Teacher Collaboration & Professional Development – Making the Most of Formative Assessment

Teacher Collaboration & Professional Development – Making the Most of Formative Assessment

In a recent assessment research study conducted with Grunwald Associates LLC, we administered surveys to over 1,000 K-12 classroom teachers, over 1,000 K-12 parents, and 200 district administrators. We’ll be sharing some of the findings of this study here in our blog over the coming weeks.

One finding in the study that aligns with the Teacher Learning Communities (TLCs) concept – a key component of the Keeping Learning on Track (KLT)  professional development solution – is the desire to spend more time discussing formative assessment results, and their implications for teaching, with their colleagues. Spending time discussing formative and interim assessment results throughout the school year and collaborating with their colleagues on students’ instructional needs were high on their wish list:

– 45 percent of educators – both teachers and district administrators – said they spent too little time over the past year discussing formative assessments in staff meetings or in conversations with colleagues.
– 29 percent of educators said too little time was spent discussing interim assessments.
– 50 percent of educators said that they spent too much time discussing federally mandated state or district assessments.
– 61 percent of educators believed that collaborating with their colleagues on instructional needs is important to teaching and learning.

The opportunity and timing for a KLT-like program, that structures forums for peer-to-peer collaboration around formative data, appears ideal. These Teacher Learning Communities can help schools and districts get the most from their formative assessment data, and help to improve student learning.

Are you an educator? Have you used collaborative forums in this capacity? If you have, drop a comment below and let us know how they worked and what value you found.