Observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy and Observation Process May 2019

To download the full policy, click here.

Context

  1. 1. Green Labyrinth (GL) is committed to ensuring that observation of Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA) is developmental and supportive with outcomes for learners being central to the process.   

  1. 2. GL is committed to ensuring that the overall performance and quality of the delivery are of a high standard across all training provision and delivery. To this end, they ensure that the learner experience is positive, continually improving and meets the needs of the individual learner (and their employer where applicable). 

  1. 3. Professional standards for teaching and learning are set by the Education Training Foundation and Ofqual. The Common Inspection Framework (CIF) sets the standards for the quality of delivery, which can include a grading structure which can be used to support judgements. The quality of TLA, within the CIF, provides the main criteria against which direct delivery is judged.

  1. 4. Judgements of the quality of TLA should be comprehensive, detailed and standardised, based on the evaluation of a variety of evidence, primarily observations of TLA and direct learner feedback. Provision should be graded using the CIF grading structure. Although the Grade is no longer an Ofsted requirement, the performance criteria for each Grade still sets an excellent benchmark.  The follow grading descriptors will be adopted by Green Labyrinth from January 2019.

  2. A. EXCEPTIONAL

  3. B. BENEFICIAL 

  4. C. NOT YET BENEFICIAL

  5. D. UNPRODUCTIVE

Purpose

  1. 1. A quality framework for observations is required to ensure company-wide robust, reliable and effective delivery systems. 

2. This quality assures teaching, learning and assessment standards and drives quality improvement. 

3. The evidence generated through this will be used by GL to identify strengths and areas for improvement across all of our TLA delivery. 

  1. 4. The purpose of GL’s observation process is to ensure: (more specific definitions are on page 13 of this document)

  2.   • Learners are receiving a high standard of education, training and assessment which meets internal and external standards 
  3.   • Teacher’s planning is evaluated for it effectiveness of teaching and learning
  4.   • The impact and effectiveness of resources is evaluated, specifically IT and innovation 
  5.   • The relevance and purpose of the lesson is evaluated and how the pace of the lesson engages the learners
  6.   • The feedback given to learners is evaluated and how it supports effective teaching and learning
  7.   • The progress made by learners is measured within the lesson and TLA is adjusted accordingly 
  8.   • Identifications where improvement of the quality of the learning experience is required to further promote achievement and engagement 
  9.   • Learners feel safe during the learning experience and that safeguarding and equality and diversity are promoted throughout the learner journey as        part of our inclusive learning practice
  10.   • Development of solutions to TLA areas for improvement and implementing appropriate CPD and/or formal training
  11.   • Promotion of staff and curriculum development and dissemination of good practice

GL Observation Policy

All Green Labyrinth tutors and Work Based Learning (WBL) consultants will be observed at regular intervals. GL’s policy and process focus on aspects which make a significant impact on learners and include the following:  

Process:

  1.  Establish an experienced team of observers (OTLA Specialists) with a nominated manager to cover the standardisation of observer grades (EA)
  2.  All subject areas should be observed across all areas of delivery for Green Labyrinth Training
  3.  Disseminate and share good practice across delivery teams
  4.  Introduce and develop the use of peer observation, where appropriate, such as in the introduction of a new learner activity or new programme/course
  5.  Using additional learner voice, review and analyse learner feedback and establish learner focus groups where appropriate

Quality, standardisation and moderation Process of OTLA

  1.  Undertake quarterly moderation of the OTLA process across GL. The Quality Manager, Study Programme Centre Manager and Operations Director will be involved in moderation activities 
  2.  Moderation activities can include; co-observations, systematic reviewing of teaching paperwork such as SoW & Lesson Plans, team discussions about required support for tutors and company-wide initiatives 
  3.  Observation outcomes will be measured and will form part of the KPIs set for tutors & WBL Consultants 
  4.  Analysis of quality, grades and trends and identify strengths and weakness of the teams
  5.  Highlight staff development needs from OTLA observations and include them in Company Training days and CPD plans to improve the quality of delivery by individuals and teams 
  6.  Adding any areas for improvement to Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) for monitoring and recording purposes
  7.  Identifying and implementing QIP actions from quarterly reviews and analysis

