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Divisions > Curriculum, Assessment & Accountability > MD Professional Development Planning Guide
Step 2

Step 2:  Specify the intended outcomes and begin working on the evaluation plan.

 

            In this section of your plan, you will focus on what you are trying to accomplish with the activity and begin thinking about how you will evaluate the activity to determine whether it had the intended outcomes.  Too often, professional development planning focuses mostly on the learning activities.  The plans do not reflect or build on a clear vision of outcomes, as reflected in changes in teacher performance and student learning.  When this happens, it is difficult to determine whether the activity was really successful or whether it is necessary to provide additional or different kinds of support to teachers.

 

Later, in Step 4, you will be asked to complete the plan for evaluating the activity.  Keep in mind that a good evaluation will look for evidence that each of the outcomes that you specify here, including outcomes for teachers and for students, have been or are being met.  Therefore, it is important to begin thinking about specific indicators that you will use to determine whether the  outcomes have been met. 

 

            If you are planning a series of activities that will last for several months or longer, it may be a good idea to set some interim benchmarks that you can use to help determine if the activities are on track.  For example, you may want to set some benchmarks for teacher learning or for practicing new skills that will occur before full implementation and use.  Later, if these benchmarks are not met or if they are not met on the schedule you project, you can alter your plans and schedule for later activities.  In addition, you can make plans for alternative activities that will help participants meet the early benchmarks.  Reaching early benchmarks to assess progress may be especially useful in planning effective follow up. 

 

            Setting benchmarks and gauging progress in meeting them increases the likelihood that the activity that you are planning will achieve the intended outcomes.  In addition, if the benchmarks are met, there will be occasions to celebrate early successes.  You may also discover that reporting progress against early benchmarks helps in communications with funders and others whose support is important to your work. 

 

 

 

 Use this chart to list the intended outcomes for the activity. You should include outcomes for participants as well as student outcomes that will result from participants’ application of new knowledge and skills in their schools and classrooms.  The outcomes for teachers should be defined in terms of measurable and/or observable changes in knowledge and skills as well as changes in practice.   The outcomes for students should be described in terms of specific measurable and/or observable indicators of student learning.  As appropriate, you should also indicate which student subgroups you expect to achieve these outcomes.  Finally, you should also indicate when you expect each of the outcomes to be achieved.  As appropriate, list any benchmarks that you have established to gauge progress toward the teacher and student outcomes and indicate when you expect the benchmarks to be reached.

 

 

Planning Tip 5:  Student outcomes are important, but think carefully about the indicators.

 


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