Source: Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 27(3), 92–98. (Spring, 2011).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The current article explores the possibilities for collaborative evaluation of technology integration professional development (TIPD) to transform technology practices in schools. To achieve this transformation, the authors need to shift and expand the research and evaluation processes they use to learn about how TIPD impacts classroom practices and student learning.
The authors discuss three closely related methodological approaches:
developmental evaluation, responsive evaluation, and layered research.
Developmental program evaluations are designed to support program growth, continuous progress, and change. Dialogic processes facilitate the collaborative, emergent nature of developmental evaluations.
Responsive evaluation approaches provide assistance to educators/ participants that is situated in their classroom contexts. Due to the responsive nature, data collection methods are naturalistic and built on the perspectives of those involved. As such, ongoing observations, interviews, and document analysis are important components of responsive evaluations, as are the interpretations and meanings that collaborators make of the various forms of data collected.
Another evolution of collaborative evaluation, layered research (Burnaford, 2006 ) explores how teacher participation in research and evaluation informs the instructional decisions they make in their classrooms. As such, the evaluation and classroom contexts of a program are inextricably bound.
The authors ask how might these approaches look when grounded in a real evaluation?
To explore this question, the authors draw from their own experiences developing, implementing, and evaluating a TIPD partnership and share our lessons learned.
Through a Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3) grant program between a large urban university and a large urban public school system, the authors implemented integrated professional development and curriculum development with teachers in the public school system and teacher educators in the university setting.
The authors' evaluation model included pre/post surveys, observations, expert reviews, and artifact analysis.
The authors conclude that collaborative evaluations foster working relationships and shared understandings. They shift and expand the focus from the evaluation of outcomes only to the evaluation of processes and outcomes. By engaging stakeholders in both the processes and the outcomes of evaluation, professional development can be dynamic, responsive to the needs of a greater number of stakeholders, and sustainable over the long term. To be sure, funding must support collaborative evaluation.