements in a timely manner.
In many states, the requirements specify a number of hours of professional development that must be completed each school year. Some districts may specify topics as well. You will need to track everything to ensure that those requirements are being met.
Metric #2: Teacher Compliance & Participation
Professional development is only effective if teachers comply with requirements, as noted above, and participate with enthusiasm. Tracking participation is the best way to determine whether teachers are benefiting from professional development.
For example, Alludo’s professional development platform tracks the number of learners engaged, the numbers of hours they dedicate to professional learning, and the number of units they complete. These numbers will help you determine whether teachers and administrators are engaged.
Metric #3: Consistency
Are faculty and staff in your district participating in professional learning throughout the school year? There is evidence to suggest that ongoing learning is more effective and more likely to be used in the classroom than short-term learning.
Metric #4: Teacher Motivation
Are the teachers in your district motivated to take what they learn in professional development and bring it back to the classroom? They should be – and if they’re not, you will need to take corrective action.
A 2020 study published in Teaching and Teacher Education identified three distinct constructs that informed teacher motivation. These included the following:
- Teachers’ perceptions of what expectations were in place to identify successful engagement with professional learning.
- Teachers’ perceptions of the value of professional learning.
- Teachers’ perceptions of the cost of professional learning.
Keep in mind that the cost could mean both a financial cost and how much time teachers are expected to spend on professional learning, as well as how convenient it is for them to meet district requirements.
Metric #5: Teacher Efficacy
Just as it is important for teachers to use what they learn in professional development in the classroom, it is equally important for them to do so with efficacy. Measuring teacher efficacy usually involves classroom observation.
Metric #6: Student Learning & Outcomes
Ask any teacher what they want and the answer is likely to be positive outcomes for their students. Teachers want to engage and inspire their students. Measuring student outcomes and highlighting positive results is one of the best ways to keep teachers engaged and excited about professional learning.
A 2020 study published in the International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education looked at the impact of professional development for teachers on student achievement in low-performing schools. The teachers who participated reported that they found the material they learned to be useful and that they implemented it in the classroom. They also reported that students showed significant gains in fourth grade reading scores and moderate gains elsewhere. They noted that some of the results might have been improved with better pre-course evaluation of teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the materials to be taught.
Metric #7: Teacher Turnover
Teacher turnover is an issue for many school districts. One way to mitigate it is by giving teachers an opportunity to voice their opinions about what topics would be most useful and interesting to them – and providing the support they need to be successful.
The Alludo platform allows teachers to provide input into what they learn and gives them a choice in what to study to meet their professional learning requirements. Each district can specify core subjects for all teachers, but the remaining modules and courses are up to the individual teacher. Tracking what teachers choose to study can help you to determine future requirements that will keep teachers engaged and excited about their jobs while reducing turnover.
How Can School Districts Improve Professional Development?
If you find that your school district’s professional development program isn’t delivering the results you want and helping you to achieve your long-term goals, here are three things you can do to improve it:
- Allow teachers a say in what and how they learn. Learner-centered professional development is what we specialize in at Alludo. Giving teachers a voice and a choice allows them to get invested in professional learning and excited about participating, because they know they’ll be learning things that are directly relevant to the time they spend in the classroom.
- Identify key metrics related to district goals. Your school district’s SMART goals are probably already tied to things that teachers care about. Your job is to identify those metrics and share them with teachers, so that they feel included and understand your expectations of them and your vision for the district. Tracking these goals and sharing results will help keep teachers engaged and accountable.
- Prioritize student outcomes. Above everything else, student outcomes are what drive teacher enthusiasm and engagement. If you want your teachers to participate in professional development with excitement, then the best thing you can do is to prioritize student outcomes by giving teachers the training they need to connect with students – and by sharing improvements as they occur.
These three improvements can do a great deal to upgrade your professional learning program and get you the results you want.
Our goal at Alludo is to help school districts achieve their goals by providing them with a professional learning environment with built-in metrics that teachers love. We do that by including three important features:
- Built-in metrics to track teacher professional growth. We take the guesswork out of metrics by building them into your system, making it easy to track teacher engagement, participation, completion of modules, and more.
- Gamified model to drive teacher engagement. By using gamification to build our professional learning platform, we make it fun and easy for teachers to participate. They can compete with one another or with themselves, track their progress with badges, and earn rewards for becoming better at their jobs.
- Learner-centered model. As we noted above, we believe that teachers should have a choice and a voice in what they learn. With our learning-centered approach, teachers can comply with state and district expectations while also challenging themselves to learn new skills that will help them connect with students.
The Jurupa Unified School District came to us because they knew that a traditional professional development paradigm would be insufficient to help teachers at different levels to get the support and education they needed, particularly in an age of distance learning. We worked with them to engage more than 2,000 educators at every level, and they describe our program as “the most successful PD they could have imagined.”
Track Your Most Critical Professional Development Metrics with Alludo
If you want your professional development system to deliver on all fronts, from teacher engagement to student outcomes, you must track the critical metrics we have identified here – and use what you learn to adapt professional learning to improve your results.
Alludo can help. Our learner-centered system uses gamification to engage teachers while providing key metrics to school districts. Schedule a personalized, interactive session that covers the latest strategies to achieve learner-centered PD by clicking here.
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