How do you assess the IT program within your school?
What are your goals? How well are you reaching your goals?
Look at your program from multiple perspectives.
What's important? What should be assessed? Ask yourself:
Are students getting to the technology when they need it?
Are teachers using the technology when it could be used?
Are parents/community members happy with the results?
Ringmaster Quote
It said "Insert disk #3" but only two will fit.
Press any key to continue. Where's the any key?
Windows installation complete, press your luck to continue.
Wow! Look at the cool cup holder on my computer!
Assessment Tools
Let's explore the following assessment tools:
Standards. Many schools uses local, state/provincial, regional, national, and international standards as the basis for their assessment program. Remember to check both the content area and technology standards. Many of these can be found on the Internet.
Testing. In addition to standardized testing, many schools have their own local testing systems. Many teachers adapt tests from textbooks and other sources.
Portfolios. The use of portfolios has become popular for both students and teachers. Writings, communications, photographs, drawings, videos, checklists, and personal reflections can all be incorporated into a portfolio. It's also possible to create computer-based portfolios.
Interviews. Text-based, audio, and video interviews are becoming popular ways to show change over time. Consider doing interviews before or after an event or at a meeting. Incorporate interviews into project assessment.
Surveys & Polls. Students, teachers, administrators, support staff, technical staff, community members, and parents can all participate in surveys and polls.
Documentation. Your technology plan, professional development plans, and school reform plan should all be used in your assessment planning. Consider all forms of documents including reports, journals and logs, observations, anecdotes, and timelines.

Data. Counting things can serve an important role in assessment. Ask yourself: how much, how often, and how many? Examine some of the following areas:

  • School: dropouts, attendance
  • Curriculum: coverage, use
  • Budget: spending, savings, areas
  • Time: distribution, focus
  • Hardware: new, retired, fixed
  • Software: distribution, access, use
Assessment Areas
Your assessment plan should examine the school environment, school curriculum, and school projects. Also, look at the technology environment, technology plan, and technology program.
People play an important role in assessment. Examine each of the following categories of people:
  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Support Staff
  • Tech Support
  • Community/Parents
Students. When assessing students, consider standardized and local tests, project evaluations, portfolios, and interviews. Think about both the performance of the student and the program.
Teachers. Be sure to use multiple assessments with both students and teachers. You may want some one-shot assessments such as a class visitation. Also, consider project or program-based assessment. In addition, build in ongoing assessments that look at professional development plans, lesson plans, and classroom management plans.
Assessment Keys

Some keys to assessment include the following:

  • Be specific
  • Focus on a particular topic
  • Keep it short
  • Try it before use
  • Ask yourself:
    • Why am I collecting this data?
    • How will I use this data?
Make it work

Assessment is not easy. You may choose to require participation. For example, bring your survey to a required faculty meeting. Or, ask people to do paperwork or attend a workshop in order to receive technology. On the other hand, sometimes the best approach is the fun one. Enjoy assessment by making it interesting. Provide food and rewards to increase participation.

How do you assess the IT program within your school?

Do It!
Develop an assessment area that you haven't tried before.