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Evaluating Progress and Making Changes

Evaluating Progress and Making Changes

Author: Ashley Sweatt

In this lesson, students will learn how to evaluate progress in an instructional improvement plan and determine whether changes need to be made.

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Hi. My name is Ashley, and today's lesson is titled Evaluating Progress and Making Changes. In today's lesson, we'll look at what's involved in the act stage of PDSA. Then we'll look at the process of changing goals and identify when benchmarks and strategies should be changed. Then we'll look at how you can ensure that your instructional changes are effective. Lastly, we'll look at how a PDSA can be used for continuous improvement.

What is involved in the act stage of PDSA? The act stage is the final stage of PDSA-- the Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle. It is used to make adjustments to the goal. After the data has been reviewed, plans are made whether or not changes need to take place in order to increase student achievement. These changes could include the goal, benchmarks, or other outcomes.

What is the process of changing goals? You often have to change goals when using a professional development plan. Once goals have been mastered, then you can choose new goals to work towards. And it's a good practice to keep count of the goals you have met. Goals may also need to be changed if there is a change in the classroom or student needs, if the goal is not a SMART goal, or if it's inappropriate to the content.

Goals do not need to be changed just because immediate results are showing as unsuccessful if this should happen, then the teacher and coach should look for other possible approaches. Instead, break down the goal into smaller parts, rather than changing the entire goal.

When developing new goals, follow these best practices. Change goals based on the needs of the educator and the students. Change goals based on the data that has been received in the study stage. Use feedback from collaborative discussions to create new goals. Use reflection to help analyze goals with expected outcomes. Make sure all members of the coaching team agree on the new goals, and ensure the new goals are in SMART format. Also, remember, when goals are changed, the outcome should also be changed to support the new goals.

When should benchmarks be changed? Benchmarks should be changed when goals are changed to reflect the revised goals. Benchmarks should also be changed when they're inappropriate for the task, when more or less progress occurs than anticipated, when there's a change in instruction, and when benchmarks are unattainable and unreachable. In this case, the benchmarks should be revised so that it's more attainable, but still aligned to the goal.

When should strategies be changed? Strategies are actions that are taken in order to meet the specific goal. If goals, outcomes, and benchmarks remain intact but progress is not being made, then strategies may need to be altered in order to meet the goal. Strategies may be changed if they do not achieve the desired outcome or if they do not fit with the class culture or teacher.

If new effective strategies become available, then you may want to switch over to new strategies. You may also change strategies if resources that were once used are not available or have been found to be ineffective. Once changes are made, the PDSA cycle may restart.

How can you ensure instructional changes are effective? When you have decided to make changes to your strategies or instructional practice, you should work with an instructional coach to determine the best changes that can be made without causing difficulties for students.

Instructional coaches may help you handle any changes that need to be made. Subtle changes in instruction can be made at any time. However, other changes should occur naturally, such as at the end of the lesson, the end of the unit, or at the end of a marking period. Major changes should be shared with the class, while minor changes that are less noticeable may not need to be shared.

How can a PDSA be used for continuous improvement? Improvement is never done, even though the act stage is in the final stage of the PDSA cycle. The cycle restarts once changes are made. Once the new plan is in place, new data will be studied and analyzed. The cycle continues throughout the coaching relationship.

Let's recap what we have discussed in today's lesson. We covered a lot in this lesson. We looked at what is involved in the act stage of the PDSA, which is making adjustments to the goal. We looked at the process when changing goals and win benchmarks and strategies should be changed. In most cases, these elements should be changed when they do not fit with the class culture or they do not bring the expected results.

You can ensure that your instructional changes will be effective if you work with an instructional coach and use feedback to make decisions. Lastly, when using the PDSA cycle, remember that it is for continuous improvement, and improvement is never done.

Review your goals and strategies. Do adjustments need to be made? As you reflect on how this information can be applied, you may want to explore the additional resources section that accompanies this video presentation. This is where you'll find links to resources chosen to help you deepen your learning and explore ways to apply your newly acquired skill set.

Notes on "Evaluating Progress and Making Changes"


(00:00 - 00:11) Introduction

(00:12 - 00:36) What Will You Learn Today?

(00:37 - 01:06) What is Involved in the Act Stage of PDSA?

(01:07 - 02:30) What is the Process of Changing Goals?

(02:31 - 03:03) When Should Benchmarks be Changed?

(03:04 - 03:50) When Should Strategies be Changed?

(03:51 - 04:37) How Can You Ensure Instructional Changes are Effective?

(04:38 - 05:05) How Can a PDSA be Used for Continuous Improvement?

(05:06 - 05:56) What Did You Learn Today?

(05:57 - 06:20) Reflection


Additional Resources

Instructional Improvement Systems: Planning and Implementation Guide

This useful guide from the Reform Support Network provides tools, resources, and best practices for school improvement.

Using Student Achievement Data to Support Instructional Decision Making

This guide from the National Association of Elementary School Principals is a useful toolkit for using data to guide instructional decisions and school improvement.