Data Collection Method—Pilot Study
rite an essay that addresses the following:
Describe interrelationships you will be looking for in the data you collect and how different types and sources of data may lead to important findings
Explain insights gained based on piloting a data collection method
Note: Once you receive feedback on this part of the Evaluation Plan, you will need to add the information to the Professional Development Plan At-a-Glance (Column Five: Data Analysis).
In the Conducting Phase, you get to put your plan into action. The best way to begin this part of the process is to test out your data tools first to see if the data you intend to collect is actually going to give you the results you want. By piloting the tools first, you can go back and change data tools before conducting an actual study, which, in the end, can save you time and money. You can also uncover potential problems with the data collection method. For this week’s Application, you will pilot one data collection technique.
Last week, you chose a data collection method to pilot with a trial group. You were provided with the following examples of data collection methods you might pilot:
If you will be using a survey, plan to administer a similar survey to a group of teachers related to their current practices
If you will be observing in classrooms, plan to conduct an observation using the tool you have selected for collecting data during the observation
If you will be interviewing teachers, students, or principals, plan to conduct similar interviews and record the type of data you will be looking for in your evaluation.
Prepare all necessary materials and, for consistency as well as accuracy, make sure anyone who is helping you with the data collection is clear on the method. Remember that you are piloting the method of data collection, not actually collecting data related to your program. For an example of a hypothetical district’s piloting or “ pre-testing” of collection methods, refer to “Chapter 9: Data Collection: Creating and Using the Tools” in this week’s required reading, Evaluating Standards-Based Professional Development for Teachers: A Handbook for Practitioners.
Then, conduct the pilot of the data collection method. As you do so, ask yourself the following questions (provided in Chapter 7, “Collecting Data” of your course text, Assessing Impact):
Are the data being collected those that were planned?
What problems are occurring in the data-collection process, and how can they be resolved?
What other data might need to be collected?
How do I manage the data during this time?
How can I ensure accuracy and precision in the data-collection process?
Finally, write an essay based on this week’s Discussion that describes the interrelationships you will be looking for in the data you collect and how different types and sources of data may lead to important findings. Include in your essay the insights you gained by piloting a data collection method. Be sure to address the prompts above.
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