<p>This Working Paper reports on the initial development and pilot-testing of a web-based instrument designed to collect daily data on instruction, which then could be aggregated to create portraits of content emphasis and pedagogy. The instrument was developed for use in the Study of Instructional Improvement and although it is not currently being used, the authors think there are elements of its design that may be of use to those interested in instructional tracking tools.</p>
A Working Paper by Deborah Loewenberg Ball, Eric Camburn, Richard Correnti, Geoffrey Phelps, and Raven Wallace, December 1999.
<P>This working paper reports on the initial development and pilot testing of a Web-based instrument designed to collect daily data on instruction. This instrument, referred to as the teacher log, was being developed for use in the Study of Instructional Improvement, a large scale, longitudinal study focusing on school improvement in high poverty schools. Although the instructional log we are ultimately using in this research is not a Web-based tool, and its features are both similar to and different from the one under discussion in this report, we think that there are elements of our early instrument design work that may be of use to others interested in the development of such tools to track instruction.</p> <p>In recent years, a number of studies seeking to generate more detailed data on instruction have pioneered the use of teacher logs. Such logs are generally self-administered instruments which ask teachers to report on topics covered, pedagogy, and more. Teachers fill out such logs on a daily basis and data from these daily reports is then aggregated to create portraits of content emphasis and pedagogy over time.</p> <p>In this pilot work, we set out to further develop the potential of teacher logs by experimenting with Web-based technology and computer branching. These features open up possibilities for capturing a much wider range of data and for linking this data to the work of individual students in classrooms. Furthermore, where paper and pencil logs must be distributed to teachers and data from each log entered into a data base, Web technology allows data to be entered directly as teachers complete the log, potentially reducing the burden on both teachers and researchers. The teacher log pilot study was conducted in the spring of 1998 to test the feasibility of using a Web based instrument to collect data on instruction. Seven teachers in two schools used the teacher log to report on 29 lessons in mathematics and reading. In addition, project researchers observed classroom instruction, filled out log reports, and wrote detailed narrative descriptions for 24 of these lessons.</p> <p>Results from this pilot were encouraging. All teachers were able to use the teacher log to report on instruction. Data was successfully entered through a Web interface into a data base and subsequently used to conduct provisional analyses of both instruction and the reliability and validity of the instrument.</p>