Teacher evaluation is one of the many challenges school leaders are facing in their continued response to COVID-19. How should school leaders evaluate teaching in an uncertain environment, and what does effective teaching look like in remote learning settings?

To answer these questions, the Network for Educator Effectiveness (NEE) is providing recommendations, resources, and templates to help school leaders evaluate effective teaching in remote learning environments.

In Adaptability and Growth: Evaluating Effective Teaching in Remote Learning Environments, we provide:

  • Recommendations for evaluating teacher effectiveness in remote learning environments.
  • Templates for teachers and instructional leaders to gather and evaluate evidence of effective teaching in remote learning environments, including the Remote Learning Evidence Log, the Remote Learning Lesson Planning Template, and the Lesson Model for Effective Remote Learning.
  • Insights into how key components of NEE continue to support the growth of all educators.

You can download the guide using the form on the right side of this page. (Note: NEE member schools can also access these materials on the NEE Data Tool Help and Resources Menu by searching “remote learning.” NEE’s Classroom Observation rubrics and remote learning indicator notes are only available in the NEE Data Tool for member schools. Updates have been made to the Classroom Observation rubrics to include remote learning notes for 14 indicators.)

Read our recent blog posts for additional ideas and strategies that can help provide clarity, engagement, and motivation during uncertain times:

If you have questions, please contact NEE Customer Support at nee@missouri.edu or 844-793-4357.

Q&As: Evaluating Remote Teaching

How should classroom observations work in different learning settings?

Face to Face: If learning occurs in a traditional, face-to-face setting, continue classroom observations as normal. Our standard recommendation is for each teacher to be observed 6 to 10 times per year for 10 minutes apiece.

Remote: In remote settings, utilize observation windows and approach observations as a portfolio process instead of a snapshot. Observation windows should be a period of 3 to 4 weeks of time, although you might implement shorter windows of 1 week to 2 weeks as you get started so you can give more immediate feedback. At the end of each observation window, you should have a variety of evidence to consider as you enter classroom observation data.

You might also consider incorporating indicators that encourage effective remote teaching. (A list of possible remote learning indicators can be found on Pages 3-4 of Adaptability and Growth: Evaluating Effective Teaching in Remote Learning Environments.) We have added notes to the NEE Classroom Observation rubrics for the 14 indicators listed detailing what those practices might look like in remote learning environments.

Continue to collect evidence on and evaluate 3 to 5 priority indicators for your school or district.

Evidence can come from a variety of sources. You may use documents available through NEE to collect evidence, such as the Remote Learning Evidence Log and Remote Learning Lesson Planning Template. Review resources and documents available in your LMS. You may use recordings when available for evidence, but be sure to follow board policies concerning security and privacy in video use.

Hybrid: Some districts will utilize a hybrid model of face-to-face learning and remote learning. If this is your situation, you will want to collect evidence in both settings utilizing the methods outlined previously. When entering data, make sure to document which evaluations occurred in face-to-face settings and which occurred in remote settings.

Simultaneous: Sometimes teachers may instruct both virtual and in-person students at the same time. In this situation, NEE recommends that the evaluator focus the observation on the teaching practices involving the students with whom the teacher is actively working – whether that is the virtual or in-person students. The teaching practices used with the active group should be the focus as the evaluator works up and down the scoring rubric. The number of students in the active group represents the total number of students for determining the percentage of students or percentage of time in relation to the NEE rubric. NEE recommends collecting evidence and leaving comments on how the teacher may engage the other group(s) of students in the teaching practices without affecting the scoring decisions.

How should the student survey process work in a remote environment?

You might consider incorporating indicators that encourage effective remote teaching within the student survey. (A list of possible remote learning indicators can be found on Pages 3-4 of Adaptability and Growth: Evaluating Effective Teaching in Remote Learning Environments.) However, don’t include too many of the indicators or the survey will become too lengthy. Pick 3 to 5 priority indicators total for your school, and survey students on those indicators.

We also recommend narrowing the survey window to around 30 minutes and implementing plans to proctor the survey remotely, if possible, in order to minimize the chances for students to take a survey multiple times.

How should feedback and documentation look?

The importance of communication, feedback, and documentation in remote settings cannot be overstated.

Set and communicate your expectations from the beginning. What indicators will you evaluate in remote settings? How will you collect evidence from teachers? How often?

If implementing new processes, practices, or systems, communicate those changes in a written manner – and make sure they are aligned to board policy. Get confirmation that teachers have received the information.

When delivering feedback, refer to the Guide to Effective Feedback Conversations. The three “golden rules” apply: Feedback should be timely, ongoing, and consistent. Follow the five steps:

  1. Prepare
  2. Present the data
  3. Discuss the focus
  4. Make a plan
  5. Follow up

Feedback should be delivered face to face if at all possible. If not possible, the next option is a video chat or, at minimum, a phone call.

Are exemplar videos available to show effective teaching in remote settings?

NEE member schools can access remote instruction videos from Mizzou Academy in “The NEE Indicators and Remote Learning” module available in EdHub (see the Additional Resources section of the module). There also are exemplar videos in EdHub (in the Indicator Video Exemplars topic) for several of the indicators identified as particularly important in remote settings; exemplar videos are available for NEE Indicators 1.2, 4.1, 5.1, 5.3, 5.3b, and 7.4. The videos available were recorded in traditional classroom settings; however, educators can use the videos to discuss how the teaching might look different but still be effective in remote settings. Refer to the NEE Classroom Observation rubrics and remote learning notes for more specifics. NEE will be working to add video exemplars for remote learning settings in EdHub as opportunities arise. If you have examples to share with us, please email nee@missouri.edu.

Another good resource is the Remote Learning topic within EdHub. The module “The NEE Indicators and Remote Learning” details the 14 NEE indicators identified for remote settings, why they’re important, and what they might look like in remote learning environments. Remote instruction videos from Mizzou Academy are available in the module under Additional Resources.

How do teachers show evidence of engagement in a remote environment?

Teachers can use a variety of evidence to demonstrate engagement in remote settings, including recorded videos of class sessions or planning, resources/documents available in the LMS, student work examples, and assessments. One evidence-collection tool that NEE has made available is the Remote Learning Evidence Log, which provides a way for teachers to document the implementation of effective teaching practices in remote learning environments. Instructions for getting started with the Remote Learning Evidence Log are included in the guide available for download on the top right side of this page.

Q&A Recording: Thursday, July 23

Q&A Recording: Wednesday, July 22

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