Workshop 6 - Microsoft - Partners in Learning Toolkit

Workshop 6:
Project Implementation
All staff in their professional
development (learning)
How you conducted your
baseline assessment
Pre-requisites for this Workshop
From the introduction workshop – key features of this workshop such as
the ‘Parts’, ‘Suggested Agenda’ and ‘Overview’ are described in the
introduction to the workshops which is a general guide to the workshop
From workshops 2 and 3 – your school’s vision set out using the REORDER
framework. This framework helps you construct your vision in a way that is
more holistic and easier to share with other schools using these materials.
From workshop 5 – each person invited to this workshop should be part of
a Professional Learning Community (PLC). Their PLC will have already chosen
an activity from a ‘capacity ladder’ (workshop 4) based on one of the
school’s core aims (workshop 2).
Workshop 6 of 8:
• There are eight broad
workshops in the
Innovative Schools
• Each workshop
provides ideas,
activities, links to
other resources,
strategies and
• Please use the
resources and
PowerPoint called
‘Introduction to the
IST workshop series’
for detailed guidance
on the workshops.
• Consider your local
context to select the
most appropriate
strategies offered in
these workshops.
Workshop 6 of 8: Implementation
• There are eight broad
workshops in the
Innovative Schools
• Each workshop provides
ideas, activities, links to
other resources,
strategies and
• Please use the resources
and PowerPoint called
‘Introduction to the IST
workshop series’ for
detailed guidance on the
• Consider your local
context to select the
most appropriate
strategies offered in
these workshops.
• Every teacher should at this stage have a Professional Learning
Community (PLC) to work with, ideas for a project and a clear
understanding of how their work connects to a whole innovation.
They now need to:
1. Establish a baseline for the implementation
1. Baseline in terms of attitudes and opinions
2. Baseline in terms of objective measures
2. Agree protocols for the PLC to work together most effectively
• The deliverable for this workshop is for ALL those involved achieve these
steps and begin their chosen project.
Guiding Questions
Are you confident about learners’
perception of the school currently?
At the end of year, how will the
collective effort be perceived by the
learners? How are their views of the
school expected to improve?
Will you have any objective measures
of the impact of your work by the end
of the year? How much has the school
progressed towards its core aims?
How can the support offered by PLCs
be maximised?
Improving the quality of action research
Ubiquitous – most PLCs are partnered with research organisations offering qualification
Some staff:
• May be using the work as part of a masters or PhD qualification
• Will have partnered with research organisations
• Are helping learners from the community gain qualification through the projects
• Will have external funding.
All will contribute towards the common research base of the school and may be planned as commissioned
Integrated – learner attitude surveys are included in the baseline for each project
PLCs – may include learners who agree to the same meeting protocols and start projects of their own.
Projects – start on time and have agreed end dates, reviews and expected outcomes in terms of core aims.
Baselines – these use externally benchmarked measures for progression as well as learner surveys.
Defined – PLCs meet using agreed protocols including how they measure baselines.
PLC protocols are decided by the teams, working with defined guidelines that may include; meeting frequency, common
baseline measures, expected outcomes and timescales for projects and code of conduct.
Developing – all projects start and PLCs try out ideas for measuring baselines.
The need for regular meetings, estimating impact and measuring starting points (baselines) are all accepted and
understood by the PLC teams. Each PLC works through their own solutions for how to do this.
Aware – all teachers get started on a project to improve one of the core aims.
All are aware that it is good practice to arrange regular PLC meetings and take a baseline at the start of their project but
these practices are not required or expected.
Suggested Agenda for the workshop
Suggested Approaches
Part 1 Does everyone mean
Debate –should the baseline involve learner
opinion? How can learner attitude be collected or
Examples slide
Part 2 Can progress towards
your core aims be measured?
Presentation – methods for assessing impact.
Three suggested models for measuring baseline and
progression in competencies.
A structured approach to
measuring progression in
core aims
Discussion – compare possible solutions using PMI
In your PLCs, debate pros, cons and interesting
aspects of suggested models.
Three case study based
examples for discussion
Discussion – PLC teams have their first meeting
These meetings can be scheduled separately as
groups do not need to reform for whole school
decisions at this stage.