GL Senior Management Team to be fully committed to monitoring and improving TLA by:

  1.  Driving TLA quality improvement as a core business requirement as part of QIP
  2.  Ensuring teachers and consultants have the required support to achieve a judgement of BENEFICIAL
  3.  Ensuring that if a BENEFICIAL grade is not achieved, the tutor or consultant is supported through CPD, action planning and individual support by a nominated member of the OTLA team or subject matter expert
  4.  Including and reviewing OTLA in staff appraisals which will now form part of the KPIs for all delivery staff
  5.  Endorsing staff CPD activities in line with QIP OTLA requirements

Protocol of observations

Aim: To implement and manage a robust observation process for GL to monitor, celebrate and improve the quality of TLA. This also applies to Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG), teaching, assessment and learner reviews.

Methodology

Plan: The OTLA Team and Quality Delivery Manager will agree a plan of observations and when these will take place. This will be added to the Quality Calendar. Dates can also be found on the OTLA Tracker. The focus for OTLA is to improve the quality of TLA and to ensure that the learners have a positive experience with successful outcomes. 

The following types of observation will be planned and carried out as part of the GL observation strategy:

Graded

  1. • To be undertaken by a member of The OTLA Team. The observed performance is evaluated as; EXCEPTIONAL, BENEFICIAL, NOT YET BENEFICIAL or UNPRODUCTIVE. 
  2.  The grade given is based on matching the observed performance to the grade descriptor which most accurately reflects the standards of performance observed against Planning, Purpose, Pace & Progress.

Developmental

  1.  To be undertaken by OTLA Specialists as part of GL CPD developmental activities. 
  2.  The focus of a developmental OTLA is based on recognising strengths and identifying areas for improvement in individual practice, in order to drive continuous improvement and help (new) members of the team to prepare for graded observations.

Peer 

  1.  These may be undertaken by any Tutor/Trainer/WBL Consultant/Manager to support the development of staff through the sharing of good practice, introduction of a new course or new learner activities. For example, team building activities, team problem solving or when a new programme is introduced.
  2.  These are also encouraged to develop teaching practice for a particular learner or learning need. 
  3.  These can also be a part of a tutor or consultant’s action plan from a prior observation which was graded under Beneficial.

Process of observation of teaching, learning and assessment

  •  GL’s planned annual Quality Calendar will  give staff adequate notice and preparation time.  OTLA Specialists must inform staff at least two weeks in advance.

  •  Should dates change for any reason, a minimum two week notice period will be given by the observer to the member of staff being observed. 

  •  The member of staff undertaking the observation must confirm arrangements for feedback with the person being observed. 

  •  The person undertaking the observation must also check any action plans from any previous observation for training needs and actions, to inform judgments on improvements made.

  •  In Study Programme, staff are formally observed a minimum of twice a year and given a final grade. This observation will be a SMART target on a staff member’s review and KPIs will be taken from areas for improvement from previous observations (of any kind).

  •  Within WBL, staff will be formally observed a minimum of twice a year. One observation will be centered around the delivery of the qualification and the other will be centered around the review process. Observations will be planned to accommodate the needs of the organisation and careful consideration will be given to those working within a care home environment. 

During the observation, the observer:

  1.  Must minimise disruption and remain unobtrusive
  2.  Observe up to 60 minutes or different stages of the lesson such as the beginning, mid-session and the end for judging TLA in a classroom environment
  3.  Note attendance and punctuality of learners 
  4.  Evaluate learner progress against learning outcomes 
  5.  Evaluate the embedding and contextualisation of Functional Skills (English, Maths and ICT) (specifically, in classroom teaching)
  6.  Record and comment on each section of lesson observed and note strengths and AFI for Planning, Purpose, Pace and Progress.

