After every all-district professional learning day, we send out a google form to every teacher in the district.
Think of this form as our professional learning's formative assessment. The results are used by our Iowa Core team (district leadership team comprised of 2+ teachers from each building, principals and district administrators) to plan for the next professional learning opportunity. I wanted to take a moment to explain why we chose these specific statements and questions. [Although I briefly explained it earlier as well]
The question, "Which statement best describes your current view of our professional learning opportunities?" is one that was added due to the timing of the year. This probe helps us determine if our staff is feeling any sort of initiative fatigue at the halfway point of the year.
The statements about theory, demonstration, practice, collaboration and practice are all tied to Iowa's Professional Development Model. At any given time, our goal to ensure that any one of these aspects of quality professional development is not overtaking the others. In the past, we've heard voices telling us things like "What I learned today makes sense, but I didn't have any time to begin putting it into practice." Striking this balance is challenging, but we've been using this language to collect staff's perceptions of these ideas all year and will continue to do so.
The statement, "This professional learning opportunity will directly benefit my students" is one we strive to earn high marks every time. If the staff give our learning low marks in this area, we know we missed the mark.
We also believe it's important to differentiate between a quality (or poor) messenger and a quality (or poor) message. This is why we continue to use the statement, "The professional learning facilitator(s) was/were effective in his/her role(s)."
"I understand how this professional learning experience relates to building and district goals" is also an important prompt for our district leadership team, because it keeps us grounded in the work we've agreed to focus on for the year.
We've used the statements about follow-up from colleagues and administrators as an attempt to gauge the perceived gaps in our implementation. To my knowledge, our survey responses this year have not identified any major discrepancies between staff and administration, but we continue to use the statements in the event it becomes a discussion point in the future.
We've only recently started using the most/least beneficial questions. The results here have helped us break down the specific activities. I correlate this to a more "standards-based" feedback. We're attempting to differentiate the homers from the gomers.
Common formative assessments were the biggest new learning for the day, so it was important to get a feeling for how much more time and resources we might need to spend on this topic. The results from the statement, "When I think about the common formative assessments work ahead of me and my team this year, I feel..." will give us a better idea of our future steps.
Finally, the open-ended questions give our staff members a chance to sound off and provide specific tips on what went well, what didn't go well and the areas they feel we should spend time on in the future.
Our feedback survey questions and statements have evolved over time, but our use of this qualitative data remains the same -- provide the best possible professional learning opportunities for our staff given the precious amount of time we're given.
(Note: I'm open for critiques of our form and would be delighted to learn about the questions, prompts and statements being used in your neck of the woods driving professional learning planning. Comments are open.)