Unit 4: Developing an Evaluation Plan

Image by Marin via Flickr, CC BY-2.0

Bwestrightarrows.png Unit Objective & Purpose

Objective: Given a set of guidelines, the participant will design an action plan for implementing a reflective teaching strategy to evaluate their instruction.

The purpose of the unit is for participants to create a plan for implementing an self-evaluation strategy into their teaching practice.

Bwestreadit.png Introduction

In unit 3, you were exposed to a variety of strategies that you can use to evaluate your own instruction. You have also reflected on the pros and cons of each strategy. Now you are going to develop your own evaluation plan. This plan will guide the integration of reflective teaching into your professional practice.

As noted in unit 1, reflective teaching practices are not always intuitive to human nature and take time and effort on the behalf of the instructor to implement. In order to integrate self-evaluative strategies into your teaching, it is necessary to think through the process of how you will evaluate your instruction and structure self-evaluation activities in your day-to-day life. This is why developing a plan can be helpful; it requires you to think about how you will integrate self-evaluation strategies in your professional practice. A key idea behind improving your instructional practice is to set goals for yourself, as goals help you determine what needs to be reflected upon and helps motivate you to make changes in your instruction (Marzano, 2012). Before you begin writing your evaluation plan, you will first learn more about setting an instructional goal for yourself.

Bwestkeyidea.png Key Ideas in Developing an Evaluation Plan

Setting an Instructional Goal

The purpose of evaluating your instruction is to make improvements to your teaching. In order to make an achievable evaluation plan, you need to develop an instructional goal for yourself. The goal can be for any area of instruction that you feel you need to improve upon. It is important to make it is relevant to you and focused for your evaluation plan.

Good Examples of Instructional Goals:

  • Analyzing your classroom awareness to ensure you reach all students
  • Analyzing your questioning techniques to develop better questioning techniques
  • Evaluating your instructional techniques, or implementing a new instructional technique

Poor Examples of Instructional Goals

  • Assessing your overall instruction - This is not a focused goal
  • Change student behaviors - This is not directly focused on your instruction
  • Analyze student test scores - It is assumed that you already do this, and it is not one of the evaluation strategies discussed in unit 3 of this mini-course.


Now take some time to reflect on your instruction and think about an area you would like to improve. If you are uncertain where to start, begin by focusing on a general idea that all instructors can improve upon. For example, all instructors need to evaluate their instructional strategies, so it would make sense to select a teaching strategy you use and focus your evaluation on that.

Evaluation Strategy

In unit 3, several different strategies for self-evaluating your instruction were presented to you and you rated the strategies based on the likelihood you would use the strategy. Your instructional goal should incorporate the evaluation strategy, as the strategy is meant to help you integrate reflective teaching practices into your instruction.

Even though you may prefer one strategy over another, you will need to consider if the strategy will help you meet your instructional goal or not, or how the strategy might be adapted to fit within the constraints of your available time and resources.

Write a SMART Goal

When setting an instructional goal for yourself, it might be helpful to write it the SMART way. Following the SMART model will help ensure that your instructional goal is attainable by helping you flesh out the details of how you will obtain the goal. SMART is an acronym for

  • Specific: "Goals should be simplistically written and clearly define what you are going to do" (UVa, 2010).
  • Measurable: "Goals should be measurable so that you have tangible evidence that you have accomplished the goal" (UVa, 2010).
  • Achievable: "Goals should be achievable; they should make you feel challenged, but defined well enough so that you can achieve them" (UVa, 2010).
  • Results-focused: "Goals should measure outcomes, not activities" (UVa, 2010).
  • Time-bound: Goals should be linked to a timeframe that creates a practical sense of urgency (UVa, 2010).

As you work through the elements of a SMART goal, remember to incorporate an evaluation strategy. You will also want to make your SMART goal as realistic as possible for you, so that you will follow through with the goal.

Bwestplaymovie.png Watch this video about SMART Goals in Education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOnN1iVGMO4.

Optional Activity
Analyze the example goal and identify how it meets the SMART criteria. Doing so may help you develop your instructional goal. Use the SMART Goals Worksheet to assist you.

Example Goal: "By the end of the first quarter of the academic year, I will have written in a weekly reflective journal to document any negative interactions between me and my students. I will reflect on my behavior and develop strategies to overcome my negative interactions."

