Monday, March 26, 2012

The Skinny on Instructional Effectiveness System Development and Roll-Out Activities

Have you ever hoped that a new service would be available as soon as it is has become someone’s dream? Have you ever wondered what occurs behind the scenes in preparation for rolling-out a new service? The material below is a very short explanation of the steps involved in bringing ATI’s most recent new service component to Galileo users.

Getting a new service to end users is a very complex process. ATI is currently rolling out the Instructional Effectiveness Assessment System – a new service component in the Galileo K-12 Instructional Improvement System. Would it surprise you to know that the planning for this new service component began over two years ago? As you would imagine, the first step in the process was the recognition that districts would benefit by having a reliable and valid method for measuring the effectiveness of instruction integrated within the context of student education. Once the initial recognition had occurred, ATI management began to flush out defining characteristics that would be important in such a service component. A few of the questions that had to be answered in this phase included: What data should the system contain? How should that data be obtained? How and to whom should the data be reported? What types of data analysis would be most effective in understanding and using the data? How do you add yet another evaluation process without interfering with the educational process? Periodically potential end users were asked to look at the plans as they were being developed and to provide feedback on the emerging plan’s characteristics.

Once the overall conceptualization of the service had begun to take shape, the ATI computer design staff was presented with the defining characteristics of the project. Their tasks included designing the interfaces that would be needed in the gathering and displaying of data in a user-friendly way and which were associated with each of the goals of the project. The computer designers not only had to figure effective ways to display the data gathering portion of the system but they also had to design the ways in which the data could be most effectively presented to those would be using it in data-driven decision making and communication.

As the computer designers moved toward basic design completion, they worked interactively with the ATI software engineers whose tasks included developing the technological solutions required to accomplish the goals of the plan. The IT department was brought into the process as it is their responsibility to ensure that the technology required for all services is available at all times. They evaluated the then current infrastructure to ensure its ability to handle each aspect of addition the new service component. Additionally at this point, the ATI communication staff was introduced to the project and charged first with developing a plan to inform Galileo users of the instructional effectiveness benefits and functionality of the instructional effectiveness system and then to develop supporting materials to communicate these benefits and functionality to Galileo users. The ATI professional development team was also involved at this point as it is their task to provide professional development sessions to assist the ATI field services staff to fully understand the new service and to assist users maximize all tools/services within the Galileo instructional improvement system including new ones.

Toward the later stages of this developmental process, 38 Arizona school districts participated in a pilot of the instructional effectiveness project. These districts are in the process of providing feedback part of which has already been incorporated into the system. ATI is grateful to these districts for piloting the system and for providing excellent feedback to make the system even more exciting.

And so the process goes each time a new service is prepared for the Galileo instructional improvement system. It is a complex set of operations and we love doing it. Hopefully, you enjoy having new service components as they are developed.

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