New Free Classroom Tool Gauges What Matters in Learning

harvard survey

Reposted from Usable Knowledge:

“Student feedback can be a crucial way to evaluate teaching, assess a new curriculum, and improve classroom achievement. Or it can be next to useless. “You have to ask the right questions in the right way,” says Hunter Gehlbach, a survey methodologist at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. And that’s something most standard questionnaires don’t do.

Gehlbach spent the last year collaborating with Panorama Education to develop an entirely novel approach to student surveys, creating a scientifically rigorous and reliable set of survey questions that will help educators measure perceptions of teaching and learning and assess a dozen hard-to-quantify classroom dynamics like engagement, interest in the subject matter, grit, and relationships between students and teachers. Now the result of that work is ready for schools to use. The Panorama Student Survey is a free, downloadable, open-source tool designed as a series of scales — a series of questions related to each one of the dozen key topics or ideas.

“One of the things I hope these scales will do is begin to help schools build a culture of evaluation for everyone,” says Gehlbach. “It’s not just singling out the teachers and focusing on their performance; it’s looking more broadly at the many factors that influence learning. If you work for a company that does 360 evaluations twice a year, it’s very normal for everyone to be evaluated; people get used to it and their performance improves as a result of it. So I don’t think principals or students should be absolved of being evaluated either.”

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