Research findings and
quotations around the value
and effective operation of
Part 3 Hold the first meeting for
each of the PLCs
Suggestions for survey tools
PMI model as a suggested
Structured agenda
Part 4 Deliverable – what is the
baseline and expected
Homework – completing and returning baselines
Over the ____ weeks following the workshop, staff
complete and return their project outlines. The school
then posts a summary deliverable.
A basic outline of key
Part 1. Does everyone mean ‘EVERYONE’?
The school is about to implement changes that potentially require all teachers
and many other stakeholders to work together and progress three whole school
core aims.
This is a big moment!
Is everyone involved?
Is everyone aware?
Will people feel differently afterwards compared to now?
Perhaps everyone should be asked now and then again afterwards to find out.
Ways of asking everyone in your community
A whole school
Example – Kunskapschollan School in Sweden regularly surveys
everyone to check they feel listened to and happy with the education
they are gaining. Recently, some reported over 90% progression.
External snapshot
Example – in the Tripod Project, school stops while surveys are collected
during lessons. Conclusions are fed-back based on correlations with data
taken over ten years.
Questionnaires for
each group, class
or project
Example – free and easy to use web tools such as ‘Survey Monkey’ can
compile and analyse questionnaires easily. Have some questions that are
whole school and must be asked, and others set by the teacher.
assemblies and
public meetings!
Example – Harris Academy in London has a vision of every member of
the community engaged. One of their methods is through sharing
ownership of public meetings with learners and using learner
representation to feedback views as a ‘parliament’.
Self assessment
Example – the ITL research tools provided by Microsoft currently survey
teachers only but can be supplemented by data collected by the school.
‘Survey Monkey’* - make a questionnaire
Suggestion: Divide into groups – one per core aim or in your PLCs
• In pairs - imagine you will be asking learners the same five questions before
starting your project and at the end. Which questions would give you the most
useful and interesting data?
• In groups – post up or present your five questions, then add to these from each
group. Is there common agreement about the questions you should ask?
• In the wider group – are the questions dependent on the core aim? Share
responses from each of the core aim groups and come to a decision on this
Suggested outcomes are:
• One set of questions that will be asked by all teachers;
• One set of questions per core aim; or
• ___ whole school questions and ___ questions decided by the teacher
*Survey Monkey is a free online service for asking your questions
Suggested questions if teachers are to
design their own questionnaires
In order to make these examples more relevant, the core aim of ‘improving
collaboration skills’ will be used – this was the most frequently mentioned
during a survey of schools in the programme last year.
1. Your teacher is going to do a project with you to improve your team working
skills - have you discussed with them what could work? If no, would you like
2. How often each week do you get the chance to work together in teams?
3. On a scale of 1-5, how good do you feel your team work skills are at the
4. Do you think it is a good idea to concentrate on improving team skills?
5. Can you give an example of when you worked in teams in school and it
really helped you to learn or enjoy learning?
End of Part 1. How will you take a baseline
of attitudes before implementation?
Will you take a whole school baseline of attitudes now?
Will every teacher take their own baseline at the start of their projects?
What are the challenges in using questionnaires with everyone?
Will you take a smaller number or a sample this year and build up? Why?
Suggestion: If this is a new area of discussion for the school then a more
in-depth and structured discussion method may be needed – such as De
Bono’s ‘thinking hats’ – to explore all the issues contained within this
Is it possible to conduct whole school change without establishing
everyone’s opinion at the start?
Part 2. Can progress towards your core aims
be measured?
Surveys of opinion and self assessments are all powerful tools but a different
dimension is added if objective measurements can also be used.
It is not possible to provide guidance for every core aim that a school chooses,
so as an illustration we will choose the core aim most commonly chosen*;
‘improving every learners’ ability to work collaboratively in teams’. *(Researched
by asking all Innovative Schools in a series of VUs in 2009)
We hope you are able to apply the methods used to your own school’s core
aims whatever they may be.
