Seeing It Clearly: Building Trust in Observations

(MET) Seeing It Clearly: Improving Observer Training For Better Feedback and Better Teaching

This ongoing series of publications by MET project partners can help states, districts, and technical assistance providers in building and improving a classroom observation system that supports better teaching and student learning. Publications to date include:

Seeing it Clearly: Improving Observer Training for Better Feedback and Better Teaching (2015): This latest study explains how to build, and over time improve, the elements of a training system that equips all observers to identify and develop effective teaching. It’s based on the collective knowledge of key partners in the MET Project—which carried out one of the largest-ever studies of classroom observations—and of a community of practitioners at the leading edge of implementing high-quality observations in the field. From this experience, we’ve unpacked how training can build the necessary skills, and how to build the capacity to provide that training. School systems can use this comprehensive practice guide to build and improve an observer training program so that all observers are equipped to identify and help develop effective teaching.

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Building Trust in Observations: A Blueprint for Improving Systems to Support Great Teaching (2014): School systems can use this resource to create their own plans for continual improvement of observation rubrics, observer training, observer assessment, and monitoring. Along with specific action steps for building capacity, a process is included to assess a system’s current status, and plan next steps.

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Making it Real: Pre-Scoring Video to Clarify Expectations for Effective Teaching (2014): This practice guide can help a school system build and strengthen a pre-scoring process in which expert observers create examples of accurate and well-supported ratings of teaching. Includes a planning worksheet; idea-generating prompts; techniques for getting video, preparing participants, and ensuring quality; and explains these tools:

  • DCPS Video Quality Checklist. This time-saving form is used to pre-screen classroom video to determine its appropriateness for pre-scoring with an observation rubric.
  • RIFT Master Coding Worksheet. This one-page form is used to organize relevant evidence for rating while pre-scoring videos of teaching.
  • DCPS Advice for Facilitating Reconciliation. This document for facilitators gives tips for reaching agreement on correct ratings when pre-scoring video of teaching.
  • DCPS Guidelines for Score Rationale. These guidelines demonstrate one way to draft quality rationales when pre-scoring video of teaching with a rubric.

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