Creating a Data Plan

Planning Phase

Part 3: Choosing Data Sources and Collection Methods (Week 4)
Write an essay that addresses the following:

Identify data sources and collection methods for the plan
Describe your plan for who will collect data and when
Explain how you will pilot a data collection technique with a trial group
Include a summary of your Learning Team’s feedback on the data collection plan

This week, you will meet with your Learning Team to share your ideas for a data collection plan. In preparation for your meeting, consider this week’s Discussion, in which you had a chance to explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of data sources and collection techniques. With this information in mind, develop an initial data collection plan to share with your Learning Team as follows:

Identify data to collect to answer your evaluation questions
Choose appropriate sources of data
Select appropriate data collection tools
Determine who will be involved in data collection and how often the data will be gathered and reviewed
Learning Team Activity

Note: Be sure to record input and ideas shared by your team. You will be required to submit a summary of your team’s feedback in this portion of your Professional Development Evaluation Plan

This week’s “Taking Data to New Depths” required reading (Tool 9.2 in Becoming a Learning School) discusses the role of a data facilitator in leading teachers through the data analysis and goal-setting process. In this Application Assignment, you will practice your data facilitation skills by engaging in a collaborative inquiry about the data you and your team members have collected.

Meet with your Learning Team and share your initial ideas for your data plan. Ask them to provide their input about the data sources and collection tools. Elicit their feedback about who should be involved in the data collection effort and when data will be gathered and reviewed.

Finally, as a team, determine which of the data collection methods you will pilot with a trial group next week. For example:

If you will be using a survey, plan to administer a similar survey to a group of teachers related to their current practices
If you will be observing in classrooms, plan to conduct an observation using the tool you have selected for collecting data during the observation
If you will be interviewing teachers, students, or principals, plan to conduct similar interviews and record the type of data you will be looking for in your evaluation.
Important Notes:

Be sure to seek your colleagues’ permission to pilot these data tools with them and let them know how you plan to use the results.
If students will be involved in any aspect of the data collection, be sure to check and adhere to your district’s Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects (IRB) procedures. If there are no formal procedures, please notify parents and give them the opportunity of opting students out of the process unless there is substantive reason to believe the evaluation itself is a routine part of school procedures. Consult with the school principal for guidance.
According to Killion (2008, p. 97), a pilot test will help you “determine whether the instruments are effective in collecting the needed data, the directions are clear, and the time allocated is appropriate and whether participants encounter any problems in implementing the process that the evaluator did not anticipate.” You may pilot the collection method with members of the Learning Team or with other colleagues, as necessary.

Finally, write an essay, based on the prompts above, that describes your initial data plan. Include how you plan to pilot a data collection technique and how the input from your Learning Team influenced your development of the plan.

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