How to measure Progression in a Core Aim
(For example improving the ability of all learners to work in a team)
Team work is perhaps made up of 4
separate skills - team leader, coach,
motivator and manager
Set level descriptors for each of these
skills showing progression for
example the free set available at PbyP
go from infant to adult
Ideas include – awarding certificates
for progressing in team activities
(Eggbuckland School), using peer
assessment of team competencies
(Learning Journey)
Photographing leader boards as a
record (Silverton school), recording
numbers of certificates awarded,
cumulative e-portfolios of peer
assessed evidence (PbyP)
Take each core aim in turn
Is the core aim just one skill or
numerous skills and attitudes?
Define progression in each part at
a number of levels
Find ways of measuring
achievement at each level
Find the combined level of
achievement at the start and end
to see how much progression has
been made.
Voting / affinity diagram
Each participant has one vote to raise their hand or one sticker to place on the
list after five minutes of discussion on their table.
This exercise can be carried out either before the examples on the following
slides are shared, afterwards or both.
No measurements of progression in the core aims should be attempted
during the current cycle.
Each teacher should find their own way of demonstrating how their project
has progressed a core aim.
Each PLC will decide how to measure progression in a core aim.
A whole school method either currently exists, or will be introduced in time
to measure baselines for this round of projects.
Ideas to measure core aims progression
1 of 3
1. This example is adapted from the work of High Tech
High in the US:
Learners do longer term projects with at least one of the
specific outcomes being progress in a whole school core
aim – in the case of High Tech High, ‘Be Responsible and
One of the outcomes of the project is a presentation to
their peers. In this presentation, progress in the core aim
can be reflected on by peers against a rubric. This can be
as simple as ‘Ok’ to ‘Outstanding’
Progress can be measured as the difference from grades
awarded by peers for the first project presented after
implementation, to those awarded for a later one.
Ideas to measure core aims progression
2 of 3
2. This example is adapted from the work of ‘Five
Islands School’ in the UK:
Initially teachers choose a team of learners in each
class who are strong advocates and skilled in the core
aim (in this case leadership)
This team then coach and assess the progress of their
peers. Teams from other classes occasionally swap so
that assessments are more objective
The records kept by the expert groups provide
evidence of annual progression.
Ideas to measure core aims progression
3 of 3
3. This example is currently used in 150 schools,
in six countries and is called PbyP:
Each core aim is pre-defined as 9 levels of
progression from infant to adult
Each learner manages their own e-portfolio and
uploads any evidence they think shows their
progression up a level
The evidence they upload automatically goes to
another learner who is not in their school but who
has already achieved this level and so acts as an
‘expert’ peer assessor
If they confirm the learner has progressed then the
work goes into the learner’s e-portfolio so they can
try the next level up
The school can see an overview of the sum of
progression in each area, for all learners, over time
and so measure progression.
De Bono’s PMI method
1. Participants split into their PLCs.
2. Each person suggests ‘Positive’, ‘Minus’ and ‘Interesting’ aspects for each of
the three ideas they have just heard.
3. Can the positive and interesting aspects be combined into one solution that
would work in this school?
4. Has the school decided to delegate this to PLCs or individuals? If it has, then
the group could discuss exactly how they will start measuring next week!
5. The ‘Six Thinking Hats’ method, also devised by De Bono, could be used at
this stage if developing a solution for this is a key priority for the school and
there is a desire to have a longer and deeper search for solutions.
Measuring Core Aims - Summary
1. Design a simple questionnaire of 5 questions. Ask this to the learners before
and after your project to see if they feel it had an impact?
NO – See Survey Monkey Case Study
Ask learners to self assess themselves against a rubric before and after your
project and see if they report progress. Or assess them yourself against a rubric
NO – See Kunskapschollan Case Study
Ask learners to peer assess their progression either by presenting outcomes to
their peers at the end OR sending their work to peers in other schools for
benchmarked feedback
NO – See High tech high case study
See PbyP Case Study
Teachers as learners
The development of competencies for teachers is also critical. Consider the
‘Microsoft Competencies Wheel’ as a way of defining progression in these
The wheel can be found at
End of Part 2. How will progression towards
the core aims be measured?
From Part 1 – we have decided to:
Capture the opinions of the following people __________________ and will do this
using the following method__________________.
From Part 2 – we have decided to (delete as appropriate):
[Not measure core aims progression / use a whole school method / delegate responsibility to PLCs /
delegate responsibility to each individual teacher].