Feedback from learners as part of OTLA

  1.  Observers should aim to interview the learner or group of learners as part of the observation process, in order to triangulate evidence and to check if the lesson, assessment or review activity observed is typical of the learners ‘normal experience’.
  2.  Notes on learner feedback should be recorded in the relevant section on the observation record.

Feedback and action plans as an outcome of OTLA

  1.  Initial verbal feedback with the teacher should be given on the day of the observation.
  2.  Written feedback should be provided within 5 working days of the observation.
  3.  The member of staff should be encouraged to evaluate their own performance by identifying what went well and less well, prior to the formal feedback session. Self-reflection is critical to the observation process. The member of staff observed is encouraged to use the self-reflection template on the last page of the lesson plan form.
  4.  All OTLA forms must be shared with Operations Director to add to staff’s HR files to support with KPI measurement.

Observer providing formal feedback

  1.  Feedback should be evidence-based and clearly demonstrate how judgments were reached.
  2.  The observer must provide sufficient opportunity for the member of staff to ask questions and seek clarification of any points that are unclear.
  3.  An opportunity to discuss the feedback face-to-face with the observer within 5 days of the observation must be given.

Low Judgement Grade

Staff whose performance is judged as NOT YET BENEFICIAL or UNPRODUCTIVE will be provided with support as follows:

  •  Staff whose performance is judged as NOT YET BENEFICIAL or UNPRODUCTIVE will work with their observer(s) to agree a formal action plan within 10 days of the observation. It should be directed to improve the Grade to BENEFICIAL or above.

  •  A second observation will be arranged within 6 weeks of the formal action plan being introduced with clear guidance from the observer, prior to the observation, with the key criteria that will be observed to measure improvement.

  •  The Line / Quality Manager are responsible for reviewing actual progress with action plans and adding comments to staff review forms. It is recommended that actions are reviewed at least once during the 6 weeks between the start date of the action plan and the date of the next observation. 

High Judgement Grade

Staff whose performance is judged as BENEFICIAL or EXCEPTIONAL will be recognised by SLT and asked to support in sharing good practice company-wide, including delivering TLA relevant CPD. 

All good practice identified through the observation process will be shared across GL through the following methods:

  1.  Team and staff meetings
  2.  Peer Observations
  3.  Sharing of resources 
  4.  Standardisation
  5.  CPD and Development Days

Protocol for moderation of observations

Aim: To moderate observation grades and judgements through sample observations.

Methodology

Plan: The OTLA specialists will agree a plan of sample observations. This should identify a schedule (frequency, programmes, session type/event across all aspects of delivery (induction, teaching, learning, assessment and reviews, dates/timings, learner groups, locations etc.) sufficient to moderate the grades and judgements generated through the GL observation policy. Please refer to the Quality Calendar for specific dates for work based learning observations.

Sample observations: Joint observations of a planned session: 

OTLA Specialists and Quality Manager will complete a joint observation at least once a term where both parties will grade the session. This will form part of the standardisation of the OTLA process to ensure consistency for each observation.  

Moderation: Immediately following the observation, the observers will provide a copy of their completed observation record and grading for discussion. They will:

  1.  Agree the judgements or provide sufficient evidence to moderate the judgements and grade.
  2.  If the parties agree that there is insufficient evidence to confidently moderate the judgements and/or grade, the parties should agree and plan for additional joint observations to provide the evidence. This may include the support from GL SLT.
  3.  If observers do not agree on a Grade, a meeting with another OTLA specialist takes place for a negotiated grade to be determined.

Appendix One

Lesson Observation Form

APPENDIX TWO

Lesson Plan Form with Self-Reflection 

LESSON PLAN FORM
(2018-2019)

LESSON EVALUATION
(2018-2019)