Student surveys to provide critical feedback about learning environment

26-Sep-2013

A student survey being administered in Hawaii’s public schools through Oct. 18 will provide educators with critical classroom feedback aimed at improving teaching and learning. The Tripod Student Perceptions Survey measures effective student-teacher relationships and elements of teaching quality.

​Student Survey FAQs

Common questions about the Tripod survey asked and answered.

A student survey being administered in Hawaii’s public schools through Oct. 18 will provide educators with critical classroom feedback aimed at improving teaching and learning.

Students from kindergarten through grade 12 are taking the Tripod Student Perceptions Survey, which measures effective student-teacher relationships and elements of teaching quality.

“Students interact with their teachers every school day. Their insights and reflections on classroom experiences will provide valuable information for educators and schools,” said Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “The data we receive will allow us to focus on building on the strengths and working on the challenges in our classrooms. This is aligned to the goals set in our Strategic Plan to transform public education.”

The research-based voluntary survey is part of a new Educator Effectiveness System (EES). Beginning this school year, survey results will be included as one of multiple measures of the EES, which was developed based upon recommendations from teachers.

The survey allows students to assess their engagement and generates information about how they experience teaching practices and classroom learning conditions. Survey data can be used, for example, to tailor professional development for specific needs or track school progress on initiatives. Results will also capture information about school climate and youth culture.

Students in grades 3-12 will use a 5-point scale to rate statements such as “My teacher takes the time to summarize what we learn each day,” or “In this class, we learn to correct our mistakes.” Kindergartners, first and second graders will have similar age-appropriate statements proctored by a different teacher and use a 3-point scale in their answers. Students’ names will be kept confidential from teachers and administrators.

“We are excited and proud of the hard work by schools, educators and staff in establishing a system to collect quality student feedback statewide,” said DOE Deputy Superintendent Ronn Nozoe. “We all value student voices as an important component of our comprehensive support system for educators.”

The survey, which will be administered twice during the school year (once in the fall and in the spring), was developed in a partnership between Cambridge Education and Dr. Ronald Ferguson, the director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University. Students in hundreds of schools in more than 25 states have used the survey.

Tripod Student Survey Assessments are featured in the Gates Foundation MET study of teaching quality. Using a sample of more than 44,500 students, the results of the MET study reinforce a growing consensus that integrating student survey assessments with high-quality observations and student achievement gains creates a much more valid and reliable teacher evaluation system compared to current standard practices.

For more information about the survey, please visit the Department's Educator Effectivenes System webpage.

The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. Hawaii’s public school system was established in 1840 by King Kamehameha III. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

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