The EVALOE-SSD, a digital tool for the professional development of teachers

Submitted by: Marta Gràcia
Abstract: Abstract

School is a natural context where the communicative strategies used by teachers when interacting with students are essential for the development of their communicative competence (Hamre, Hatfield, Pianta, & Jamil, 2014, Mercer, 2010). The goal of this study was to build, implement and validate a digital system (EVALOE-SSD) with the purpose of contributing to teacher’s professional development through reflective self-evaluation and decision-making to improve oral and signed competence of their students. The design combines the multiple case study with the Design Based Implementation Research. The data collection and analysis follow a mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methodology. The participants include 8 teachers from 8 different types of schools and their student groups. The EVALOE-SSD is a digital system that includes different resources. The main one is a 30-item questionnaire with three response options grouped into five dimensions (instructional design, conversation management by the teacher, conversation management by students, communicative functions and teacher strategies; students’ communicative functions). It includes a description of each dimension and each item. Also, it incorporates a set of "aids" in several support types (written text, audio, video, image) that teachers can consult while performing the self-assessment, and when they subsequently have to take decisions about what action or strategy they will introduce in their next classes. For 5-6 months, we followed the teachers’ weekly use of the tool to self-assess their classes, make decisions, and introduce changes in their classes. During the same period, the researchers made 4 classroom observations of each teacher with their students and evaluated them with the tool. The experience was used to introduce changes in the tool to improve its usability. The results highlight that the teachers perceive it, initially, as a complex tool. The more they become familiar with it, the more they appreciate its usefulness. The teachers contributed to a great extent to the improvement of the tool with their assessments. The results also indicate differences among the teachers concerning their involvement, motivation, knowledge and use of the tool, as well as their self-perception of the degree to which its use has improved their teaching practice and their students’ skills.

Keywords: professional development, tool, oral competence, teachers, students

Hamre, B. K., R. C. Pianta, J. T. Downer, J. DeCoster, A. J. Mashburn, S. M. Jones, J. L. Brown, et al. 2013. “Teaching through interactions: Testing a developmental framework of teacher effectiveness in over 4,000 classrooms”. The Elementary School Journal 113 (4): 461-487.

Mercer, N. 2010. “The analysis of the classroom talk: Methods and methodologies.” British Journal of Educational Psychology 1: 1-14.