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Using Data Collection Tools

Using Data Collection Tools

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will learn about tools that may be used during observations that allow coaches to provide effective feedback to teachers.

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Video Transcription

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Welcome. I'm Trisha Fyfe. In today's video lesson, I will explore the topic of Using Data Collection Data. As we learn about this topic, we will work toward several learning objectives. And in this video lesson, we will use the following two questions to guide our learning. What tools can be used during observations? And how can these tools be used by coaches to provide effective feedback?

Let's start by talking about data collection tools. In 1995, different data collection techniques were identified by Smith and Garner. These tools help coaches provide feedback after the observation. These tools include things like running transcript, grids, tally sheets, and dialogue recording. We're going to go through each of these and I'll give you some examples.

The first tool that we'll talk about is the running transcript. This method involves a coach recording a narration of the lesson. This recording should be done to resemble the lesson as closely as possible. The coach may insert relevant comments, as well.

Here's an example. A coach might observe a first grade lesson on writing sentences. The coach would record what is said, comments and questions by the students, actions of the teacher, responses of the teacher, and any basic observations that affect that lesson and the environment.

The next data collection tool that we'll discuss is grids. When using this tool, the coach records comments under specific targeted areas, and it's based on the focus of the observation. So these can change, depending on what your focus is.

Here's an example of this. The focus of this grid would be to make observations on the teacher and student actions, and the lesson is on area and perimeter of rectangles. So we would set this up with teacher and student listed across the top from left to right, each in their own column. And then maybe area and perimeter would be each of their own categories for the rows up and down.

So there would be intersecting areas of teacher and area, teacher and perimeter, and student and area, and student and perimeter. And the coach could record questions and comments, and interactions of student and teacher under each of these intersecting areas.

The third data collection tool that we'll discuss today is the tally sheet. This is when the coach records the frequency of occurrences of classroom interactions. For example, the type of participation-- student or teacher.

Here's an example application of this technique. A coach uses a seating chart to tally responses during a class discussion. Student and teacher responses are recorded. And the coach would also record any lack of participation or response if a student was called on. And again, they'll have a seating chart so that they know exactly who to make the tally marks under.

The last data collection tool that we'll explore today is dialogue recording. This is when the coach records what the teacher says, what the students says, or both. Here's an example. A coach observes a middle school social studies lesson. And in this observation, the coach would record what the teacher says, questions and comments of the students, and any measures of effectiveness of directions within this lesson.

When collecting data, it's important to keep in mind that there are some best practices for data collection. While data collection maybe an informal way to provide feedback, we can use the information later to record it into a more formal observation or feedback sheet. Maybe we apply it to Marzano's Teacher Evaluation Model or Danielson's Framework for Teaching.

Since these tools provide such detailed data, coaches can use them in post-observation conferences. It's important to remember that coaching conferences are non-evaluative. But the data collected should be shared with the teacher. Coaches need to support what was observed.

Generally, the data collection tools are used one at a time-- one observation, one tool. But coaches can use different tools for different observations for the same teacher. It's up to the coach to determine the right fit for the tools, based on the established goals. If a coach wants to observe language that was used and if students were responding well to it, they might use a dialogue reporting, not a tally sheet, for example.

Let's talk about what we learned today. We looked at the following questions. What tools can be used during observation? And how can these tools be used by coaches to provide effective feedback?

Now that you're more familiar with these concepts, let's reflect for a moment. Have you used any of these data collection tools, or others, in your own teaching thus far? What are the benefits and possible challenges to using each of these four collection methods?

Thanks for joining me today in discussing the lesson, Using Data Collection Data. I hope you found value in this video lesson and are able to apply these ideas and resources to your own teaching and coaching experiences. As you reflect on how this new 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 “Using Data Collection Data Tools”


(00:00- 00:27) Introduction/Objectives

(00:28- 00:52) What are Data Collection Tools?

(00:53- 01:30) Running Transcript

(01:31- 02:30) Grids

(02:31- 03:09) Tally Sheets

(03:10- 03:38) Dialogue Recording

(03:39- 04:48) Best Practices for Data Collection

(04:49- 05:00) Recap  

(05:01- 05:48) Reflection

Additional Resources

Kappa Teachers: Observation Templates

This site provides useful tools to use during the teacher observation and evaluation process. This site includes a running record transcript process as well as observation templates.

Instructional Coaching Tools

This site includes useful tools and suggestions for collecting data to use in the process of instructional coaching from a teacher's perspective.