Student Feedback Service
Educational literature tells us that teacher feedback from senior leaders, peers and most importantly, the students themselves is the best way of determining a teacher’s overall effectiveness.
Indeed, student perception has been proven to be a more accurate indicator of teacher quality than a principal’s assessment.
Dr Mark Merry, Principal of Yarra Valley Grammar has been using our Feedback Program for 3 years now and finds it an indispensable tool. These are some of his reasons as to why…
“All the literature on education over the last few years states that a crucial element if not THE crucial element in a class room is the teacher’s ability to develop a good relationship with the students.
If a teacher can’t develop a good relationship with the students, no matter how good their subject knowledge is, they won’t be effective. This is particularly true for boys.
Put simply, teachers who are most effective create a good working relationship; clearly respect and like being with the students. They run a tight ship by enforcing good boundaries in the classroom but never lose their sense of humour.”
Mark made the following points…
- There is logic in getting students to give feedback to their teachers. Students are the consumers of the education – so it makes perfect sense to ask them how things are going.
- Feedback allows teachers to focus their attention on areas they’d like to improve.
- Feedback is a great form of affirmation. The majority of feedback affirms teacher practice, and therefore is a powerful mechanism to indicate to the teacher they’re doing a good job.
- Parents really are impressed that teacher quality is assessed every year by students as well. They appreciate that their sons and daughters are given the chance to be involved in the educational process rather than just be passive observers.
- Measurement is part of education and will become progressively more so. This is a user friendly, effective way of providing the school with an ongoing benchmarking program to see where the school as well as individual teachers have improved.
Effectiveness measurement and review will become the norm so teacher feedback and assessment will become part of the fabric of education. So the only way to deal with it is to be prepared, ahead of the game and embrace it early on.
But how do you efficiently and effectively measure teacher performance? And how can a teacher receive meaningful and specific feedback as to where they could improve? How do other staff members – leaders or non-teaching staff – receive meaningful feedback?
Introducing the Group 8 Teacher Feedback Program.
The Group 8 Teacher Feedback Service is based on solid educational theory and designed to rapidly gather feedback from hundreds of students, spread over different years and classes, as well as from dozens of staff members to peers and to leaders.
The Student Feedback Service presents each teacher with clear, quantifiable feedback they can use as an input to improve their performance and has been shown to improve teacher effectiveness and improve student learning outcomes.
The Program provides feedback for four distinct roles:
- Senior Leaders
- Middle Leaders
- Teaching Staff
- Non-Teaching Staff
This is a small sample of reports generated. Reports vary based on the role being surveyed.
This is an overall Student Feedback Report presented to an individual teacher – For example Year 7, English
Breaking down the major elements highlighted above…
This graph displays whole school information.
The results are organised by question number (Q1, Q2, etc.) and within each question block the responses of students at each year level are averaged in the order from lower year levels to higher, in this case 5 to 12. This ordering can often provide a “U” pattern in the block of responses.
The vertical scale is 1 to 5. The key response level of 4.5 is marked out with a green line and this is the level where the response is at an optimum level. The experience the student is having fully meets their needs.
The second key level of 3.5 is marked out with a red line. Below this level the experience the student is having is failing to meet their need i.e. this is the minimum satisfactory level. The teacher’s class results are superimposed in the line graph.
This graph displays department information.
The average result for the department is shown by the red line and the blue line provides a ‘synthetic’ maximum i.e. this line is made up of the highest anyone in the department has received on a given question.
The graph is in the same order as the graph above with the same 4.5 and 3.5 levels marked out by green and red lines, respectively. A teacher’s class results are now shown as a bar graph.
This chart presents each student’s response for every question giving an idea of how individuals are responding as well as how the whole class is responding to an individual question.
Responses are ordered from the highest average response across all questions to the lowest average response.
The responses are colour coded. Yellow is used for responses at the 3 level and also if a response is blank. The bar on the left shows the gender of respondents. (Blue for Male)
Senior & Middle Leader Reports
Respondents to Senior and Middle Leaders answer different sets of questions regarding their leadership and management ability. Essentially, the feedback answers the question: how well are you creating an environment for those around you to succeed?