We aim to complete the baseline by _________ and will be post a brief ___ page
summary to the Partners in Learning website by ___.
Part 3. Hold the first meeting for each of
the PLCs
Suggested agenda for the meeting
1. Discuss the value, purpose and ethos of PLCs:
• See quotes from research papers
• Suggest background reading
• Discuss from a personal perspective.
2. Agree how often and where to meet
3. Agree protocols
4. Plan how to support each other in starting up projects and working with
1. Discussing the value, purpose and ethos
of PLCs
1. Select from the evidence on the following slides – allow time to digest and
discuss it.
2. What do you hope to gain from working in this PLC?
3. Consider the barriers to maintaining an effective PLC and debate possible
4. Are there any experiences or further reading you have that you could share
with the group that either support or challenge the idea of PLCs?
Selected quotations
Michael Fullan – Taken from ‘Learning to lead change: Core Concepts’:
“Successful change involves learning during implementation. One of the most
powerful drivers of change involves learning from peers, especially those who
are further along in implementing new ideas. We can think of such learning
inside the school and local community, and across schools or jurisdictions.
Within the school there is a great deal of practical research that demonstrates
the necessity and power of PLCs.”
Sparks and Hirsh, (1997, p.12):
“[We see] a significant shift from staff development for individual teachers to
the creation of learning communities in which all – students, teachers, principals
and support staff – are both learners and teachers.”
Why a PLC maximises innovative practices
A PLC is a ‘teacher network’ set up as a formal mentoring structure in which
teams collectively research how to practically improve outcomes for learners
that they teach. Such work can be used as part of formal qualification systems
in most developed countries.
Mean difference, innovative
teaching practices
Qualification Conference Classroom
or Seminar observation
SOURCE: ITL Research Pilot Year Report, October 2010
Summary of research findings
R. Bolam, A. McMahon, L. Stoll, S. Thomas, M. Wallace (2002-2004)
The idea of a PLC is one well worth pursuing as a means of promoting school and
system-wide capacity building for sustainable improvement and pupil learning.
An effective PLC fully exhibits eight key characteristics: shared values and vision;
collective responsibility for pupils’ learning; collaboration focused on learning;
individual and collective professional learning; reflective professional enquiry;
openness, networks and partnerships; inclusive membership and mutual trust, respect
and support.
Pupil learning was the foremost concern of people working in PLCs and the more
developed a PLC appeared to be, the more positive was the association with two key
measures of effectiveness – pupil achievement and professional learning.
Staff in more developed PLCs adopt a range of innovative practices to deal with the
inhibiting and facilitating factors in their particular contexts. Many of these practices
are potentially useful for other schools.
Summary of research findings
Astuto et al (1993)
Teachers and administrators continuously seek and share learning and then act
on what they learn. The goal of their actions is to enhance their effectiveness as
professionals so that students benefit. This arrangement has also been termed
communities of continuous inquiry and improvement.
Stoll et al (2003)
Suggested that PLCs are characterised by:
• Shared values and vision
• Collective responsibility
• Reflective professional inquiry
• Collaboration
• Group, as well as individual, learning.
Summary of research findings
Louis et al (1995, p.4)
“Framework for professional community….emphasize our belief that unless
teachers are provided with more supporting and engaging work environments,
they cannot be expected to concentrate on increasing their abilities to reach
and teach today’s students more effectively.”
Seashore et al (2003, p.3)
“By using the term professional learning community we signify our interest not
only in discrete acts of teacher sharing, but in the establishment of a schoolwide culture that makes collaboration expected, inclusive, genuine, ongoing,
and focused on critically examining practice to improve student outcomes. The
hypothesis is that what teachers do together outside of the classroom can be as
important as what they do inside in affecting school restructuring, teachers’
professional development, and student learning.”
Summary of research findings
Visscher and Witziers (2004, p.798)
PLCs were effective when they: “. . . consistently translate their shared vision and
willingness to cooperate into a system of rules, agreements and goals regarding
teaching and instruction, and evolve their professional activities around this by
obtaining data on student performance, which in turn serves as a feedback
mechanism for improving teaching and learning. This differs from a ‘softer’
approach stressing reflective dialogue, sharing materials, shared vision and the
inner value of professional development.”