SMART Goal Worksheet
Use this worksheet to help you write your SMART instructional goal. Start by writing down your goal, then work through the questions to revise it to fit the SMART guidelines.

Bwestrightarrows.png Click on the link to download the worksheet: File:BwestSMARTGoalWorksheet.pdf

Bwestpencil.png Activity: Develop an Evaluation Plan

Now that you have developed a SMART instructional goal for yourself, it is time to develop your evaluation plan. This purpose of developing this plan is to help you hold yourself accountable for evaluating your own instruction. The only way to become a reflective teacher is make yourself utilize reflective strategies in a structured and viable way.

You will want to develop your evaluation plan document using a word processor of your choice. Review the provided example if you need guidance. Make sure to assess your progress with the Evaluation Plan Rubric before, during, and after you develop your evaluation plan.

Your evaluation plan needs to contain the following elements:

  • A SMART instructional goal
  • A statement of rationale for pursuing the goal
  • A statement of rationale for the evaluation strategy you selected.
  • A timeline for completing your goal.
  • A list of ways you will remind yourself to implement the evaluation strategy.
  • A list of resources you will need to meet your goal.
  • A list of potential obstacles to achieving your goal.
  • A statement of how you will hold yourself accountable for achieving your goal and how you will try to overcome the obstacles.
  • A statement of how you will reward yourself if you achieve your goal.
  • An idea for a future instructional goal, once the current one is obtained.
  • Any other additional information you would like to include.

Bwestrightarrows.png Click here to view a sample evaluation plan
Note: You do not need to follow the formatting used the example evaluation plan. Also, notice that it does not follow the highest criteria stated in the rubric.

Evaluation Plan Rubric
Use this rubric to assess your progress on your evaluation plan. The purpose of using this rubric is to make sure you have included enough information in your evaluation plan for you to refer to as you work on integrating the evaluation strategy into your teaching.

Bwestrightarrows.png Click here to view the Evaluation Plan Rubric

Unit 4 Discussion Forum

If you have questions about developing your instructional goals or evaluation plan, then post them to the unit 4 discussion forum. The instructor and/or other participants may respond to your questions. You may also respond to other participants' questions.

Bwestrightarrows.png Click here to go to the unit 4 discussion forum

Bwestideas.png Further Study

Read this article: Schunk, D. H., & ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services, G. N. (2001). Self-regulation through goal setting. ERIC/CASS Digest. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED462671.pdf.

  • This article briefly describes the role of self-regulation in setting goals. It will provide the reader with a basic insight into the psychological aspects of goal-setting. This background information will be helpful as you consider developing a goal for your evaluation plan.

Review this questionnaire: http://qtpi.wikispaces.com/file/view/Teacher+Self+Reflection+Questionnaire.pdf

  • This questionnaire poses some additional questions to consider when reflecting on your instruction. You may want to consider integrating some of these ideas into your own reflections or incorporate the ideas into your evaluation plan.

Read this article: Croasdaile, S. (2007). What makes teachers reflect to improve their practice? Reflective practice in a social-organizational context. ERIC Online Submission. Retrieved from: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED505866.pdf.

  • This article discusses how the social-organizational culture of schools impact reflective practice. As you think about integrating reflective practices (i.e., self-evaluation strategies) into your teaching, realize that outside factors may influence on your practice.

Bwestevaluate.png Unit Evaluation

Now that you have completed unit 4, fill out a unit evaluation survey. The mini-course instructor will use the survey data to make improvements to the Reflective Teaching: Evaluating Your Own Instruction mini-course.

Bwestrightarrows.png Click here to evaluate Unit 4: Developing an Evaluation Plan

Bwestredo.png Mini-Course Navigation

Congratulations! You have completed the Reflective Teaching: Evaluating Your Own Instruction mini-course!

Return to Mini-Course Homepage | Unit 1: What is Reflective Teaching? | Unit 2: Evaluating Instruction | Unit 3: Strategies for Self-Evaluating Instruction

Bwestfolderorange.png References

Marzano, R. J. (2012). Becoming a reflective teacher. Bloomington, IN: Marzano Research Laboratory.

University of Virginia (UVa). (2010). Writing S.M.A.R.T. goals. Retrieved from http://www.hr.virginia.edu/uploads/documents/media/Writing_SMART_Goals.pdf.