The reports however are similar so just a Senior Leader example report is presented here.
This is the overall chart detailing responses per question for ALL respondents ordered from highest to lowest per question. YOUR results from all respondents are superimposed in Blue. The grey/green bars are your self-assessment. In each of these charts the blue bars represent the equivalent result for each of your colleagues in Leadership Team.
Breaking down the major elements highlighted above…
This chart gives responses per question for ALL respondents ordered from highest to lowest per question. YOUR results from all respondents are superimposed in Blue. The grey/green bars are your self-assessment. In each of these charts the blue bars represent the equivalent result for each of your colleagues in Leadership Team.
This chart gives responses per question from SENIOR LEADER respondents ordered from highest to lowest per question. YOUR results from these respondents are superimposed.
This chart gives responses per question from NON-SENIOR LEADER respondents ordered from highest to lowest per question. YOUR results from these respondents are superimposed.
This chart provides YOUR average response for ALL respondents (dark blue), SENIOR LEADER respondents (mid blue) NON-SENIOR LEADER respondents (light blue).
How are the surveys completed?
The surveys are completed online. Students, for example, fill out a questionnaire rating the quality of the experience they are having in the classroom of the individual teacher concerned. Questions cover the whole range of things that students can experience or observe in the classroom that research shows are positively linked to student learning.
To give you some idea of the complexity involved in creating the reports, the average school has:
- An average 25 students per class
- 30 questions per student means 750 data points per class
- 80 teachers with 2-3 classes each equals 200 reports and 150,000 data points for the school
To make sense of this mass of data we need to show:
- Individual classes in multiple modes:
- Class/teacher compared to whole school
- Compared to year level
- Compared to department
- By Gender
- By Individual question
- Response distribution versus whole school
- Aggregate data in multiple modes:
- By year level
- By department
- Anonymous teacher profiles by year level and by department
- Response distribution of whole school and by year level
There is a significant amount of effort to collect this data efficiently and then process and distribute the results in an effective manner and deliver them to the individuals concerned.
Here is a flowchart of how the system operates:
What outcomes have schools experienced by implementing the Feedback Program?
Schools that have embraced our Feedback Service are seeing direct benefits with their staff opening up, being more collegial and embracing change, which ultimately has a positive effect on the whole school’s learning culture.
This is what Vin Feeney, Principal of St Joseph’s College, Ferntree Gully, Victoria has to say…
“We were looking for a focused instrument which would provide specific, comprehensive, quantifiable feedback from every student to individual teachers. The Group 8 Student Feedback module is vastly more instructive, providing key information and filling a significant gap that would otherwise be there. Information that tells us what’s going on both in the classroom and in the minds and hearts of our students and the teachers.”
We have selection of additional case studies you can read here. In addition you can contact current clients who are enrolled in our programs.
Remember, if you value it, you must measure it.
To continually improve your school’s results you must have a mechanism for regular feedback. This is the only way you will know where to focus your efforts in improving teacher effectiveness and learning outcomes.
As such, feedback is a critical component of professional development. Effective feedback gives you an objective view of your school’s standing with regard to:
- Teacher performance and effectiveness
- Senior and Middle Leadership Capacity
Feedback informs you on where you’re doing well and areas for improvement. You can then make decisions regarding how to improve where necessary. Which is where our Performance Development & Coaching Program comes into its own.
Your Next Steps
This page serves as an introduction to Group 8’s School Feedback Program.
If you would like more information regarding the Group 8 Feedback Program and how it could benefit your school, I invite you to call me on 0418 432 316 or email me at email@example.com and arrange a confidential, no obligation first meeting where we’ll sit down and discuss your situation.
Should both of us feel there’s merit in moving forward, we can discuss options and take appropriate action.
One final point…
Feedback is one component of our comprehensive professional development program. While it can be used as a standalone program, I encourage you to enquire about the Group 8 Education Performance Development & Coaching Program which has helped schools both in Australia and the United Kingdom facilitate major improvements in learning effectiveness.