Harris (2003, p.322)
“If we are serious about building professional learning communities within and
between schools then we need forms of leadership that support and nourish
meaningful collaboration among teachers. This will not be achieved by clinging
to models of leadership that, by default rather than design delimits the
possibilities for teachers to lead development work in schools.”
2. Discuss how often you meet and where
Some factors to consider in your discussion:
Are mornings better than afternoons? Should you vary?
Are frequent meetings with a policy of ‘attend if you can’, better than
infrequent meetings pre-booked in the diary?
Is the same time and place easier to remember or will it unfairly
disadvantage someone in the group?
Should you meet in each other’s classrooms to put the meetings in context?
There is no such thing as a free lunch but a working one with concessions
may be possible.
3. Agree protocols to make your PLC
Some factors to consider in your discussion:
Review the next slide which summarises research findings of what makes a
PLC most effective.
Under which circumstances will learners be invited to meetings?
Should teams reform after the first projects are finished?
Is the rule ‘you can only point out a problem if you first suggest a solution’ a
useful one for maintaining positive direction?
Good ideas must always be considered in terms of gain verses pain - how
can the group get maximum gain from this collaboration with minimum
What makes an effective PLC?
PLCs are most effective when:
The whole team works towards a common purpose (core aim).
The team meet regularly.
The meetings remain focused on improving learner outcomes.
Problems are not raised unless there are suggested solutions.
Learners are frequently invited in to meetings, either as experts or as
permanent members.
The level of trust in the group is sufficient for them to provide honest
feedback, reflection and supportive criticism.
The team has a communication link to a senior member of staff.
Successes of the team are recognised by colleagues.
5. Sharing Ideas
4. How can you support each other to get
Some factors to consider in your discussion:
The next slide shows the Sigmoid Curve; a research observation that
highlights things will get worse before they improve! This can provide the
confidence needed to take on a project with risk attached because you can
think through solutions beforehand.
Look at the RISC scaling model on slide 37 and the questions that follow it –
is your project likely to be scalable?
How exactly do you think that your project will impact on the core aims for
the school and the learners?
Sigmoid Curve: Risk management model
Eventually your project will create
improvement but make sure you start the
next project before the previous one
becomes too embedded, otherwise the
gains may begin to tail off.
When the
Any project that involves change may cause some initial confusion
and inefficiency and could result in things getting worse not better.
If you predict the extent of this initial dip, you can ensure that you
don’t embark on a project that is outside of the school’s capacity.
Example: Eggbuckland Community College
This is a case study of
innovation spanning
three years in one
College of 1300 students
in the UK.
This is an animated slide
which should be viewed
as a slide show in
RISC Model: Thinking about the scalability
of your project
Sustainability – making sure it scales:
Interesting projects are deployed
around the world every year but few
thrive and grow. Scalability is a key
success factor for any project.
Could another team use your ideas in
the future?
Would other implementations
progress as yours has?
Review the RISC model on the right
and learn more about it in the
‘Knowledge Library’ section of the
1. Awareness
2. Understanding
3. First implementation
4. Routine
5. Refinement
6. Replication
Planning for success
Using the RISC and Sigmoid Curve models on the previous slides, determine the
lifetime of your innovation:
• What are the key process steps?
• What are the success indicators?
• How and when will you begin to scale up the project?
• What risks and challenges will you face?
• How can you keep interest and motivation alive?
• What help and support will your innovation need?
• What negative reactions can you expect and how will you respond to them?
End of Part 3. Our agreed protocol
Our PLC contains the following members
_________, _________, _________, ____________, _______
It meets with the following frequency _________________ at the following
Our agreed protocols for working together are:
Part 4. Deliverable – what is the
baseline and expected outcome?
Project start date: _____________
Whole school core aim it will improve: ________________
How I / we aim to measure the starting point / baseline for the group
of learners:
When I / we measure this again at the end of the project I / we estimate
the following change:
© 2011 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista and other product names are or may be registered trademarks and/or trademarks in the U.S. and/or other countries.
The information herein is for informational purposes only and represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation as of the date of this presentation. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market
conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information provided after the date of this presentation.

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